Three out of the four US companies with the largest carbon-reduction programs with Carbonfund.org—Dell, Staples and Motorola—are ranked in the top of Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings for US companies. Carbonfund.org partners Samsung and Unilever are ranked in the top global companies. As the leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, Carbonfund.org has helped these top-ranked companies and over 1,700 other partners reduce their climate impact. The rankings take into account companies’ climate change policies and performance. Dell ranked #1 for US companies. The company partnered with Carbonfund.org in establishing its Plant a Tree Program to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere and engage consumers on environmental sustainability. Dell’s Plant a Tree Program enables consumers to plant trees to reduce emissions, restore habitats and protect the biodiversity of animal and plant species. The program was launched in 2007 and is restoring ecologically critical areas like the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley of the US. Eric Carlson, President, Carbonfund.org said, “Carbonfund.org’s partners represented on the Newsweek rankings are outstanding examples for other US and global corporations in addressing their climate impact as part of their sustainability initiatives. These companies are setting the pace in reducing the carbon footprint of their businesses and demonstrating leadership in fighting climate change—the greatest environmental problem facing the world today.” Carbonfund.org’s business programs help reduce the carbon footprint of operations, products, shipping, events and websites, and can be customized for specific goals and needs. For example, Staples has partnered with Carbonfund.org to further reduce the carbon footprint of certain ENERGY STAR qualified products by offsetting the average energy consumed over three years of use in support of reforestation. Motorola has certified products carbon neutral, including the manufacturing, distribution and operation of phones like the new Motorola CITRUS™, with Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. Meanwhile, Samsung, which received a Corporate Climate Leadership Award for making the World Cyber Games Grand Final carbon neutral this year, and Unilever have reduced the carbon footprint of company-sponsored events by offsetting in support of Carbonfund.org’s carbon-reduction projects. Carlson said, “We’re seeing more inquiries about carbon-reduction projects every year, with the strongest consistent interest from the transportation and electronics sectors. It’s not just about the rankings; the more interesting story is that corporate climate programs are going mainstream.” The complete rankings can be viewed here. You can learn more about Carbonfund.org's business programs at www.carbonfund.org/business.
Monday, 18 October 2010 17:10

Gulf of Mexico Ecological Outlook Downgraded

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As reported in ABC News, researchers who study the Gulf of Mexico downgraded their outlook on its ecological health because of the Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe. This reflects a broad belief that, though the Gulf avoided the worst once feared, it will likely continue to feel the catastrophe’s effects for years to come. In order to best gauge the short and long-term damage wreaked upon the Gulf it is important to continually monitor the situation. Carbonfund.org partner LightHawk is responding to the environmental and economic tragedy resulting from the spill of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico. By operating the largest and oldest volunteer-based environmental aviation fleet, LightHawk is able to provide donation flights to protect land, water and wildlife.  Their illuminating pictures of the oil spills’ reach help to spur clean-up action and maintain a focus on protecting what’s most important in the Gulf. LightHawk is assisting their existing conservation partners, like the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, in the affected areas and reaching out to new partners to provide donated flight missions. LightHawk is also working cooperatively with their sister group SouthWings whose volunteer pilots are responding to aerial mission requests. When the view from above will enhance efforts to scientifically document, educate and inform constructive responses to this effort, LightHawk will strive to dedicate the aerial resources of their volunteer pilots.
This year’s DC and San Francisco Green Festivals will reduce their climate impact while providing education and information on greener living by offsetting with Carbonfund.org. We’ll also be exhibiting at DC’s Festival next weekend, Oct. 23rd-24th at the Washington Convention Center. The Festivals, held annually in major cities including DC and San Francisco, are together the largest sustainability event in the world. They are a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America to celebrate and disseminate what’s working in communities around the country—for people, business and the environment. In addition to offsetting in support of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated projects, the Green Festivals have implemented green event practices. An example is the use of Resource Recovery Stations on-site instead of trash cans and individual recycling bins. The stations collect organic and compostable items, even used electronics, in addition to recyclables. Carbonfund.org will be presenting on the value of offsetting in solving climate change, first at DC on Saturday, Oct. 23rd at Noon, and is also slated to present at the San Francisco event the weekend of Nov. 6th. We’ll be exhibiting at the DC event, so please stop by to say hello! Green Festival admission is affordable, including for families. For all event details, please visit: www.greenfestivals.org.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 12:24

