Ever wonder how large facilities in your state are doing regarding greenhouse gas emissions? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began collecting greenhouse gas emissions data in 2010 under the congressionally mandated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program. In February 2013, the EPA's program released its second year (2011) of emissions data, which provides public access to emissions data by sector, by greenhouse gas, and by geographic region such as county or state.
The 2011 data includes information from facilities in 41 source categories that emit large quantities of greenhouse gasses. New this year is data collected from 12 additional source categories, including petroleum and natural gas systems and coal mines.
Highlights of findings from the 2011 data include:
- Power plants represent approximately one-third (33 percent) of total U.S. GHG emissions, making them the largest stationary source of GHGs in the country
- 2011 emissions from power plants were roughly 4.6 percent below 2010 emissions, demonstrating an ongoing increase in power generation from natural gas and renewable energy sources
- Refineries represented the third-largest source of GHG emissions, which increased by a half of a percent over 2010 data
- Overall emissions reported from the 29 sources tracked in both years were 3 percent lower in 2011 than in 2010
Transparency is critical to a better environment and the key to conquering climate change. If companies, communities and individuals take a look at how large facilities are doing in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and compare the latest data to national averages, perhaps we can find ways to cut these emissions and begin to curb global warming. Being better informed is also good for the businesses as they may identify opportunities to conserve energy and thereby save money.
Check out how individual large facilities in your state, county, and even zip code perform. Access this data through the Facility Level Information on Green House gases Tool (FLIGHT), which is a web-based data publication tool, or dig deeper through the EPA’s online database Envirofacts that allows information searches via zip code.
Many of our CarbonFree® Business Partners set the standards for excellence in their respective industries, in part by leading their peers through a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Celebrating its fifth year as a CarbonFree® Business, Elumin Healthcare Solutions of Sammamish, WA maintains its industry leadership through its focus on technology solutions design and implementation, customer service, and its dedication to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Elumin offers information technology advisory, project management and implementation consulting solutions to the healthcare provider community, that includes implementation services for Allscripts, Cerner, Epic and Siemens applications coupled with an array of advisory services that includes interim leadership, project management, business and clinical alignment, process and workflow design and enablement strategies.
As an important part of its overall sustainability initiatives, Elumin joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in 2009, supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy technology development projects. Elumin also is committed to reducing its impact on the environment by reducing unnecessary business travel, conserving energy and water resources in their facilities, and providing incentives for employees to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.
“Partnering with Carbonfund.org is more than just our company making a statement about carbon emissions,” says Mark Williams, CEO of Elumin Healthcare Solutions. “This is a whole-hearted commitment to improving the world we live in and doing our part to set an example in the business environment for what can be done.”
Elumin’s long-term commitment to sustainable business operations underscores a dedication to improving our environment and helping to hasten the transition to a cleaner energy future.
- Elumin Healthcare Solutions,
- healthcare IT consulting
- CarbonFree Business Partner
- renewable energy technology development projects
- reducing carbon emissions
- environmentally sustainable operations
- longterm commitment to sustainable business operations
- hasten transition cleaner energy future
Local Ford Dealership to launch first ever green initiative to offset carbon footprints
Simi Valley Ford will be launching its first-ever green initiative called the Drive to Save the Environment Campaign.The dealership has partnered with the Carbonfund.org Foundation to help offset the carbon footprint for the next 2 years of every new Ford vehicle that is sold during this campaign.The two and a half month long event will kick off on February 1st and go through Earth Day, April 22nd.
For every vehicle sold during this campaign-- from compact cars like the Ford Fiesta to the larger, F-150 trucks, Simi Valley Ford will purchase 2 years of carbon offsets by making a donation to support Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction projects. Whether it’s planting trees, pulling plastic out of the ocean, recycling or investing in renewable energies, the dealership has made a commitment to help reduce the carbon footprint in CA for all of the vehicles sold over the next 80 days.
