A good wealth management firm helps its clients get their financial house in order - a great one makes sure its own house is in order, and is accountable to clients and to operational sustainability as well. New Carbonfree® Business Partner Waymark Wealth Management, located in Westborough, MA, does just this. The firm made the commitment to neutralize its estimated annual operating emissions by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program earlier this year and supporting Carbonfund.org’s forest preservation projects around the world.
The values based independent wealth management firm helps individuals and families align their personal values with their investments and financial decisions. The firm also works to minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible. Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sean Fair participated in the NYC People’s Climate March in 2014 with many other investment companies to show the need for the investment community to take the lead on investing in a sustainable manner. The staff strives to operate as paperless as possible, and use recycled and 100% wind powered generated paper products when required. The company car is electric, and this year, the firm is starting an annual golf tournament to support the local land trust.
“We are all a part of a very delicate and often times misunderstood ecosystem,” expresses Sean Fair, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Waymark Wealth Management. “Environmental and social stewardship must be a priority for everyone if this world is to become the place we all want for our children and future generations. Simply shirking ownership or kicking the proverbial can down the road is no longer an option. We want to help people understand that with every dollar you spend whether it is at the grocery store, buying clothes, the car you drive or money invested in the stock market, you are essentially giving those companies “votes of approval” for how they do business.”
“If we all want sustainability then we need to make sure that we are investing and spending our money with companies that are helping the world achieve that goal. To that end, we are proud to partner with a great non-profit like Carbonfund.org to make sure our company is helping do its part.”
The Tower Companies “envisions a world where buildings inspire and enrich the lives of their occupants, and create a positive social change.” In this envisioned world, people seek out buildings that improve their health and well-being, connect them to thriving communities and help to sustain the environment.
The Tower Companies strive to be leaders in the green building industry – they believe it's not only a responsibility, but also an opportunity. One of the company’s goals is to "lead by example on environmental responsibility, by developing and managing high performance properties, being a global voice on environmental stewardship, and sharing our sustainable and innovative practices."
Since 2008, the Tower Companies has been a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of energy consumption by purchasing wind power and carbon credits, equal to over 150,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbonfund.org has been fortunate to partner with the Tower Companies to help achieve some of their carbon neutral goals. Through energy reduction strategies, the Tower Companies also have saved 10 million kWh in electricity, a 22% reduction since 2008.
Please see their inaugural sustainability e-newsletter for more interesting and inspirational facts about the Tower Companies’ environmental impact achievements.
Pakpour Consulting Group believes that environmental stewardship is everyone’s responsibility, and as civil engineers tasked with providing safe, clean water and air to the communities it serves, PCG chose to be at the forefront of the fight against global warming and hope to lead other civil engineering firms to follow suit so it can become the first industry to achieve carbon neutrality.
“As a certified green business in Alameda County, going to a zero carbon footprint was the natural next step for us. Environmental stewardship is everyone's responsibility, and as civil engineers tasked with providing safe, clean water and air to our communities we should be at the forefront of the fight against global warming,” stated Joubin Pakpour, P.E., president of Pakpour Consulting Group. “We hope other civil engineering firms will follow suit so we can become the first industry to achieve a zero footprint.”
"Carbonfund.org’s mission is to improve the world by helping people reduce their environmental footprint. Their goal is to provide a forum for the massive and growing, but mostly unconnected majority of people – whether they think of themselves as citizens or business people, parents or consumers, activists or theorists who want to do the right thing. Action is impossible without information. Pakpour Consulting Group is proud to be working with Carbonfund.org."
Pakpour Consulting Group provides comprehensive municipal civil engineering design and construction management services for a wide variety of public projects. Services include serving as contract district engineer, water distribution systems engineering, civil plan review, transportation engineering, sewer and storm drainage design, hydrology studies, program management services, constructability review and construction management.
Since 2007, Pakpour Consulting Group has monitored, measured and ultimately neutralized its environmental footprint. Pakpour Consulting Group offsets the carbon emissions used in producing its supplies such as paper and packaging and its office electricity by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction, clean air technology and forest preservation projects. In the past five years, Pakpour Consulting Group has neutralized over 500,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions through Carbonfund.org – the same quantity of emissions produced by the average passenger car driving almost 550,000 miles.
“As part of this process we scrutinized almost all of our day to day operations and through innovative approaches, we now recycle 80% of our waste and have reduced our paper usage by 13% while the company has doubled in size,” stated Pakpour.
In addition to the operational emissions measurement, reduction and mitigation, Pakpour Consulting Group is helping to restore the natural resources used to manufacture paper and other office supplies through tree planting, watershed restoration and conservation projects. Carbonfund.org appreciates the commitment to environmental leadership and action that Pakpour Consulting Group continues to demonstrate through these company-wide efforts.
