Michelle Lam

Michelle Lam

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 09:19

Meet the New Green Activists: Investors

Shareholders care about climate change and energy; in fact, they’re demanding action from the companies they invest in. How do we know this?

According to ClimateBiz of Greener World Media, the number of shareholder resolutions filed with public companies in 2010 has grown from 2009. Eighty-eight US and Canadian companies received a combined 101 shareholder resolutions relating to climate and energy, a 48.5 percent increase.

Investors are demanding more disclosure and action on risks related to climate change and energy. Of the 101 resolutions filed this proxy season, 51 have been withdrawn by investors after their demands were met with action or commitments. Resolutions are generally withdrawn when a company satisfactorily takes steps to address shareholder demands.

The environment is a top-of-mind concern for consumers. Shareholders increasingly are taking note of corporate sustainability initiatives as well. Learn about how your company can take action on climate change by visiting www.carbonfund.org/business. You can read the full ClimateBiz article here.

Tuesday, 03 August 2010 17:52

Many Homebuyers Seeking "Green" Features

The decision to buy a home or property is typically one that involves great deliberation. Prospective buyers consider the home’s exterior features, interior amenities, neighborhood, surrounding schools, etc. But green features are important to homebuyers too. According to the Certified Staging Professionals (CSP) International Business Training Academy, 92% of people surveyed said “green” features are important when buying a property. Staging is essentially increasing the appeal of a home to secure the highest value. CSP Int'l Business Training Academy is reducing and offsetting its carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Participants in the CSP Certified Eco-Professional Program learn about building certification programs such as LEED and best practices in green building. As an example of "green" features, we recently covered green roofs and white roofs in the Carbonfund.org myClimateMinute newsletter. You can read the article here.
Every girl has fantasies of her fairytale wedding and I am certainly not immune to this. I want to have a September wedding at a gorgeous venue overlooking the water. At the same time, I am also conscious of my carbon footprint and considering my large family–18 aunts and uncles and countless more cousins–my wedding is bound to have a large footprint. I’m determined, however, not to compromise my desire for a big wedding with my desire to preserve the environment. [caption id="attachment_5228" align="aligncenter" width="285" caption="Harrison Hurwitz via Style Me Pretty"][/caption] Luckily, there are a number of resources for brides-to-be who want to make their weddings more environmentally-friendly. Green Bride Guide, for instance, is an entire website dedicated to planning a green wedding. Prospective brides can access tips, information and a directory of green vendors, as well as search for greener honeymoon destinations.

There is also the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists (AWGS), which is an international organization of dry cleaners that specializes in gown cleaning, restoration and preservation. The wedding gown is perhaps the most important aspect of a wedding for a girl. AWGS enables brides to preserve the beauty of their wedding gowns through ZeroCarbon restorations, which means emissions are offset to support third-party validated carbon reduction projects.

Just this week, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists announced that it has partnered with Green Bride Guide to provide expert content and offer greater access to what's green- and wedding- related.

The AWGS has also created a destination wedding kit for purchase, which includes offsetting. You can learn more about offsetting your own wedding at our website here. Image Credits: Style Me Pretty and AWGS
To some, experiencing luxury is part of life. Think Green Limousine, a Chicago-based company, believes it can make luxury more sustainable. The company substantiates this through its green initiatives. The company’s fleet of vehicles features the latest fuel-efficiency technologies to reduce its carbon footprint. Going a step further, the company offsets emissions that it can't reduce in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects, including renewable energy. Think Green Limousine offers airport transfers, point-to-point service and hourly reservations for occasions as varied as business meetings, birthdays, homecoming, proms and weddings. Please take the initiative to offset your own travel emissions by clicking here.
Having a great weekend and minimizing your footprint on our planet can go hand in hand. In 2009, an estimated 32.4 million Americans took some type of trip for Memorial Day weekend and traveled at least 50 miles. That’s a lot of gas—about 54 million gallons based on an average fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon. Here are some ways to make the most of your weekend while minimizing your carbon footprint.

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  • Check out what’s going on locally! Many cities and towns have parades, fairs, fireworks shows and other events to commemorate Memorial Day and for residents to enjoy the official start of summer activities.
  • Share your culinary skills with family & friends! Host a summer barbeque, and to minimize your work in the kitchen, ask guests to bring a dish or help with the meal.
  • Take transit! See if you can take public transit and save on gas too. Have you considered taking Amtrak? Train trips can be fun for the kids and the whole family.
  • Offset your travel footprint: if you’re driving, flying or taking other modes of transportation, you can offset your footprint affordably and support great projects to advance a clean energy future.
  • Take in a baseball game! Whether it’s your local team or the major leagues, you’re likely to find a game that weekend to enjoy.
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy Memorial Day weekend, but if you will, remember you can reduce your footprint by offsetting in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Learn more about reducing your footprint at our Save Energy page!
Typically when we think of summer vacation, we think of beaches and the ocean. This summer, why not try something new? Spirit Walker Expeditions offers guided wilderness adventures in southeast Alaska. You can get closer to nature by kayaking through Alaskan waters and marvel at the beautiful surroundings in Point Adolphus, Glacier Bay, Myriad Islands and other locations. Spirit Walker Expeditions provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for many customers. In the company’s own words, "Our goal is to protect and preserve wilderness areas, to educate our guests about environmentally sound camping techniques, and educate the public about the ecology of nature through quality guided wilderness trips." Spirit Walker Expeditions offers affordable vacations, day trips, and custom trips as well. Visit their website to see the full 2010 schedule. When traveling, you can reduce the climate impact of your trip with these helpful suggestions and offset your travel emissions in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Learn more by clicking here.
Monday, 16 August 2010 14:19

