The Carbonfree® Events program enables organizations and businesses to calculate, assess and neutralize the carbon emissions directly associated with the meetings, conferences, events and workshops that they host and attend. This program provides a simple and affordable option to enhance the environmental sustainability of such events, which require staff and attendee travel, lodging, meals and venue facility space and energy usage.

One of our event emissions neutralization partners, Sun Mountain International (SMTN), has worked with Carbonfund.org to make all of their environmental management workshops carbon-neutral since 2010 by supporting Carbonfund.org’s global reforestation projects. Sun Mountain International, a US- and Ecuador-based organization, was established to improve the socio-economic and environmental well-being of vulnerable households and communities. Most of SMTN’s capacity building initiatives are under contracts with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). SMTN uses the Carbonfund.org Event Online Calculator to calculate the amount of carbon emissions directly produced from the workshop efforts.

Since SMTN workshops focus on Environmental Considerations and Regulations, purchasing carbon credits to compensate for the carbon footprint of each workshop serves as an example to the training participants. This is particularly important given each workshop’s emphasis on environmental sustainability. SMTN conducted background research and contacted U.S. environmental and climate change specialists to determine how best to neutralize their workshop event emissions. Ultimately they chose Carbonfund.org because it’s the best choice to make their USAID environmental workshops carbon neutral.

Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects are well-aligned with SMTN’s organizational mission, as most of these workshops take place in developing countries with high levels of deforestation and environmental degradation. Partnering with Carbonfund.org to further carbon sequestration efforts in a manner that directly benefits communities within these countries enables SMTN to meet its overall mission and the objectives of these workshops.

Friday, 14 September 2012 16:43

Businesses Begin to Plan for Climate Change

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A survey released this week showed increasing oversight by top executives in their climate change strategies.  Ninety-two percent of respondents indicated their company's board or high-level executive had oversight over climate strategies, which is an increase of six percentage points from the 2011 survey.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) received responses from 338 of the S&P 500 firms indicating progress in carbon emissions reduction goals as well as disclosing these results.  CDP offers a system for cities and companies to measure and share their environmental action.

Companies such as Microsoft Corp, United Parcel Service, Hess Corp, Pepco Holdings, and Sempra Energy Utilities are not waiting to address the risks from climate change to their overall business goals.  Man-made or not, these companies won’t wait around to figure out who caused climate change.  They’re taking steps now to lessen their financial risk.

Eighty-one percent of survey respondents identified physical risk from climate change, with 37 percent considering the risks "a real and present danger" – an increase of 10 percent from two years ago.  Eighty-three percent of companies reported that climate change had been factored into corporate risk management strategies, which was only at 75 percent in 2011.

These results directly contrast with a distinct hesitation in the regulation of greenhouse gases by U.S. lawmakers.  Congress’ opinions on climate change run the gamut from ambivalence to skepticism to even outright disbelief.  Fortunately businesses that are beholden to their shareholders see the value in planning for climate change since it will certainly impact their bottom lines.

Office supplies products distributor GoECOlife™ has renewed its commitment to carbon neutral products for a third year in a row. GoECOLife™ – Live Responsibly.

Rancho Dominguez, CA and Bethesda MD., August 23, 2012- Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF International are proud to announce that GoECOlife™ has certified over 35 products as carbon neutral though the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. GoECOlife is, “committed to delivering the best-in-class product to you. Being environmentally responsible does not mean one must sacrifice performance, style or innovation.”

To earn the CarbonFree® Product Certification, these products underwent a rigorous product life-cycle assessment, performed by WSP Group, to determine the per unit carbon footprint. In addition to using energy-saving technology, GoECOlife™ reduced the remaining carbon footprint through support of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. But true to their commitment, GoECOlife has not sacrificed performance, style, or innovation.

For example, the GoECOlife™ Platinum Series™ Paper Shredder (GXC120Ti) which carries the CarbonFree® label was one of four shredders “RECOMMENDED” by Consumer Reports in their 2011 paper shredder review. 19 paper shredders from various brands were tested for speed, capacity and convenience. The GoECOlife™ GXC120Ti rated well in all categories. This means that consumers can feel confident that they are purchasing a quality product that works well for the consumer and the earth.

“GoECOLife has shown that what’s good for the environment is also good business. These innovative office products are providing vital business needs while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and helping solve global climate change. We are thrilled to continue this critical business partnership and applaud GoECOLife for their leadership and commitment to the environment,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org Foundation.

