Professor David Dornfeld is the Will C. Hall Family Chair in Engineering and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC-Berkeley, where he has taught for over 30 years.  Professor Dornfeld has been working in and teaching sustainable manufacturing for over a decade and writes a green manufacturing blog.  His interest in hands-on experiences in sustainability encouraged the establishment of a student-led carbon emissions footprinting project for the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at UC-Berkeley.

In 2008, Professor Dornfeld and his students launched the program to assess, estimate and attempt to reduce LMAS’ annual carbon footprint.  The students were tasked to come up with the carbon footprinting methodology, set the project boundaries, and calibrate the emission source calculations. 

As part of the project’s development, students surveyed carbon offset providers and selected to work with Carbonfund.org, due to competitive pricing for offsets, name recognition, transparency of operations, and ease of working with Carbonfund.org staff. 

The project’s goal to reduce the lab’s carbon footprint is challenged as the lab is part of a larger university facility.  Neither Professor Dornfeld nor any of the mechanical engineering students can directly control the lab’s energy consumption, although the lab benefits from broader University sustainability measures such as energy efficient lighting installations.    One of largest components of the department’s annual carbon footprint is emissions related to travel for conferences and meetings, so efforts are made to use video conferencing versus in-person event attendance.  This illustrates one of the benefits of the project -- to make students more aware of personal choices and resulting carbon emissions. 

After five years of assessing and neutralizing the lab’s annual carbon emissions, the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley has mitigated the same quantity of carbon dioxide as is sequestered by 6 acres of preserved US forestland.

The UC-Berkeley Mechanical Engineering Department’s experiential learning project to assess, reduce and offset its annual carbon footprint has had a real and measurable impact, and Carbonfund.org is proud to be a partner in these efforts.

 

It’s still early in this new year, and with Earth Day approaching next month, it’s a great time to look for ways to improve, expand and enrich your commitments to protecting and preserving our environment. 

During 2013, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery of St. Helena, CA augmented their organic agricultural practices and environmental sustainability initiatives by offsetting business flight emissions through Carbonfud.org.  This year, Spottswoode took the additional step to allocate a larger portion of its 1% for the Planet pledge to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, thus neutralizing all of their annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world.    

“Climate Change is the defining issue of our time, and we feel strongly that we must be a part of the solution to this global crisis,” explains Beth Novak Milliken, President and CEO of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery.  “We take our commitment to the environment seriously, and through our actions, we hope to inspire others to care for and respect our natural resources as well.” 

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned vineyard and winery renowned for producing classic and refined wines that honor their vineyard origins. The balance, grace, and integrity reflected in their wines also drive a commitment to organic farming and stewardship of the winery’s gardens, historic building, and local watershed. 

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery has farmed organically since 1985 and became a California Certified Organic Farmer in 1992.  In addition, Spottswoode is certified Napa Green by the Napa Valley Vintners, uses solar power in their vineyard and winery, maintains insectaries and bird boxes in the vineyard, runs tractors on biodiesel and works to conserve water.  The winery spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of their vineyard and is shared with many residential neighbors.  The expansion of the winery’s environmental responsibility to mitigate all operational carbon emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership demonstrates an ongoing dedication to the health of land and air upon which Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery depends.  

David and Victoria Byrnes have worked with organic and fair trade producers for over 12 years, helping other brands launch their products nationally. After seeing there were so few organic snack options on grocery shelves for their own family, they decided to launch their very own brand. With hard work and perseverance, and a focus on organic and Non-GMO Verified products, they launched Good Boy Organics in 2012, featuring BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks), Organicasaurus corn puffs, and Yellow Barn Biodynamic® sauces.      

As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Good Boy Organics focuses exclusively on certified organic products. Organic agriculture helps capture and retain carbon in the soil through the use of cover-cropping, green manure and compost. The use of petroleum-based fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming systems.  Organic agriculture’s focus on soil-building improves soil moisture, so less energy is expended to water crops. Good Boy Organics’ Yellow Barn pasta sauce products are also certified Biodynamic®, an agricultural practice in which all inputs and outputs must be grown and re-used on the farm. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and fosters self-sufficiency. 