Like many of us who’ve had the opportunity to travel to other countries, Scott Leonard was profoundly affected by his trip to South America back in 1993 where he encountered the priceless beauty of clothes produced by local artisans. The richness of the culture and the amazing knitting techniques prompted him to bring back more than a souvenir to his Northern California home. He returned with a vision to pioneer a new business model. He would invite customers to wear ethically made clothing—fashion that demonstrates a commitment to those who created the designs, as well as to the environment that supports us all.
Together, Scott and co-founder Matt Reynolds have helped form a scalable artisan network through the INDIGENOUS clothing line that reflects a commitment to sustainability, social entrepreneurship and responsible actions by consumers and business alike.
By designing clothes made with organic cotton and natural fibers, Scott and Matt hadn’t just made a smart move for the planet; they were making a savvy business decision as well. After all, organic clothes will never go out of fashion. That’s because organic clothing supports people and planet, keeping toxins off our bodies and out of our environment.
This year, INDIGENOUS expanded its environmental stewardship by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program. Through Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects, INDIGENOUS is able to neutralize its operational emissions while supporting innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry preservation projects.
Earlier this spring, INDIGENOUS was recognized for its positive overall social and environmental impact, receiving a “best for the world” scoring in the top 10% among Certified B Corporations.
Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds, along with their passionate tribe of “style ambassadors” and fair trade artisan partners, strive to transform the often opaque fashion industry into one respected for producing beautiful and trendy clothes through transparent, ethical and eco-friendly methods. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with INDIGENOUS in its effort to lead the fashion industry towards sustainable business practices.
Today’s wealth management environment, like protection of our natural environment, demands transparency, accountability, responsible citizenship and the highest ethical standards.
Adhering to these principles, Carbonfree® Business Partner RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC, a New York-based independent employee-owned sustainable wealth management firm, chose to work with Carbonfund.org to continue its commitment to operate as a carbon neutral organization, part of the firm’s sustainability goals.
The firm is committed to running a sustainable business practice that limits impact on the planet by using electronic storage and delivery of documents, effectively reducing paper consumption, helping to save trees, and further reducing emissions associated with shipping of documents.
In order to do more, and with the help of Carbonfund.org, RLP Wealth Advisors offsets annual carbon emissions from office energy use, business travel, and daily employee commuting. The firm’s investment in carbon offsets helps to fund projects that include renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation and forest preservation.
“RLP Wealth Advisors is committed to environmental stewardship and we believe Carbonfund.org is an effective tool for businesses to help address climate change and promote sustainability,” states Bud Sturmak, CFP®, AIF®, Partner at RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC.
In addition to RLP’s mission to be a sustainable company, RLP’s business is focused on providing sustainable investing solutions to non-profit organizations, corporations, foundations, and families. RLP acts as the lead investment steward working closely with the investment committees of large organizations, combining their expertise in sustainable investing and fiduciary responsibility to assist their clients in aligning investments with their broader mission, values and goals.
The firm extends its commitment to environmental stewardship through affiliation with 1% For the Planet and The Conservation Alliance, and their website is 100% solar powered. As thought leaders in sustainable investing and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) analysis, RLP Wealth Advisors co-authored the groundbreaking study, “Carbon Footprints, Performance and Risk of U.S. Equity Mutual Funds,” and were a contributing author to the recently released book, “Evolutions in Sustainable Investing.”
As a sustainable company, RLP Wealth Advisors has a unique appreciation, understanding, and natural interest in assisting their clients in aligning investments with mission, values and goals. Carbonfund.org is pleased to help RLP Wealth Advisors do the same for its firm-wide sustainability initiatives. You can learn more about RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC by visiting their website at http://www.rlpwealth.com.
2014 is shaping up to be another strong year for continued environmental leadership by Carbonfund.org’s business partners. These companies understand the value in maintaining effective sustainability programs that demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility.
Entering its fifth year as a Carbonfree® Business Partner, Software for Good is a design-driven software engineering team producing complete digital solutions for companies doing great things.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Carbonfree® Business Partnership,” states Casey Helbling, founder and CEO of Software for Good. “By calculating, reducing, and offsetting our carbon footprint, we are helping to change the status quo and redefine what it means to be a responsible business.”
To date, Software for Good’s carbon emissions offset donations have supported Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction projects, neutralizing the same quantity of emissions as are created by a standard passenger car driving almost 600,000 miles.
Software for Good team members and clients share a vision for what a healthy and sustainable community can be. They follow the triple bottom line business model, investing equally in people, planet, and profit.
A great example of Software for Good’s work can be seen in the rebuild for RE-AMP’s website. The organization is composed of over 150 non-profits and foundations across the US Midwest focused on climate change and energy policy. The new website focuses on user engagement and easy ongoing site maintenance, so that the various groups can work collaboratively to create a healthier, more sustainable world.
