Monday, 20 September 2010 17:24 Written by Ivan Chan
Managing greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly a part of how businesses need to operate. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asks global companies annually about their emissions, as well as risks, opportunities and actions in mitigating climate change. The outcome of this year's CDP report places Samsung, a Carbonfund.org partner, among the top five companies in carbon disclosure and performance. Carbon performance includes actions taken to reduce emissions and integration of climate-related priorities in business strategy, governance and communications. The other companies in the top five this year are Siemens, Deutsche Post, BASF and Bayer. "Carbon management is becoming a strategic business priority and competitive driver for the largest global companies, despite the lack of global agreement on climate change," said the CDP. Also, 85 percent of leading global companies surveyed reported having board or senior executive level responsibility for climate change and nearly half, 48 percent, are now embedding climate change initiatives into the overall business strategy and across the organization. Carbonfund.org recently launched Carbon ExpressTrack™, a web-based solution for businesses that makes carbon management and accounting more accessible and affordable, so more businesses can monitor and mitigate their emissions. Click here to learn more. The uncertainty over regulations on climate change is affecting companies around the world, yet nine in ten companies surveyed note significant commercial opportunities in mitigating climate change. This year's CDP report was produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Friday, 17 September 2010 10:15 Written by Greg Taylor
Carbonfund.org commends Ernst & Young, a leading international financial services firm, for slashing the carbon footprint in its Americas division by 15% in fiscal year 2009. By conserving electricity, the number of servers it uses to store data, and carbon footprint savings from travel, Ernst & Young has significantly reduced its footprint. They have also taken action to move markets in a cleaner, more sustainable direction. By requiring that all of their $250,000+ RFPs detail their environmental impact and initiatives, they can help change operations and operating priorities at companies. Similarly, Ernst & Young has announced a goal to have at least 30 percent of its office space in LEED certified buildings by 2012. By offsetting the carbon footprint of its annual Strategic Growth Forum, Ernst & Young is supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and helping reforest degraded ecosystems. To learn more about Ernst & Young’s sustainability efforts, click here.
Friday, 17 September 2010 09:59 Written by Greg Taylor
How green can one event be? If you’re at the US Green Building Council of New Jersey’s September 22nd Annual Luncheon and Golf Outing you’ll be swearing everything around you has turned green–from your conversations about the latest green trends in sustainable design to the putting green where you chip in your birdie. The event has been designed to take the environment into consideration. By playing on one of New Jersey’s only Audubon certified golf courses, you are supporting sustainable management techniques that maximize a golf course’s potential for protecting wildlife habitat. Further–the event has been made carbon neutral by offsetting in support of Carbonfund.org's third-party validated carbon reduction projects. If you’re looking for a fun way to support a great cause, sign up to compete in the US Green Building Council of New Jersey’s Golf Outing next week. They’re still signing up foursomes and you can register directly on their website.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 16:12 Written by Ivan Chan
Monday, 13 September 2010 16:43 Written by Ivan Chan
The White House has released the first Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans designed to achieve environmental, economic and energy goals. The plans were made pursuant to the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, signed by President Obama in Oct. 2009. Similar to corporate social responsibility or sustainability plans in the private sector but sometimes larger in scope, the agencies' plans are to be implemented and updated annually. Under the Executive Order, plans should prioritize actions based on the return on investment for taxpayers and meet energy, water and waste reduction targets. Agencies plan to cut emissions by, for example, making infrastructure improvements, reducing fossil fuel use and implementing better maintenance practices. The General Services Administration (GSA) plans to use its purchasing power to help improve the supply chain of products the government uses, and The Interior Department plans to install renewable energy systems at wildlife refuges and its other lands. Agencies also plan to reduce energy use from data centers, among other initiatives. You can view the agencies' plans from the White House Council on Environmental Quality web page here. Also, learn about how Carbonfund.org is working with businesses, organizations and government in reducing their impact on climate, such as through CarbonFree® Certified Products and programs to reduce carbon emissions.
