NSF International and Carbonfund.org Foundation Partner in CarbonFree® Product Certification to Address the Rising Interest in Climate Neutral ProductsWritten by Alterra
The first carbon neutral product label in North America is available through NSF International, the exclusive provider of CarbonFree® product certification
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (March 29, 2012) – Growing demand for carbon neutral products has led to the new exclusive partnership of NSF International and the Carbonfund.org Foundation, owner of the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. CarbonFree® product certification is a credible, transparent way for companies to provide environmentally-friendly, carbon neutral products to their customers and is now offered through NSF International’s Sustainability division. The NSF and Carbonfund.org partnership leverages their combined expertise in product sustainability and NSF’s global certification management resources.
Driven by corporate responsibility, consumer demand, and potential government regulation, many companies want to quantify, reduce and offset the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the products they manufacture and supply. This growing market for eco-friendly products and consumer demand for transparent, credible and readily-accessible information at the point of purchase, makes carbon content labeling an important and a viable educational tool for consumers. The CarbonFree® mark can be found on a variety of products today, including food, beverage, electronics and apparel.
“The CarbonFree® Logo is widely recognized by consumers and companies throughout North America as a preferred mark that assures a comprehensive and high quality process was used to achieve carbon neutrality,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “More companies are recognizing the importance and value of offering carbon neutral products.”
To help meet this growing demand for carbon neutral products, Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit provider of climate solutions for individuals and businesses, developed the CarbonFree® Product Certification program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America. NSF International was selected to administer the program through its NSF Sustainability division.
With more than 65 years experience in protecting public health and the environment, NSF International adds their technical expertise to the CarbonFree® program as a global leader in standards development and third-party, independent product testing, auditing and certification worldwide. NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise to help companies develop standardized, objective methods of measuring sustainability that instill marketplace confidence and promote acceptance of more sustainable products and services.
“The Carbonfree® program is an excellent fit with NSF’s Sustainability services, and with NSF's mission of protecting and improving human health. Carbonfree® certification provides current and new clients with another valuable tool to differentiate their products and provide more sustainable solutions for their customers,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
How the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program Works
The CarbonFree® product certification program uses Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) 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 products’ life cycle are offset or ‘neutralized’ with third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects.
A carbon offset ‘credit’ represents a reduction of carbon as a result of a clean technology (e.g. wind, solar) or carbon reduction (e.g. forestry) project. The units of carbon displaced or removed from the atmosphere as a result of these projects are translated into ‘credits.’ These credits can be purchased by companies that want to offset or neutralize the carbon produced as a result of producing and selling their product. Purchased credits are ‘retired’ so the carbon is essentially eliminated from use.
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 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 an independent organization that writes standards, 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 is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
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 sustainable products such as green chemicals and building 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 Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems registration, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.
As people move away from traditional advertising media like radio, television, and newspapers, advertisers are looking toward non-traditional methods to getting out their message. Sponsorships, street teams, and mobile billboards have all become part of the mix to reach out to the public.
Guerrilla Mobile Billboards was founded in 1999 to meet the underserved market for mobile billboards and mobile outdoor advertising campaigns, using their custom designed and built "guerrilla trucks," which feature a billboard on each side to ensure maximum visibility. Guerrilla Mobile Billboards can bring your message where others can't - such as the city or event location where traditional outdoor billboard advertising may be prohibitively expensive or completely unavailable. Mobile billboards provide flexibility of location and time. You also have geographic flexibility - you can target small local areas for intensive, exclusive coverage, or large areas for a broader impact.
But Guerrilla Mobile Billboards faced an environmental quandary when it came to disposing of used banners. In order to have the strength and flexibility to withstand all weather conditions, Guerrilla Mobile Billboards’ banners are made with a scrim reinforcing mesh. A downside of this durable construction method is that billboard banners cannot easily be recycled, like soft drink bottles and milk jugs.
To address the recycling and disposal issue of the banners, Guerrilla Mobile Billboards has partnered with Longleaf Lumber of Cambridge, MA to “repurpose” their used billboard banners. Longleaf Lumber is an antique and reclaimed lumber company with showrooms in Cambridge, MA, and New York City, and a mill in Berwick, ME. Their primary business is the milling of antique flooring derived from salvaged beams and decking, including Heart Pine and other woods associated with older and historical buildings. Until Guerrilla Mobile Billboards teamed up with Longleaf Lumber, they were forced to dispose of the used advertising banners. But a fortuitous discussion in early 2008 led to a repurposing partnership between the two companies. Guerrilla Mobile Billboards welcomed the first visit by Marc Poirier of LongLeaf Lumber and his flatbed truck, and loaded up roughly 100 used 10’ x 20’ banners for the repurposing project. Longleaf Lumber now repurposes the used banners to protect their reclaimed beams and boards, which are stored outside, from harsh weather elements. The banners are much stronger than the typical plastic tarps you buy at the building supply stores thus keeping the wood better protected from wind, rain, sun and snow. “I love the added attraction of the bright colors and unique scenes that these billboards give to our large stacks of weathered wood. It can be mixed media art at times,” says Alice DeGennaro of Longleaf Lumber.
