Wednesday, 27 June 2012 08:39

With Solosso, Style Can Be Sustainable

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Many of us might associate custom-tailored dress shirts for men as being a high luxury item; something only the elite can afford, and probably not made by a company with a strong commitment to environmentally sustainable operations.

CarbonFree® Business Partner Solosso Private Limited breaks that mold by combining their passion for creating high quality, custom-tailored men’s dress shirts with a dedication for producing their shirts from fine fabrics that are produced in a sustainable way, and are made in an environmentally conscious manner.

A Swiss-led Singaporean company, Solosso works hard to minimize the environmental impact of their organization, and with the help of Carbonfund.org, to calculate their operation’s carbon footprint, including all product shipment emissions, and neutralize these annual emissions.

"As guiding principle, we aim to run an environmentally friendly and socially responsible organization that offsets its environmental impact that cannot be reduced. There is just no better way to do it than with Carbonfund.org," says Severin Jan Rüegger, Co-Founder of Solosso. 

We commend Solosso for adhering to their environmental commitment, and we appreciate their partnership and ongoing pursuit of sustainable operations. 

Friday, 22 June 2012 11:09

Verde Fulfillment for a Greener World

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As online shopping becomes the norm for businesses and consumers around the world, shopping-related carbon emissions are shifting from personal vehicles and public transit to modes of product shipment.  While this shift may result in an overall reduction in “shopping emissions”, they aren’t being eliminated.  Many environmentally-focused customers and businesses are growing savvy to this shift in greenhouse gas emission sources and are eager to find ways to reduce or neutralize product shipping emissions.    

CarbonFree® Shipping Partner Verde Fulfillment USA, of Boise, Idaho, is taking the lead in fighting greenhouse gas emissions associated with product order fulfillment by embedding carbon emissions neutralization into their product shipping process. 

Verde provides the full spectrum of product order fulfillment, e-commerce drop shipping, warehousing/inventory management, shipping logistics and accounting, and they’re doing this with a greener approach to neutralizing the resulting shipping emissions.

Verde’s fulfillment process is simple, and includes shipping products to their facility, handling order fulfillment, then shipping products directly to the customer.  Each quarter, Verde calculates their total product shipment emissions and makes a donation to support Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction projects, thereby neutralizing the emissions from all product shipments and ensuring CarbonFree® shipping.

And the folks at Verde Fulfillment practice what they preach through their own operation’s focus on environmental responsibility by: 

  • using 100% recycled paper for packing slips;
  • purchasing green power from their local utility;
  • running green electric powered forklifts;
  • using brand new recycled boxes and recycled paper-tape to ship all products; and
  • sending only electronic invoicing.

We’re proud to partner with Verde Fulfillment’s environmentally-sustainable shipping and warehousing services, featuring CarbonFree® shipping.

Friday, 22 June 2012 09:09

Ensuring that We Have a Future

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Everyone has heard the saying that children are our future.  Well, this week, a child spoke out about climate change and how the path we are on “with the earth warming, emissions and sea levels rising, our future here is questionable.”

Tcktcktck.org, the Global Campaign for Climate Action, offered young people around the world a chance for a Date with History by asking them, “If you had two minutes to tell the world's leaders what kind of future you want, what would you say?”  The organization received nearly 200 video entries and thousands of votes.  The winner was 17-year-old Brittany Trilford of New Zealand.

This eloquent young lady addressed heads of state from more than 130 nations on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 and spoke for the world’s approximately 3 billion children, roughly half of the Earth’s population, at this week's U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The conference is also called Rio+20 to mark the 20th anniversary of the initial Earth Summit.

 “Our future is in danger.  We are all aware that time is ticking and we are quickly running out” said Miss Trilford voicing many parents’ fears.

“The people [20 years ago] at the [first Earth] Summit knew there needed to be change…  They made great promises...  These promises are left, not broken, but empty.”

“We, the next generation, demand change; demand action, so that we can have a future.”

Watch Brittany Trilford’s moving speech on climate change here http://youtu.be/karQQb-B8Uk and click here to see The Future I Want: her winning entry for the Date with History contest http://youtu.be/hpxsvZ4eqZk.

