The enduring premise of the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and key to the program’s ongoing success, is the simplicity of the commitment: recognize and measure the annual operational emissions of your business, do what you can to reduce those emissions, and then support carbon reduction projects to mitigate the negative impact of the business emissions you can’t yet eliminate.
Hundreds of businesses around the world have joined the program, and many have maintained a long-term commitment to remaining CarbonFree®. It fits easily within their business strategies, environmental commitment and operational budgets.
A great example is Gaia’s Delights, a CarbonFree® Partner for the past six years, following its founder’s focus on the environment as underscored by the company’s name. Gaia was the goddess of Earth in ancient Greek mythology, and Gaia means “Mother Earth”. Gaia’s Delights is the parent company for a number of businesses known for their commitment to fair trade practices and to small independent herbal farms and farmers. Keith Cleversley started the company in the late 1990′s while at the peak of his record production career. With the resources that Gaia’s Delights has gathered over the past years, the company now devotes much of its time to helping worthy causes, doing important research, and engaging in activities that help to preserve and improve the world’s environment.
"When searching for more ways to enhance our efforts to help to save this beautiful planet of ours, Carbonfund.org was the obvious choice and a shining example of what grass roots determination can accomplish," explains Keith. His ongoing devotion to developing enterprises that provide healthy products from the herbs and extracts found in nature, while supporting local farmers and communities and maintaining fair trade practices, demonstrates Keith’s continuous commitment to environmental sustainability that exemplifies our CarbonFree® Partners.
For many of our CarbonFree® Small Business Partners, it’s important to balance their intentions to provide sustainably-produced products to customers while minimizing their operational impact on the environment. These goals often require careful choices and thoughtful decisions in order to achieve the right equilibrium and stay true to the mission and goals of the business. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Just Skin Food struggled with this balancing act until they reached the right approach.
Just Skin Food offers handmade organic and naturally synthetic-free “skin food” products that support, nourish and heal. All of the herbal oils, salves and balms are made by hand, by using various infusing methods of organic herbs with unrefined, steam-distilled and cold-pressed ingredients. Most products are vegan, and all products are cruelty free and GMO-free.
Just Skin Food was started by Gabriella Calvi-Rooney. When she first launched Just Skin Foods, she chose NOT to sell anything online – she felt that generating a larger carbon footprint through packaging and shipping small quantities of her products was counter-intuitive to the healing that she hoped her products would accomplish. As a result, her products were offered locally in the Cape May, NJ area or hand-delivered by Gabriella when she traveled to other areas.
In a very short time, customer demand was so great that Gabriella felt compelled to create a website to enable customers to order her herbal products online. Now Gabriella had to decide how to minimize the carbon footprint for shipping such small items.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was established to help businesses like Just Skin Foods address their impact on the environment. The program provides a simple, affordable means through which products and services can be delivered to customers while neutralizing operational emissions and supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
Joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was an easy and affordable solution that neutralized carbon emissions from Just Skin Food's operational activities and projected product shipments. Gabriella also established a minimum online order size, reuses shipping boxes from vendors, and only ships twice weekly to reduce carbon emissions associated with post office trips and shipments. In addition, she chose to use organic freshly popped popcorn as packaging material, which can be fed to the birds.
If your business is re-evaluating its social and environmental responsibilities and needs to its reduce operational impact, consider the example of Just Skin Food and the solutions we provide through our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
Two years ago, the Carbonfund.org staff “went virtual” as a way to eliminate the carbon emissions from occupied office space and regular employee commuting to the office, and as a way to save operational costs. For the past five years, CarbonFree® Business Partner the Boardroom Executive Suites® has offered virtual offices and other alternative workspace options to the Denver community, while also neutralizing its remaining operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction technology projects.
Boardroom Executive Suites provides ready-to-use office space, virtual office services, conference room rentals, advanced telecommunications and administrative support services in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, CO. “A typical office space is used less than 50% of the time. That means that there is a huge amount of waste associated with a typical office – heating, cooling, electrical, janitorial services,” explains Nathan Jansch, President and Owner of Boardroom Executive Suites. “Add to the office emissions those from employee commuting, often from lengthy and highly-polluting commutes. In an executive suite or virtual office environment, all of that changes.”
The structure of most executive suites and virtual office centers also helps reduce emissions by making use of office space and support resources more effectively. Instead of having an office suite that is used by one person 50% of the time, executive suites and virtual offices provide shared amenities and encourage maximum utilization of space and resources, reducing the per-worker carbon emissions that the suite emits.
Nathan adds, “the Boardroom Executive Suites furthers carbon emission reduction efforts by engaging in energy conservation efforts in our suites (reducing what we can) and aligning ourselves with Carbonfund.org to offset our estimated yearly carbon emissions (offsetting what we can’t).” Their long-term commitment to carbon emissions reduction efforts and operating a CarbonFree® business over the past five years shows real leadership and innovation as an alternative workspace provider.
Is 2013 the year to green up your work environment? Consider virtual office space, home office, virtual conferences and shared office space options as ways to reduce what you can, then talk to Carbonfund.org to neutralize your remaining operational emissions that you can’t eliminate.