We’re honored to have Guerilla Billboards as a CarbonFree® partner for the past five years, and we applaud their banner repurposing project with Longleaf Lumber as a great example of “reducing what you can” in operational waste and emissions.
The folks at Paper Culture believe that you don’t have to give up design in order to be good to the planet. In fact, they’ve built their entire business around offering modern stationery designs that are eco-friendly and that include some serious conveniences to make your life a bit easier.
Paper Culture is an online stationery company offering modern eco products such as baby announcements, holiday cards, baby shower invitations and many other types of eco-friendly, personalized stationery. All of their designs are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper and are 100% exclusive, which means your stationery isn’t just ‘like the Jones’ – it's better. The Paper Culture designs focus on clean lines, a modern point of view and spotlight bold colors and fresh typography. Paper Culture can further simplify your life by taking on the addressing, stuffing, stamping and mailing of your cards. Paper Culture can even individualize each of your cards with different message on each one, making thank you cards a snap.
Paper Culture recently expanded their product offering to include a line of sustainable bamboo wall art, for perfect mounting and display of your favorite photos. And for the rest of this week, you can take advantage of their “sp-EGG-tacular” Easter Cards sale. Save $20 off Easter Card purchases of $50 or more through March 30, 2012 – just enter Voucher Code: EASTER
Paper Culture has been featured in Real Simple, People, Martha Stewart and at the Tony Awards.
And Paper Culture doesn’t just market sustainability, they live it. Paper Culture plants a tree in a US national forest with every order. And, through working with Carbonfund.org, Paper Culture is a CarbonFree® Partner. For more information, please visit http://www.paperculture.com/.
Carbonfund.org Foundation would like to welcome STAXI® as one of our newest business partners. STAXI® is a now established globally as the leading wheelchair alternative and is the best selling nestable transport chair worldwide. staxi® chairs are built specifically for large, busy facilities such as hospitals and airports, providing temporary transportation, safely and comfortably, for people who are distance-challenged.
STAXI® is also an environmentally friendly transportation system. By producing a product that is theft resistant they have reduced replacement costs. Their durable construction means they are built to last. The product claims they are almost maintenance free and require minimal spare part replacement, reducing both costs and emissions for new parts. And the travel systems are made from fully recyclable materials. This is in addition to the in office sustainability efforts the company has implemented including teleworking, electric bike and walking commuting, greenhouse gas corporate inventory, and, of course, carbon offsetting what they cannot reduce.
“At staxi®, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint wherever we can, and offsetting it where we can’t. We have partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset all of our carbon emissions, from our offices to our warehouses. We have also worked to offset all of the carbon emissions resulting from the manufacture, transportation and delivery of staxi® products to our customers.” – David Gallant, Business Manager, STAXI® Corporation Limited
To learn more please visit: www.staxi.com
Need a better lighting solution for your business? Visual Communications Company (VCC) is recognized as a pioneer in the optoelectronics industry developing today’s most innovative LED indication and illumination systems. VCC offers customized value-added services based upon the unique lighting design and complex assembly needs of customers’ products.
Listening can be illuminating. That’s why the VCC team starts each development assignment by talking through specific product performance objectives and custom LED engineering requirements with their customers.
VCC considers LED lighting to be crucial to the technology addressing the demand to move to more sustainable, energy efficient lighting solutions in a wide range of industries. LEDs are eco-friendly as the components are 95% recyclable. LEDs comply with Energy Star standards and requirements as they use anywhere from 30% to 120% less power, over fluorescent and incandescent bulbs respectively, and save 3000 times their own weight in greenhouse gases. LEDs typically have longer life cycles, up to 50 times that of other lighting options. This not only reduces replacement costs but also the maintenance costs and personnel associated with servicing the lighting circuitry.
VCC ‘s products are made with high quality LEDs for all of your smart indication and lighting applications. Whether you are developing an optical signaling circuit, data transmission design, backlighting set-up, control panel or any number of additional smart lighting designs, we have the LEDs, Litepipes™ and PCB components to make your design work.
And VCC has committed to offset 100% of its annual carbon footprint created by its business activities, by supporting the projects and mission of Carbonfund.org.
“We’ve built our business on excellent stakeholder relationships. In the new millennium, we believe that providing these groups the highest level of service includes making socially responsible and environmentally sound choices.” – Andrew Zanelli, VCC President.