“We at Simi Valley Ford are concerned about the future of our planet, so by partnering with a green organization like Carbonfund.org, we are hoping to help raise awareness to this growing issue. We are also excited to allow our customers the opportunity to drive ‘emissions free,’ simply just by buying a car,” says Mike Shell, Fleet Manager, Simi Valley Ford.
After Hurricane Sandy, a recent survey shows that 70 percent of Americans believe that climate change is caused by our daily carbon footprint emissions. Most people are unsure of how they can do their part to help reduce emissions, so Simi Valley Ford wants to help raise awareness on climate change, while promoting Ford’s green initiatives at the same time. The dealership is working with several green organizations to help promote this campaign and raise awareness in the community.
“Simi Valley Ford is taking a real leadership position by neutralizing the first two years of carbon emissions from every new Ford vehicle sold during their Drive to Save the Environment Campaign. It’s this type of forward thinking and pro-activity in the fight against climate change that we encourage among our business partners and supporters,” explains Eric M. Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “We’re very honored to participate as a partner with Simi Valley Ford for this inaugural campaign.”
Simi Valley Ford has set a goal to sell 300 new vehicles between February 1st and April 22nd.They invite any and all local and national companies to join them in helping to reach their goal. This is the first time the dealership has launched this campaign and hopes that it will grow exponentially year to year, not just in CA, but also to Ford dealerships nationwide.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
Last week in President Obama’s inaugural speech he addressed the most serious threat our planet has ever faced, climate change, when he said, “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
It is exciting and hopeful to hear our nation’s leader pledge to put us on the path to conquer global warming and combine it with the economic recovery the US so badly needs. Now we need to back up these words with some actions. What can we do to lead a green industrial revolution?
Well we’re already seeing some promising actions from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Did you know the DOD is the largest single consumer of energy in the world? The agency spends approximately $20 billion on 3.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 120 million barrels of oil per year. That’s a lot of energy, and sometimes fossil fuels are bought from countries hostile to U.S. interests. So the U.S. military is turning its eyes to renewable energy. Fortunately they are not starting from scratch; they currently have about 80 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity. However, the good news is that a report released this week by Pike Research forecasts this number to quadruple to 3,200 megawatts by 2025. The research firm quantifies the increase in renewable energy use to a predicted almost $1.8 billion in 2025 of U.S. military spending on renewable energy programs, including conservation measures.
All of this green spending can have lasting positive effects on the industry overall. For example, as the demand for solar cells increases, it encourages the building of more solar cell manufacturing plants. Due to economies of scale, the cost of producing solar cells can decrease, and the new lower costs are passed on to the private sector. Additionally, the solar industry, because of large sales from the U.S. military, has more funds available to conduct research and development into better and cheaper solar cells, which can drive down the price permanently.
It is encouraging to hear and see the U.S. take steps towards leading a green industrial revolution. Is there more that can be done? Absolutely! But we have to recognize these constructive efforts as they are brought to light.
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.
The Carbonfund.org Foundation is excited to announce a new endeavor into environmental education for children, through our purchase of Camp Quinebarge in New Hampshire. Quinebarge is in an idyllic spot, nestled in the heart of New Hampshire's lakes and mountains regions, sitting on 65 acres of forest and 1,250 feet of waterfront on Lake Kanasatka, in Moultonborough, NH.
Quinebarge is a traditional summer camp catering to up to 100 boys and girls ages 7-15, who live in rustic but clean (with electricity) cabins and enjoy activities such as archery, swimming, boating, horseback riding, hiking, camping, arts and crafts, sports, nature and environment, ropes course and zip line, to name but a few. There are camp fires, sing-a-longs, all-camp capture the flag and many traditions completely homegrown to Quinebarge.
Send your child to Camp Quinebarge this summer at our First Time Camper rate of just $500 per week.
Carbonfund.org is adding an environmental learning and activities aspect to Quinebarge, overlaying environmental themes throughout the regular, traditional camp activities Quinebarge already offers.