Climate Change's Link to Global Security

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What do climate change and war have to do with each other? To the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, they’re intricately linked. The BPFNA is leading Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice.  By teaching their member churches about worldwide conflict and putting their words into action, the BPFNA has taken a prominent role to fight for peace and for action to combat climate change. For the BPFNA, climate change is more than an environmental concern.  As they say, “Peace is not possible when we live at war with the Earth.” They also point out, “Peace is not possible when the poor suffer disproportionately - in natural disasters, in conflicts, in economic hard times - and as the climate of the Earth changes. In this point, they are not alone. As the New York Times reported, the Pentagon has concluded that:
Climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments.  Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.
Therefore, as the BPFNA fights for peace worldwide, they actively seek to minimize their environmental footprint. At their annual conference this summer, BPFNA collected donations to offset the conference’s carbon footprint. BPFNA also provides advice to their members on how to reduce their environmental footprints.
The recession might have been worse if not for the growing interest in sustainability, simplicity, even frugality. According to U.S. News' Kimberly Palmer, who's written a new book, Generation Earn, "Instead of living exclusively for our own pleasures, we have embraced a new level of social consciousness. We care about the environment, our cities, and social justice." Generation Earn is aimed at young professionals, who are increasingly interested in spending smarter, investing and giving back. But the book is also excellent in its scope and even mentions ways to reduce one's carbon footprint, such as calculating one's footprint and offsetting in support of innovative clean energy projects. As the dust of the recession is finally settling, you might be wondering where do we go from here? Generation Earn provides a compass and reveals paths for a better future. You can learn more about the book at: www.generationearn.com.
At this year’s International Association of Movers Annual Meeting, the Japan International Movers Association (JIMA) donated to support Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Collected from JIMA members to improve the organization’s sustainability initiatives, JIMA is making a concrete step to reduce its carbon footprint. By joining a growing movement of transportation companies and organizations, JIMA is showing the importance of protecting the climate in the transportation industry. Carbon offsetting is a valuable solution in industries, including transportation. That is why we’ve seen leadership from companies like JetBlue, Virgin America, Hyundai Motor America, Volkswagen and Orbitz. Many companies in the industry are also taking the lead to improve fuel efficiency by researching new fuel sources, engine designs and traffic patterns.
One of the largest challenges for environmentalists is monetizing environmental good. What is biodiversity worth? We all know what it costs to buy a pen or a loaf of bread, but what is the cost of the intrinsic value of species diversity, clean air and water and a sustainable future? Economists and the environmental movement have made great strides in the last few decades monetizing global warming emissions, acid rain producing sulfur dioxide and air-dirtying nitrogen oxides. New studies even show that consumers are willing to pay more to support products that are better for the environment and companies that value sustainability. evo, a Seattle-based retailer of ski, snowboard, wakeboard and skateboard gear, has been a proud partner of Carbonfund.org since 2006 and was among the original launch partners for the CarbonFree® Shipping program. evo customers can opt to add a $0.50 donation to their order at checkout to offset the emissions from shipping their order from evo’s warehouse located south of Seattle. After analyzing data from the last 2 years of evo customer orders, customers from all states have participated, but 25 states had over 100 donations which have reduced nearly 1,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. In addition, Carbonfund.org was able to bring these reductions home, supporting projects in states representing nearly 25 % of evo’s CarbonFree Shipping customers. These projects include: • Truck Stop Electrification • Gas-to-Energy projects • Renewable energy from wind What else can we learn from these numbers? Unsurprisingly, consumers from states with strong environmental protection policies and high levels of education are more likely to support evo and Carbonfund.org’s program. For example Vermont is 2.6 times more likely to neutralize their shipment’s carbon footprint than someone from Michigan. People aware of the value of environmental sustainability are taking action and people that are just learning are starting to. Participation in the program typically rises (as much as doubling) around Earth Day when we run matching promotions. Going green is increasingly becoming the norm and here at Carbonfund.org we hear stories everyday from our partners that support this trend. Top 5 States (highest participation rate) • Vermont    8.89% • Colorado    7.44% • Washington    6.92% • Nevada    6.65% • New Hampshire    6.48% Bottom 5 States (lowest participation rates) • Michigan    3.37% • Wisconsin    3.42% • Ohio    3.5% • Texas    3.59% • Pennsylvania    3.95% evo has been a long-standing partner with Carbonfund.org and is committed to maintaining a healthy natural environment because the sports they love depend on it! While the ski, snowboard and wakeboard industries are far from perfect, a growing number of brands that evo carries are produced with the environment in mind. Some of the industry leaders in this regard include Patagonia, Arbor Snowboards, Lib Tech Snowboards, Gnu Snowboards, Surface Skis, and Liberty Skis.
Maryland's Bethesda Green public-private partnership for sustainable growth and Bethesda Magazine will be honoring the region’s green leaders at the Bethesda Green Gala Thursday evening at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. Carbonfund.org is making the Gala a CarbonFree® Event, balancing the event's footprint in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects that are fighting climate change today. The evening, emceed by former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey, will feature the 2010 Bethesda Magazine Green Award Winners, a seasonal menu with fare from local purveyors, and local/organic beer and wine from Honest Tea. In addition, the gala will hold an auction including local and sustainable trips, gifts and services, including a local commuting offset from Carbonfund.org. Learn more by visiting www.bethesdagreen.org. If you're a business or organization in Montgomery County, Maryland, you can become a Montgomery County Certified Green Business like Carbonfund.org. Visit www.mcgreenbiz.org.