Gas prices are on the rise. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gasoline prices are up 11%, increasing from $3.29 in mid-December 2011 to $3.65 by mid-February 2012. Assuming you’re an average driver who gets fuel economy of 22.5 mpg, pays a fuel cost of $3.65/gallon, and travels 15,000 miles annually, that translates into a $20 increase each month to fuel your vehicle.
The best way to save gas money and reduce your carbon footprint is to stop driving. However, if you cannot walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation to get you where you need to go, heed some of these driving and maintenance tips. They boost your fuel economy and make the most of your monthly gasoline budget:
Drive more efficiently:
- Avoid aggressive driving which includes speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking. When you don’t drive sensibly you can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Plus if you drive sensibly you may avoid an accident and thereby save on more than just gas.
- Observe the Speed Limit. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas.
- Remove Excess Weight. If it is a heavy and unnecessary, take it out of your car; especially if you drive a smaller car. Did you know an additional 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent?
- Avoid Excessive Idling. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle.
- Use Cruise Control. Maintaining a constant speed can help you save gas.
- Use Overdrive Gears. Overdrive gearing reduces your car's engine speed which saves gas and reduces engine wear.
Protecting the environment and preserving natural carbon sequestration are among the things that matter to the team at Earthy Matters. An environmental consultancy based in the North West of Ireland, Earthy Matters is involved in the measurement of greenhouse gases in a range of natural and degraded ecosystems, and other environmental services, including:
- Greenhouse gas monitoring
- Ecological surveys
- Natura Impact Statement (Appropriate Assessment)
- Expertise on windfarms on peatlands
- Managing research projects
- Desktop research review
- Editing and proof-reading of scientific papers for publication
A current project, called CarbonRestore, is studying the potential for restored peatlands to provide carbon sequestration. The CarbonRestore project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the semi-state company Bord na Móna.
Pristine or undamaged peatlands play a major role in the regulation and maintenance of the global climate by acting as long-term sinks of atmospheric carbon. As a result of a persistently high water table and the presence of peat forming vegetation within the peatland, carbon inputs (photosynthesis) are greater than carbon losses (respiration, methane (CH4) emissions, leaching and surface runoff of dissolved organic carbon). When a peatland undergoes a change in land use, for example industrial peat extraction, the carbon sink function is seriously impaired. Drainage results in increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the peatland is transformed into a significant carbon source. In Ireland, it is estimated that over the next 30-40 years, the 80,000 hectares of industrial peatlands in Ireland will have reached the end of their economic life. Restoration of these damaged ecosystems offers the potential to enhance biodiversity, reduce gaseous carbon losses and return the carbon sequestration function.
In addition to their environmental services projects, Earthy Matters is firmly committed to protecting the environment and to minimise their own impact of the global climate through the reduction of their carbon footprint. “We are conscious that our work involves a considerable amount of travel and emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. We are delighted to partner with Carbonfund.org as they provide a measureable and verifiable means of offsetting our emissions.” - David Wilson and Florence Renou-Wilson, Owners.
Read more about CarbonRestore and Earthy Matters’ work here.
Looking for an awesome way to promote your business? Awesome Diecast® offers custom imprinted die-cast models that help their clients attain their business, marketing, and brand recognition objectives. Whether it’s a new product launch, company anniversary, employee recognition, customer appreciation, trade show or fundraiser, the custom imprinted die-cast models available through Awesome Diecast will help to make your product promotion event more successful.
With a diverse line of die-cast replica tooling, fulfillment services, low minimum orders, and custom packaging, Awesome Diecast can develop and manufacture a creative award-winning die-cast collectible program that will satisfy most customer requirements. If it has wheels, Awesome Diecast can create a compelling collectible that appeals to customers and collectors, and that successfully promotes brand recognition.
Awesome Diecast distributes a wide range of limited edition, diecast replicas imported from around the world, offering over 1400 different items and ship to clients in 50 different countries.
In efforts to be as environmentally responsible in all product shipments, Awesome Diecast uses recycled wrapping paper and box stuffing material for all shipments. Awesome Diecast also promotes environmental sustainability by offering customers the ability to counter balance the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the transport of their packages through carbon offsetting. This means that for every pound of CO2 a package produces in transportation, an equivalent amount of CO2 is eliminated or reduced by a verified emission reduction project, supported by Carbonfund.org somewhere in the world. For every case that Awesome Diecast ships, fees are paid to Carbonfund, enabling customers to be a part of emissions reduction projects that help reduce the impact on the environment of shipping their parcels. "CarbonFund allows us to be a better corporate citizen, and to do what’s right for the planet not only today but tomorrow as well!" says Jeff Silver of Awesome Diecast.