Since 1936, Quinebarge has been a great way for any kid to spend their summer. Carbonfund.org president and founder Eric Carlson went there as a child for eight summers in the 1980's and we're excited to carry on and expand the legacy of this wonderful place.
Please click this link to our two-page camp brochure and please forward this note to anyone who you think might be interested in sending their children to Quinebarge and benefit from our First Time Camper discount.
Camp Quinebarge runs for seven weeks from June 23 - August 10.
Thank you for helping to spread the word about Camp Quinebarge and this great new endeavor!
As Carbonfund.org is greatly excited about the validation of our Purus Project, the first ever REDD+ project in the State of Acre, to achieve dual-validation to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction, it is important to also understand the potential broader implications of the Purus Project as it attempts to set the framework for potential REDD+ project inclusion into Phase 2 of the California Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) providing a confidence boost for the development of broader REDD+ projects around the globe.
Back in November, the State of California launched its first auction for Phase 1 of their ETS from 2013 to 2014.
California’s AB-32, also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act, regulates more than 300 facilities emitting over 25,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year with a plan to reduce GHG emissions to 427 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (MMTCO2e) by 2020 from the baseline of 507 MMTCO2e.
The State of California plans to allow emitters to cover a portion of their compliance obligations with offset credits. In Phase 1 of the program, these credits could come from projects in the United States that reduce emissions in the following sectors of: national forestry, urban forestry, ozone depleting substances and agricultural methane.
However, in Phase 2, commencing in 2015, we are hopeful that the scheme will allow offsets from REDD+ projects in Acre, Brazil, as the State of Acre has a signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the State of California, attempting to work this out. At this time, it is still unclear how the program will work.
If California accepts REDD+projects into the marketplace, it is possible for the Purus Project to be the first project leading the way for broader investment being placed into this forest protection and payment for ecosystem service projects.
Though there are still several prominent steps toward REDD+ inclusion into the California ETS, we will continue to create the best possible projects we can to protect these rainforests and its biodiversity while enhancing the lives of local communities.
While there’s been a lot of press about the increasing carbon emissions associated with rapidly expanding global technology usage, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company cites ways in which information and communications technologies can lead the way in reducing operational carbon emissions. CarbonFree® Business Partner A2 Hosting has been ahead of this curve for the past six years, offering its customers a greener, cleaner solution to server hosting.
A2 Hosting is a Linux based web hosting company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan providing a range of services including website hosting for personal homepages up to full service solutions for businesses of all sizes. And A2 Hosting is committed to ensuring responsible and ethical business practices including offsetting all server and equipment emissions with Carbonfund.org.
In 2007, A2 Hosting launched its FutureServe Green Hosting partnership with Carbonfund.org, supporting the development of energy efficiency technologies, clean renewable sources of energy, forestry and biodiversity preservation, and the resulting reduction of CO2 emissions on a global scale.
In December 2012, A2 Hosting launched hosting services in Reykjavik, Iceland. This hosting location is 100% green-powered by natural geothermal energy, and utilizes the frigid Iceland air to power its cooling units. Combining geothermal energy and natural cooling technologies allows the data center to run at very low power usage effectiveness levels and leaves no carbon footprint. And A2 Hosting is currently launching the ability to host sites using Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSD drives offer a greener footprint as they consume roughly one-third the amount of energy as traditional hard disks.
"We are committed to doing right by our customers and the environment,” says Bryan Muthig, Founder and CEO of A2 Hosting. “Until more clean energy solutions are available to everyone, we are pledging to offset our server emissions in order to help protect our fragile environment."
Since 2007, A2 Hosting has offset over 630 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the carbon dioxide sequestered by almost 15,000 trees grown over a ten-year period.
A2 Hosting focuses on delivering the type of systems hosting they would want to use as a customer, which means all-inclusive hosting with no hidden fees, US-based around-the-clock customer support and ultra-reliable servers with high performance. This commitment to excellence in service and leadership in environmental responsibility make A2 Hosting a great example of a small business doing its part to help hasten our transition to a cleaner energy future.