Climate change mitigation is possible.  Carbonfund.org provides a number of ways for individuals to make a difference and reduce their impact on climate change, including reducing emissions by supporting reforestation projects.  Get involved now so we can build a sustainable world and ensure our children’s future.

According to the Environmental Paper Network’s “The State of the Paper Industry 2011”, the average North American utilizes just over 500 pounds of paper each year.  While this annual average has declined in recent years, it remains the highest per capita paper consumption by continent.

Any of us who has rented an apartment, entered into a lease agreement or served as a property manager or landlord knows that the lease/rental process requires various forms, agreements, notifications and contracts to be reviewed and signed.  One of our newest CarbonFree® Partners, EZLandlordForms, is making it easier – and greener - for property managers, landlords and renters to complete the required lease and rental agreement process online, thus reducing the carbon emissions associated with the process.

 EZLandlordForms was founded in 2005 by Kevin Kiene, a landlord who finally decided to build the perfect lease for himself. Today, EZLandlordForms provides comprehensive, state-specific legal forms for property managers and landlords through the online documents library and platform.  They also offer a variety of free rental and landlord forms, tools to customize lease agreements and resources through their landlords’ forum.

Now, the leasing and rental process can begin by selecting the appropriate state-required forms and disclosures from the EZLandlordForms library, downloading the forms, emailing between landlord and tenant until all provisions are agreed, then using any compatible e-signature service to complete the process for an environmentally conscious, print-free written communication process.  No more printing, signing, and scanning documents back and forth! 

As an industry leader in fighting the effects of climate change, and as an e-business, EZLandlordForms already has a relatively small carbon footprint, but they’re further reducing their operational carbon footprint by maintaining a virtual office environment and neutralizing all remaining operational emissions through their CarbonFree® Partnership.  We at Carbonfund.org are thrilled to be part of this effort to reduce paper waste and unnecessary emissions while simplifying the lease and rental process. 

June has traditionally been the most popular month for weddings.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s National Vital Statistics Report for 2009, the latest data available on marriages, June is tied with July and closely followed by August, then September, and then October in order of most to least popular months for weddings.  This means wedding season is just getting underway. 

Travel, whether by air or car, generates large amounts of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and for most weddings is the biggest contributor to its carbon footprint.  Carbonfund.org offers a helpful and easy-to-use emissions calculator to determine the level of carbon dioxide your wedding events will emit into the air.

It’s simple and affordable to have a carbon neutral wedding.  If you don’t know the exact numbers try a preset amount.  For example, the 15-ton preset option may be right for you if you have more than 100 guests and many of them are flying.  The 50-ton option can be used for larger weddings of over 200 guests, many of whom are flying, or destination weddings, which involve a lot of travel.

As you prepare for the beginning of a new life together, it is important to share this special time with friends and family.  Your wedding is a celebration of the future, and you can make it a celebration for our planet's future as well!

Go to http://www.carbonfund.org/weddings to learn more about how you can offset the global warming emissions impact of your special day.

Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:51

Reframing Sustainability with 7group

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7group, a group of professionals dedicated to developing “sustainable and regenerative solutions” for their clients’ building projects, has chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org to calculate and neutralize their annual operational emissions.

The 7group consultants working with project design and construction teams help owners and communities design, construct and operate their buildings with emphasis on energy efficiency, use of natural lighting and integrative design decisions that help reduce environmental impact. The firm focuses in seven core areas in order to integrate sustainable solutions with practical implementation of each project’s design objectives.  Earlier this year, 7group’s design consulting helped the Arthur W. Ferguson Elementary School of the York School District in Pennsylvania achieve LEED Platinum certification (Schools v2.0), becoming the first school in Pennsylvania to attain a LEED Platinum rating.

For the past three years, 7group has utilized carbon offsets to neutralize their operational emissions.  For 2011 annual operational emissions, 7group chose to use Carbonfund.org’s online business emissions calculator to compute then offset its annual operational greenhouse gas emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s high quality and third-party verified renewable energy projects. We thank them for their work in sustainable building practices and for their commitment to sustainable business operations.