Monday, 13 September 2010 16:35 Written by Greg Taylor
One of our newest partners, All American Bail Bonds, illustrates a growing trend in the insurance industry– taking care of the planet. Though not typically seen as large carbon emitters, the insurance industry is heavily weighed down with paperwork. If you haven’t taken out a homeowners or life insurance policy, you’ll be astounded at the number of copies of documents you’re required to sign and receive. My recent homeowners insurance policy ran almost 40 pages. Two weeks ago we wrote about the unfulfilled concept of the paperless office. Promisingly, more companies are signing up to reduce their environmental footprints and invest in carbon reduction projects. Joining Transamerica, Infiniti Insurance and others, All American Bail Bonds has taken steps to reduce and offset its carbon footprint. By instituting a comprehensive electronic data system, the company has reduced its paper usage by over half and converted all remaining printing to recycled paper. On a related note, more than 100 of the world’s top insurance companies recently issued a UN-backed call for governments to use risk management techniques and insurance know-how to help developing nations adapt to climate change. Read more here.
Monday, 13 September 2010 11:56 Written by Ivan Chan
About one-quarter of all the food prepared in the U.S. gets thrown out, according to the EPA. That's 31 million tons of food each year, much of which decomposes in landfills to produce methane—a heat-trapping gas about 23 times more potent than CO2. The foodservice company Sodexo is creating awareness about food waste among college students, linking waste to climate change. Sodexo's campaign, "Stop Wasting Food," is a follow-up to an Earth Day campaign in 2008 which resulted in 340 campuses eliminating the use of food trays. The current campaign urges students to take only what they can eat at campus dining facilities. Tom Post, Sodexo's president of campus services, said, "We are so careful to source and serve food for our customers in a sustainable way but if locally-sourced food ends up in a landfill then we're simply creating another environmental problem. The good news is that by simply thinking before we eat, we can trash our wasteful habits and dramatically reduce food waste today." In addition to methane from food waste, it entails disposal and therefore carbon emissions from transporting the waste. Food waste is also wasted resources. To reduce waste, Sodexo said it had helped National Geographic reduce water consumption by 18 percent in its cafeteria between 2006 and 2009. The company also assisted Cox Communications with improved recycling and composting, cutting waste by 80 percent. Learn more about how you can reduce your climate impact by visiting Carbonfund.org's Save Energy page: www.carbonfund.org/saveenergy.
Friday, 10 September 2010 17:25 Written by Greg Taylor
CarbonFree® Events Partner Paul Mitchell Schools takes its best effort to make its Owners Summit as sustainable as possible twice a year, every year. In addition to calculating and offsetting the summit’s footprint, the hair design program completes a comprehensive checklist when planning the event to reduce waste, save energy and change behavior. This last part–changing behavior–helps the event create a legacy of sustainable behavior that extends beyond the event itself by changing the way its attendees live, its suppliers operate and its facilities function. Without revealing their entire checklist, I want to highlight a few of the broadly applicable sustainability practices any event can borrow from Paul Mitchell Schools: 1. Print paper materials on recycled paper–if possible using vegetable-based inks. Also, reduce paper usage by, e.g., printing double-sided. This isn’t as trivial as it sounds. Citigroup found that if each of its employees saved only one sheet of paper per week by printing double-sided, the company could save over $700,000 per year. 2. Make visible reduction, reuse and recycle services for people to use. Make it easy for your participants to make the right decisions and they will. Many events now label their trash receptacles “landfill” to drive the point home. 3. Ask your caterer to minimize the number of disposables. Ask for non-disposable plates, silverware, napkins and coffee mugs if possible or use recyclables. 4. Inform attendees on going green & ask them to participate. If you make this a priority, so will your attendees. Provide attendees tips on reducing their own carbon footprint and/or an option for your attendees to support carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org provides tips on our Save Energy page. 5. Use left over paper as packing material to cushion boxes being shipped to and from your office. Be creative with the way you cut down on waste. Please share your own tips in the comment section below.