The CarbonFree® label that Carbonfund.org and NSF International jointly offer helps companies distinguish their products and enhance their brand. This gives consumers a tangible, easy to understand choice that they can make to decrease their environmental impact in their purchase decisions. GoECOlife™ CarbonFree products wonderfully illustrates this.

GoECOlife™ products are available at office retailers around the world or by visiting: www.goecolife.com.

About CarbonFree Certification

Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability, a division of NSF International, manage the CarbonFree Product Certification Program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America, and the over 100 certified products from leading companies in multiple industries. CarbonFree certified products are sold in fifteen countries.

Further Information:

http://www.carbonfund.org/offset/product-certification or http://www.nsf.org/business/sustainability/product_carbonfree.asp?program=Sustainability

 

 

 

Carbonfund.org helps businesses of all sizes to augment their environmental commitments and sustainability initiatives by providing the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program as a simple and affordable way to calculate and offset the operational emissions they cannot eliminate.  While many environmentally-conscious components may go into their business plans, Carbonfree® Business Partners are able to achieve true operational sustainability by supporting our clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.           

One of our Carbonfree® Business Partners, Collars With Color, is a wife-and-husband team making dog and cat collars, leashes, and harnesses made from hemp and organic cotton.  Hemp is a naturally renewable resource with high durability and hypoallergenic qualities.   Despite this environmentally-sound choice for product materials, Collars With Color recognized that they were using other sources of energy in their manufacturing and shipping processes that could not be eliminated.  For that reason, they chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset the full carbon emissions impact of their business operations. 

“Protecting animals and protecting the earth are very interrelated – both give us so much and ask for nothing in return but respect and love,” says Kevin Rehmer, Co-owner of Collars With Color. “Just like partnering with animal rescues is more efficient than trying to rescue animals ourselves, partnering with Carbonfund.org is an easy yet effective way to ensure that we do not leave a carbon footprint.”

Have you evaluated the full environmental impact of your business operations?  Whether your business is small or large, Carbonfund.org can assist you in measuring, reducing and neutralizing your annual operational emissions in an easy and affordable way.

About a year and a half ago, Carbonfund.org became a virtual work environment, eliminating all business office space energy usage and employee commuting emissions.  This move to a virtual work environment has proved successful from an operational standpoint and from an environmental commitment to reducing emissions wherever possible.

Carbonfund.org enjoys partnering with other businesses that maintain virtual work environments and endeavor to deliver their products and services in the most environmentally-responsible method.  One such Carbonfree® partner, JazzEDge made the transition to online piano lessons and instructions over four years ago, as part of their commitment to maintaining an environmentally-sensitive business practice.  By providing piano lessons online and through DVDs, JazzEDge provides students with instructional options that eliminate the carbon emissions caused by driving to and from lessons, and replaces printed sheet music with online options to view or print only those pages needed. 

Carbonfund.org has helped JazzEDge augment its commitment to sustainable business operations through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.  The annual support of Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects enables JazzEDge to achieve carbon neutrality in the rest of its operations. 

“We understand the importance of protecting the environment, and how what we do today will affect our kids and our students’ lives. Carbonfund.org is a great catalyst to this effort because of all the tools they provide to assist you in your environmental commitment,” explains Willie Myette, JazzEDge President and Berklee College of Music graduate.

Carbonfund.org welcomes the opportunity to partner with JazzEDge.  A business that strives to “reduce what you can” in daily operations, then neutralizes the remaining carbon emissions is a business that Carbonfund.org can get behind.      

Friday, 07 September 2012 13:30

What is an Ecological Footprint?

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We’ve already examined and defined a carbon footprint, but have you ever heard of an ecological footprint?  An ecological footprint compares human demands on nature with the Earth's ability to regenerate resources and provide services.

Ecological footprints are ever changing because of advances in technology and a three-year lag for the UN to collect and publish statistics.  However, it is a standardized measure that begins by assessing the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population uses.  This is then contrasted with the planet’s ability to absorb associated waste and ecological capacity to regenerate.  Think of it like how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity given an average lifestyle.  In 2007, humanity's total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.5 planet Earths.  This means humans are currently using ecological services 1.5 times quicker than Earth can renew them.