CarbonFree® Business Partner Sitka Technology Group of Portland, OR designs, builds and manages customized software applications for sustainability-focused businesses, governmental agencies and not-for-profit organizations.  Sitka’s systems can help businesses improve their operational efficiency while reducing overall energy consumption as well.    

The folks at Sitka believe that a commitment to sustainable business practices goes beyond helping their clients reach sustainability goals – Sitka maintains and achieves its own operational sustainability initiatives as well.  For Sitka, this means operating in a small physical footprint, participating in our CarbonFree® business partnership program to neutralize their operational greenhouse gas emissions each year for the past four years, using local service providers whenever possible, and patronizing Portland’s public transportation system and bicycle routes.

"Carbonfund.org makes it easy for a small company like ours to offset its carbon footprint,” states Matt Deniston, one of the Managing Partners at Sitka Technology Group. 

We appreciate the partnership of sustainably-focused businesses like Sitka Technology Group and we commend them for managing their own operational activities to reduce overall emissions while supporting our energy efficiency projects and reducing the threat of climate change.  

Environmental organizations, I believe, do a notoriously poor job communicating for our audience the positive of what we do, the results we achieve and the change we accomplish, whether they focus on carbon, energy, water, smog, soil or any number of environmental problems. The ability to connect business leaders, consumers and environmental activists with the positive climate results we aim to solve is crucial. I often feel we do a better job highlighting the problem (also critical), but not on sharing the results. So I want to address how carbon offsets, or carbon credits, help reduce the effects of climate change, catalyze encourage low carbon technology and help pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable environment for all of us. 

The first step is to address that a carbon offset represents a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from a project, in a manner verified by outside third-parties and using outside third-party standards, such as the Verified Carbon Standard, American Carbon Registry and Climate Action Reserve. The paper trail for a carbon offset shows these projects reduced emissions, whether from renewable energy, energy efficiency or forestry. This is one reason we give our supporters the choice of which types of projects to support and why we remain agnostic on which type of project is ‘better’. Carbon dioxide reductions are the goal, not the project type. 

It is this connection of the project to the greenhouse gas reduction (carbon offset or carbon credit) that also ties it to solving climate change. Our planet does not care either where we emit carbon emissions or where we reduce them. Bali or Boston, same impact. Climate change is not impacted differently if a reduction comes from within a company’s premises or outside its premises. (This is different for other gases such as SO2, which causes acid rain and has a localized and regional impact, meaning it affects the area nearer to where it is emitted.)

 So another benefit, then, is that carbon offsets allow us to direct funds to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the most cost effective manner. If carbon is carbon is carbon, then making a $100 donation going to reduce ten tonnes of carbon is more efficient than the same amount reducing just five tonnes. 

What’s more, this brings about technology transfer and, often, international development. Since many developing countries are very inefficient in how they generate and manage their energy use, reducing emissions in the developing world is often much more cost effective than trying to make a BMW factory in Germany even more efficient than it already is. Carbon offsets enable this transfer of assets to reduce greenhouse gases cost efficiently, while still maintaining the verification and standards necessary to know the reductions are happening. 

Carbon offsets also bring more people to the table in terms of education about climate change and engagement in the solution. Most developing countries are not obligated to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and feel a strong sense they should not have to, while they are still developing (a topic for another day). However, when a carbon offset project comes to Brazil, India or China, local businesses, policy makers and individuals get to learn about and be part of the solution. This creates both knowledge transfer and buy in. And if the company is profiting from the project, which we would hope they are, even better for buy-in. 

If we are going to solve climate change in the next few decades and stop a pending disaster, we simply must reduce our emissions substantially, by as much as 50-80% by mid-century. The less scary way of putting this is for us to aim for a 2% reduction in carbon emissions annually, but first we have to stop the growth. Carbon offsets are helping solve climate change in efficient ways by directing these massive investments toward the most efficient carbon reduction opportunity while benefitting both the climate and people.. In our best scenario, this efficiency spurs greater investment than would otherwise occur, which helps drive down the costs of new, clean, low-carbon technologies and projects. Ultimately, if enough investment helps wind, solar or another technology cost less than coal (a debatable figure but also a topic for another day), market transformation will occur based on straight economics and that will be a very good day for our planet, climate and us.