Software for Good demonstrates its environmental stewardship through the work it performs for its clients and in its continuing commitment to carbon-neutral operations through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.
It’s still early in this new year, and with Earth Day approaching next month, it’s a great time to look for ways to improve, expand and enrich your commitments to protecting and preserving our environment.
During 2013, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery of St. Helena, CA augmented their organic agricultural practices and environmental sustainability initiatives by offsetting business flight emissions through Carbonfud.org. This year, Spottswoode took the additional step to allocate a larger portion of its 1% for the Planet pledge to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, thus neutralizing all of their annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world.
“Climate Change is the defining issue of our time, and we feel strongly that we must be a part of the solution to this global crisis,” explains Beth Novak Milliken, President and CEO of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. “We take our commitment to the environment seriously, and through our actions, we hope to inspire others to care for and respect our natural resources as well.”
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned vineyard and winery renowned for producing classic and refined wines that honor their vineyard origins. The balance, grace, and integrity reflected in their wines also drive a commitment to organic farming and stewardship of the winery’s gardens, historic building, and local watershed.
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery has farmed organically since 1985 and became a California Certified Organic Farmer in 1992. In addition, Spottswoode is certified Napa Green by the Napa Valley Vintners, uses solar power in their vineyard and winery, maintains insectaries and bird boxes in the vineyard, runs tractors on biodiesel and works to conserve water. The winery spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of their vineyard and is shared with many residential neighbors. The expansion of the winery’s environmental responsibility to mitigate all operational carbon emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership demonstrates an ongoing dedication to the health of land and air upon which Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery depends.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., USA and TROIS-RIVIERES, QUE.,CANADA – Kofcan Inc.’s biomass fuel pellets, which are made from spent coffee grounds, have earned CarbonFree® certification from Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. CarbonFree® product certification for its 15 kg, 25 kg and 1.5 kg bags of coffee pellets is a credible, transparent way for Kofcan to provide a carbon-neutral fuel source to home owners and environmentally-conscious companies.
Kofcan’s biomass fuel pellets were designed to recycle waste into energy and provide a more efficient and lower environmental impact alternative to wood pellets. Instead of contributing to landfills, the spent coffee from which the pellets are made is collected from restaurants and institutions in a 200 km radius of the micro pellets plant in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The resulting pellets have a higher energy output, generating 27.5 percent more BTUs (British Thermal Units) than wood pellets.
In addition to maintaining a low carbon footprint by sourcing spent coffee from local businesses, Kofcan also assessed the environmental impacts of its coffee pellets by undergoing a detailed life cycle assessment to measure its carbon emissions in North America. Kofcan then offset its carbon emissions through investment in third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects provided by Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit and developer of the CarbonFree® Product Certification program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America.
“Kofcan and its founders Michel Cordeau and Sylvain Laroche have developed a truly waste-free and efficient energy source. With the addition of CarbonFree® certification through NSF Sustainability, Kofcan is able to demonstrate the carbon neutrality of its coffee pellets and communicate to home owners as well as industrial companies its commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division.
“Kofcan is proud to have the first energy pellet to be certified CarbonFree® as well as the first energy pellet that creates viable energy from a waste product instead of the harvesting and processing of trees,” said Michel Cordeau, CEO and founder of Kofcan, Inc.
“Joining the ranks of CarbonFree® Business Partners and taking action to neutralize annual carbon emissions through supporting carbon reduction projects marks Kofcan as a leader in the global warming solution,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org.
How the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program Works
The CarbonFree® Product Certification program uses life cycle assessments (LCAs) to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a product’s entire life cycle. GHG emissions (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) that cannot be reduced or eliminated from the product’s life cycle are offset or neutralized with third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects.
A carbon offset is a verifiable reduction in carbon emissions somewhere in the world other than where the emission is generated. These external reductions offer clean energy transformation (e.g. wind, solar), sequestration (e.g. forestry) and clean technology (e.g. energy efficiency). The projects also offer a range of benefits including conservation, clean water, job creation and innovation. Credits are generated when a project is verified and registered – allowing companies to purchase these credits and offset the emissions produced in the manufacturing and use of their products. These credits are then permanently retired on behalf of the product/company.
CarbonFree® certified products earn the use of the CarbonFree® mark along with being listed in the Carbonfund.org online product certification database. The CarbonFree® mark can be found on a variety of products today, including food, beverage, electronics and apparel.
About Kofcan: Kofcan is a young company playing in a big industry and plans to make a global impact by reinventing the meaning of "renewable energy" and the way it is used in the pellet industry. Producing low carbon products such as pellets from used coffee and other recycled raw materials is its primary focus. Kofcan is creating energy through sustainable projects, protecting the planet, and helping people become socially responsible through renewable sources.