Despite all of these benefits of certified organic products and Biodynamic® agriculture, Good Boy Organics recognized that its own business operations produced harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including office space energy consumption, product shipping and business-related travel emissions.  To enhance their environmental commitment, Good Boy Organics joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership to neutralize those annual operational emissions they could not eliminate. 

“I chose to partner with Carbonfund.org and their Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, because their values to environmental sustainability most closely match our own. They are well-known for their efforts helping companies like mine reduce and offset carbon emissions.” David Byrnes, Founder, Good Boy Organics 

At Good Boy Organics headquarters, they maintain a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and cans. All materials are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Their office uses energy-efficient lighting and low-heat strategies in order to save energy.  These measure help to reduce the carbon footprint from their operations, and the Carbonfree® Business Partnership ensures that remaining emissions are mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.

When Carbonfund.org Foundation was created ten years ago with the motto “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, we knew we were positioning ourselves as the last-in-line solution in sustainability plans.  The climate change education component to our mission is a very important one, and a significant portion of our website is dedicated to providing ways that businesses and individuals can reduce their carbon footprint before considering carbon offsetting strategies. 

This approach has attracted businesses that take seriously their responsibility to seek out recycling, reuse, energy efficiency and emissions reduction opportunities.  Fireclay Tile, a California-based sustainable tile manufacturer, is a great example. 

“We are scavengers at heart and scrappy when it comes to saving resources; therefore we are committed to finding new and innovative ways to reuse cast off materials, and to incorporate sustainability into all levels of our manufacturing process, explains Eric Edelson, CEO of Fireclay Tile.  “We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org simply because tile is heavy, and we wanted to offset the carbon footprint created by shipping our tile all over the world.”

Fireclay Tile’s Carbonfree® Business and Shipping program is a final step in the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.  Fireclay uses Carbonfund.org’s online business calculator to compute annual carbon emissions from office energy usage, business travel, and product shipping and delivery.  The resulting offset donation supports forestry initiatives around the world that sequester carbon dioxide in formal third-party validated, verified and audited projects.      

 Fireclay’s unique process includes made-to-order tile using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices in their California operations.  Their recycled clay body boasts of over 70% recycled materials, which include post-consumer glass, granite dust, and porcelain from toilets collected to back water conservation efforts in the Bay Area. Fireclay’s glass tiles line is composed of 100% recycled glass from local window and solar panel production industries.

 Fireclay maintains onsite recycling practices that include water reclamation at cutting and mixing stations, along with rainwater capture at their Aromas, CA factory.  Glaze overspray is captured at each glazing station and is included with all scrap material and anything considered defective, then crushed into an aggregate for making the recycled clay.  All orders are packaged for shipment using 100% recycled boxes, reused shipping crates, and sawdust from a local furniture manufacturer used to cushion shipments. 

A fine example of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Fireclay Tile is walking the walk, and Carbonfund.org is proud to assist in that last step.

 

How does a beautifully restored bed and breakfast with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, located on the pristine Oregon Coast, overcome practical issues of its operation to achieve its sustainability goals? 

One solution is to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program to neutralize all necessary, unavoidable operational emissions in a simple and affordable way.  This solution has worked for The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast for the past six years.

"We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they have made alliances with companies we like doing business with," explains Michael Rech, Innkeeper.  “They cooperate with businesses large and small on reforestation and renewable energy projects to meet the goals of companies offsetting their carbon footprint."

The Craftsman B&B maintains a strong “green philosophy” with a laundry list of environmental preservation initiatives, and energy and resource conservation measures.  Lodging rates are discounted for guests that use public transportation, bike or drive an alternative fueled vehicle to the B&B.  In addition, The Craftsman B&B is a certified green lodging property rated “3 leaves” by i stay green.com, and is listed in the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild's “Green Inspection Program” developed with Sustainable Travel International. 

The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast offers its guests the chance to experience the beautiful Oregon Coast in style, grace and comfort, and to “park your car, relax and unplug.”  Environmentally responsible travelers have the added assurance that their stay supports strong sustainability practices and Carbonfree® operations. 