William Rees was the first academic to publish about an ecological footprint in 1992.  He supervised the PhD dissertation of Mathis Wackernagel who outlined the concept and offered a calculation method.  Rees penned the term ecological footprint in a more accessible manner than the original name of “appropriated carrying capacity” after a computer technician described Rees’ new computer as having a small footprint on the desk.  Wackernagel and Rees published the book Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth in early 1996.

The implications are dire according to Rees who wrote in 2010, “…the average world citizen has an eco-footprint of about 2.7 global average hectares while there are only 2.1 global hectare of bioproductive land and water per capita on earth. This means that humanity has already overshot global biocapacity by 30% and now lives unsustainabily by depleting stocks of ‘natural capital’.”

We’re definitely overspending the planet’s resources.  Just take a look at man-made global warming and climate change.   We need to continue on the path to seeking a sustainable lifestyle, and do it on a global scale.  All of us working together can reduce the amount of the earth’s resources that we consume.  Start with yourself and get creative with how many ways you can save energy and recycle.  What’s great about beginning with energy efficiency is that it can save you money too.  Then there are cost effective ways to offset the rest such as by contributing to Carbonfund.org’s development of renewable energy technologies and carbon emissions reduction projects.  The important thing is to get started right away.

In what is easily the best environmental action in a generation, this week, the Obama Administration announced new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards for cars and light trucks (think minivans and sport utility vehicles).  By 2025, these vehicles will be required to average 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulates CAFE standards and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures vehicle fuel efficiency.  An agreement in support of acceptable standards was made between the government, automakers and their unions, and environmental organizations.

The stage for these historic fuel economy standards was set by an energy law enacted in 2007 under President George W. Bush.  Additionally, the 2009 federal bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler were tied to better fuel efficiency. 

Fuel-efficient cars and trucks were the U.S. auto industry’s saving grace.  It makes good sense on multiple levels to continue these efforts.  For one, 570,000 new jobs can be created by 2030.  Not to mention saving consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reducing U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.  This also translates to strengthening national security by lessening the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

What about fighting man-made global warming?  The new standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025.  This reduces emissions by 6 billion metric tons, which is more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States in 2010.  We thank President Obama for his leadership on combating climate change, pollution prevention and national security.

Starting in 2017, the standards will be phased in over the course of eight years.  New fuel-saving technology is projected to increase the cost of new car or light truck by $3,000 on average.  This means consumers will pay a little more when they buy the vehicle, about $50 more a month over a five-year loan, but they’ll more than make up for it at the pump with expected gas savings per vehicle between $7,000 - $8,000.  And that is good for the environment and our wallets.

Undeniably, the vehicle fuel-efficiency standards represent an unbeatable combination of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy.  They’re also the nation's single largest effort to combat climate-altering greenhouse gases, but we can’t stop building our carbon-reduction portfolios now.  Wonderful news like this should push us to continuing to find more ways to reduce our carbon footprint, as individuals and a nation.  Now let’s go invest in some renewable energy projects!

Thursday, 30 August 2012 14:11

Helping Arizona Go Green and Save Green

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Carbonfund.org supports several carbon reduction and energy efficiency projects such as the Truck Stop Electrification system, a project that is supported in part by Clean Air Cab’s fleet emissions neutralization program.

Clean Air Cab is central Arizona’s first carbon-neutral taxicab fleet; they partner with Carbonfund.org to calculate and neutralize the carbon emissions generated by its fleet of Toyota Priuses. 

"We chose Carbonfund.org because unlike most companies selling offsets, Carbonfund.org is a non-profit. Clean Air Cab believes in giving back and we are happy to support a non-profit organization," affirms Clean Air Cab founder, Steve Lopez.

The company started by selecting the Toyota Prius, a fuel efficient vehicle for its taxicab fleet.  A Ford Crown Victoria, the “traditional” taxicab vehicle, produces two and half times the amount of CO2 per year compared to the 2010 Toyota Prius.  But the Prius still creates carbon emissions, so each quarter Clean Air Cab checks its total fleet mileage with Carbonfund.org to ensure that it has secured a sufficient quantity of carbon credits to completely neutralize fleet emissions.

Clean Air Cab’s mission “to make it affordable and convenient for everyone to go green” is in lockstep with Carbonfund.org.  We are happy to partner with an environmentally conscientious company that provides a carbon neutral transportation alternative to central Arizona communities.