About Carbonfund.org Foundation: Carbonfund.org is a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact and hasten our transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbonfund.org supports innovative renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects globally that reduce carbon emissions and help people. Carbonfund.org has worked with over 2,000 corporate and nonprofit partners. More at www.carbonfund.org.
About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.
NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Product assessments include testing and certification for more sustainable consumer and commercial products. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability standards for products such as carpet, flooring and other commercial building materials.
Additional NSF services include safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems certifications delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 environmental management systems, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and chain of custody (COC) certifications.
A simple suggestion five years ago to a client, recommending that they publish the company’s carbon footprint in their annual report, led Smart Media to adopt a broad and continuous sustainability commitment in its own operations and in the production of its award-winning annual reports.
One of the very few companies in the world to focus exclusively on annual reports, Smart Media The Annual Report Company (‘Smart Media’) helps organizations produce annual reports which go beyond statutory disclosure and compliance to become effective instruments of corporate communications.
In 2008, Smart Media encouraged a client to voluntarily publish their carbon footprint in the annual report. Since then, the numbers of client companies including this operational emissions information in annual reports have grown. Some clients depend upon Smart Media’s consultancy assistance which includes training, development of data entry forms and computation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.
By way of setting an example, Smart Media commenced producing carbon neutral annual reports in 2009, by thoroughly analyzing the carbon emissions associated with the full annual report production process. Then, Smart Media chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to neutralize these emissions by supporting global reforestation projects. In 2012, Smart Media became completely carbon neutral under Scopes 1 and 2 as well as selected sources under Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard by mitigating its own operational emissions with Carbonfund.org.
“Our strategy was to reduce our GHG emissions as much as possible and to offset the rest thereafter. Our philosophy, when in comes to partnerships is ‘the best or not at all’. Having looked around we chose Carbonfund.org, as it is an independent foundation having a great track record and credibility. They have the experience and expertise to help clients in almost any sector in any part of the world. Thus, their capabilities matched our requirements as well as those of our varied group of clients" says Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Chairman, Smart Media The Annual Report Company.
Doing business in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and UAE, and with a track record spanning over 15 years and 1,500 reports, Smart Media is the acknowledged leader for annual reports in the Asia-Pacific region. This is borne out by the numerous international awards and accolades earned year after year, including the Platinum Achievement Award at the International ARC Awards, USA - popularly dubbed as the Oscars of Annual Reports - in 2010 and 2012 – and in 2013, Smart Media received an unprecedented 94 awards, including 25 Gold awards and 7 Grand awards.
Smart Media clients get the benefit of working with a certified carbon neutral company and neutralizing the GHG emissions resulting from annual report production activities outsourced by Smart Media in the production of their annual reports, including the usage of paper and printing, offset through verified sources. As a result of Smart Media’s leadership, some clients have begun setting targets to reduce their GHG emissions intensity through the adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures as well as fuel switching, with the added benefits of operational cost savings. For Smart Media, this may well be its single largest contribution – though indirect – towards environmental stewardship. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Smart Media in these efforts.
For visitors to the greater Chicago area and the locals who’ve endured a long winter, a big three-season draw is the Lake Michigan waterfront. Among the popular waterfront pastimes are the various Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat cruises that provide passengers with views of the Chicago skyline, architectural tours, dinner cruises, and on-board wedding and special event celebrations.
To help protect and preserve the Lake Michigan resource, the environmentally-focused passenger will consider a cruiseline’s attention to environmental responsibilities and fuel conservation when booking their tour. CarbonFree® Partner Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline will stand out as a leader in this area.
As part of their extensive sustainability initiatives, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline has partnered with Carbonfund.org to measure and neutralize their annual carbon dioxide emissions. Office energy usage, business travel and employee commuting emissions, as well as all fuel used by the cruise ships throughout 2012, were included in the emissions calculations. The resulting total annual operational emissions were mitigated by corresponding donations to support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects.
The CarbonFree® Business Program status joins many other environmentally conscious initiatives followed by the Chicago-based cruiseline company. Since 2006, all vessels have used B-11 biodiesel fuel, saving more than 4,000 gallons of imported crude oil per year. Their newest vessel, Chicago’s Leading Lady, added to the fleet in 2011, is equipped with computerized energy-efficient engines that help the boat save over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises encourages their passengers to join an active office and operations recycling program by recycling their onboard maps for future guests. Dockside waste bins are constructed of recycled plastic milk containers, and beverage cans and bottles are collected onboard and dockside for recycling. Promotional materials are printed by CarbonFree® Partner Digital Hub, voted Chicago’s Greenest Printer, with soy-based inks and recycled papers. All employees are encouraged to ride their bike, walk or commute to work by using public transit, and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruisline encourages its staff to participate in the employee public transit reimbursement program.
This focus on measures to protect the waterways its passengers enjoy demonstrates a firm commitment to environmental stewardship by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, and Carbonfund.org is glad to participate in these efforts.