Over the years, Carbonfund.org has been honored to work with some of the most innovative and environmentally responsible organizations in the world.  One of these partners is CREDO, a social change company that offers top-notch products and services, including mobile services and credit cards.

CREDO Mobile is the first mobile phone company in the U.S. to join Carbonfund.org’s Carbonfree® Partner Program, which estimates and offsets the carbon emissions produced from the company’s electricity usage, as well as the shipping of its mobile phones. CREDO Mobile also offsets the carbon footprint of its San Francisco headquarters.

“Carbonfund.org is a breath of fresh air, a cost-effective solution that’s easy for anyone,” states Michael Kieschnick, CEO and President of CREDO.

CREDO and Carbonfund.org currently are partnering on a unique credit card offering with an environmental component.  A group of pre-approved CREDO customers will have the opportunity to apply for a CREDO credit card, and after the customer receives and uses the card, CREDO and Carbonfund.org will plant 25 trees on behalf of the customer and send them a $50 Restaurant.com dining reward.

As part of CREDO’s ongoing social and environmental commitments, a portion of all CREDO revenue is donated to progressive nonprofits working for women’s rights, the environment, equality, peace and social justice.  Since 1985, CREDO has raised over $76 million for these groups, and their customers and activists help pick the groups and vote on how to distribute the donations. 

The CREDO community also comprises a strong political force with more than 3 million activists who are passionate about making a difference in our world.  CREDO makes it easier for them to have an impact by giving them simple ways to speak out on issues they believe in.  As CREDO puts it, being green isn't just a fad – it’s part of CREDO’s identity, fighting the green fight with dollars, deeds and voices for the past 28 years.  Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with CREDO to ensure the company’s environmental commitments are realized.

 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 14:43

Dine Free and Love the Earth on Valentine's Day

Written by

Greetings,

How do you show your love to your sweetie on Valentine's Day?  Perhaps you give them flowers, chocolate, dinner at a restaurant or even all three?  Well, here's your chance to show them you care about them and the planet this Friday.  Carbonfund.org offers a truly innovative way to help the environment and take your loved one out to dinner with our Plant a Tree – Dine for Free program.

You receive a dining rewards eGift card through Restaurant.com, which is good on over 50,000 deals nationwide and never expires.  Select from three simple tree-planting options:

So go ahead and plant some trees now.  You'll get a reward for doing your part to fight climate change, and the planet would kiss you to thank you if it could.  Heck, it won't even ask you for jewelry on Valentine's Day!

Thank you for including Earth on a day when we express love,

Eric, Suzie, Brian, Jarett, Jessie and Linda

Even the greenest IT services firm recognizes that it has a carbon footprint.  After renewable energy sources, paperless processes, recycling and energy conservation measures, there remains some energy use, business travel, mailings and supplies that create carbon dioxide emissions. 

Forward-thinking companies like Carbonfree® Business Partner EMWeb Design are neutralizing their current carbon footprint while continually seeking ways to reduce it. 

EMWeb Design provides comprehensive Internet design and marketing for small businesses, professionals, creative artists and civic organizations.  Services include branding, logo design, web design, search engine optimization, social Internet marketing and print media. 

"Environmental responsibility starts with each one of us," explains Elizabeth Mullen Matteson.  "EMWeb is striving to cut our carbon impact continually. For now, we are offering more "green" options to clients, and for the sixth consecutive year, are purchasing carbon offsets through Carbonfund.org, so that our overall carbon footprint remains zero." 

This six-year commitment of carbon emissions neutrality has mitigated the same quantity of carbon dioxide emissions as 6000 trees planted and grown over a ten-year period.  That's meaningful impact for a business focused on sustainability. 

EMWeb Design offers solar and wind-powered web hosting, and can also provide environmentally friendly printing options using recycled and sustainably-produced papers and soy and vegetable-based inks.  As EMWeb Design makes progress in operational emissions reductions, the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program will continue to provide a way to "reduce what you can, offset what you can't™".

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