Hyundai Sets 50 MPG Goal for Vehicles

New National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations require automakers to achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating of 35.5 miles per gallon (MPG) by 2016. Hyundai will not only meet this new requirement, the company plans to achieve a CAFE rating of at least 50 MPG by 2025 for its passenger cars and light duty trucks. To meet this goal, Hyundai will leverage its Blue Drive strategy to align research and development with developing more fuel-efficient technologies at its engineering centers in California, Michigan, Korea, India and Germany. Initiatives will include improvements in powertrains (components that generate power), lightweight materials, electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and design. Hyundai Motor America’s President and CEO John Krafcik stated that the company is “committed to setting the pace in [the] industry on fuel economy.” Although a 50-MPG CAFE rating is an ambitious goal, Krafcik says that “by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Entire masses of land are disappearing. More specifically, climate change experts have recently revealed that Nigerian islands in the Niger Delta region have been lost, and that global warming is to blame.  Climate change is real, and the effects are being felt as we speak. The warning signs were first noticed twenty years ago, when two professors at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research cautioned that the nation was losing coastal lands at an alarming rate. Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati asserted that the combination of weathering from the ocean and rising sea levels would completely erode the islands. Now, Ibe’s and Akpati’s fears have been realized, and there remains concern that even more islands could be lost. Much of the discussion and literature of climate change have tended to zoom in on one specific effect or solution. Additionally, research and science often cite the impact that climate change will have five, ten, or even twenty years down the road. For most people, it is hard to put that into perspective. The effects of global warming are not a “one and done” deal; humans are directly contributing to global warming, which in turn is causing a rise in overall temperatures across the world and rising sea levels. Now, experts including Victor Fodeke, head of the Federal Ministry of Environment’s Special Climate Change Unit in Nigeria confirm that rising seas and erosion are to blame for the loss of islands. Nigerians who were once living or working on the islands have since relocated. Such a move has taken a negative toll on the displaced. Global warming is setting off a chain reaction that adversely affects our ecosystem and beyond.
Thursday, 17 June 2010 10:15

Help Dad Be Greener This Father's Day

Father's Day is a great time to help Dad be greener, and most likely he'll be grateful & proud. The carbon emissions and greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of our everyday activities (e.g. driving or turning on the A/C) contribute significantly to climate change. Global warming and rising temperatures have major consequences for the planet: droughts, severe flooding, damage to marine ecosystems, etc. With Father’s Day coming up, you can show your appreciation for Dad and be a part of the solution by giving him a CarbonFree® Certified gift or offsetting his carbon footprint. Dad can’t live without his morning cup of coffee? CarbonFree® certification partner Grounds for Change offers a variety of organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee blends that are sure to satisfy. Does Dad drive or use public transportation to get to work every day? Offset his vehicle for a year in support of carbon reduction projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency or reforestation. Better yet, consider a ZeroCarbonTM annual offset. You'll receive a customizable, framable certificate for offsetting with Carbonfund.org in his name. Our partners also provide great gifts for Dad. Check out Dell's FastTrack deals that can get a computer ordered and delivered in 48 hours. For books, visit Better World Books' huge selection. They'll also offset your shipping with Carbonfund.org, and every purchase helps fund global literacy programs. Make this Father's Day greener for you and Dad. Your commitment to saving the environment will make Dad proud.
Scientists and climate experts have long warned of global warming's impacts in the Arctic regions. However, a study issued this week by the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that the effects of global warming may have been previously underestimated. According to the study, Arctic temperatures have risen by approximately 1.8° Fahrenheit in the past twenty years alone. Rising temperatures make it “exceedingly difficult” to maintain permanent sea and glacial ice in the Arctic. As greenhouse gas emissions continue their upward trend, global temperatures will only rise and exacerbate Arctic ice melt. In fact, the study affirms that current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere may well be leading us towards a tipping point for “irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic.” The impact on the rest of the world would include sea-level rise and more problems in maintaining shorelines and coastal areas. We can all take steps in our own lives to fight global warming now. Reduce and offset your carbon footprint in support of innovative carbon reduction projects. You can read more about the University of Colorado study here.
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