news & media (1122)
Spring is here and the lawn mowers are beginning to rumble. As you weigh your lawn maintenance choices, consider the following:
- Gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment contribute to 5% of the U.S.’s air pollution
- In one hour, one gasoline-powered lawn mower:
- pollutes the same as 40 late model cars
- emits the same amount of carbon dioxide as driving a new car 350 miles
- Almost 600 million gallons of gas are used in the U.S. for lawn mowers each year
- Hearing loss is possible at 85 decibels (dB) with gas-powered landscaping equipment operating between 85 dB and 110 dB.
For homeowners in the Montgomery County, MD area, there’s a cleaner new alternative to lawn care. New CarbonFree® Business Partner A.I.R. Lawn Care is an eco-friendly lawn care company that uses electric-powered lawn equipment charged with solar panels mounted on their trucks and trailers. A.I.R. stands for Atmosphere, Improvement and Renewal, and A.I.R. Lawn Care’s mission is to improve and renew the atmosphere while providing quality lawn care services.
To augment their sustainability and in recognition that they can’t eliminate all of their business-related carbon emissions, A.I.R. Lawn Care took the additional step to mitigate remaining operational emissions by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
“Being a member of the original “green” industry, A.I.R. Lawn Care has always had a commitment to take care of the environment. However, we strive to do this in the most responsible way. We challenge homeowners to do the same by taking the A.I.R. Dare™ and using eco-friendly lawn care,” explains Zack Kline, CEO and Founder of A.I.R. Lawn Care. “As part of being responsible, we chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset any carbon emissions generated from other activities of our operations. Carbonfund.org provides us the credibility to validate our carbon offsetting initiatives.”
We can all take steps to reduce carbon emissions by closely examining our daily activities and seeking out more energy efficient choices and cleaner energy solutions. Check your area for alternative lawn care solutions and environmentally responsible leaders in the lawn care industry like A.I.R. Lawn Care. Your family, neighbors, friends and the environment will all benefit.
While there’s been a lot of press about the increasing carbon emissions associated with rapidly expanding global technology usage, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company cites ways in which information and communications technologies can lead the way in reducing operational carbon emissions. CarbonFree® Business Partner A2 Hosting has been ahead of this curve for the past six years, offering its customers a greener, cleaner solution to server hosting.
A2 Hosting is a Linux based web hosting company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan providing a range of services including website hosting for personal homepages up to full service solutions for businesses of all sizes. And A2 Hosting is committed to ensuring responsible and ethical business practices including offsetting all server and equipment emissions with Carbonfund.org.
In 2007, A2 Hosting launched its FutureServe Green Hosting partnership with Carbonfund.org, supporting the development of energy efficiency technologies, clean renewable sources of energy, forestry and biodiversity preservation, and the resulting reduction of CO2 emissions on a global scale.
In December 2012, A2 Hosting launched hosting services in Reykjavik, Iceland. This hosting location is 100% green-powered by natural geothermal energy, and utilizes the frigid Iceland air to power its cooling units. Combining geothermal energy and natural cooling technologies allows the data center to run at very low power usage effectiveness levels and leaves no carbon footprint. And A2 Hosting is currently launching the ability to host sites using Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSD drives offer a greener footprint as they consume roughly one-third the amount of energy as traditional hard disks.
"We are committed to doing right by our customers and the environment,” says Bryan Muthig, Founder and CEO of A2 Hosting. “Until more clean energy solutions are available to everyone, we are pledging to offset our server emissions in order to help protect our fragile environment."
Since 2007, A2 Hosting has offset over 630 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the carbon dioxide sequestered by almost 15,000 trees grown over a ten-year period.
A2 Hosting focuses on delivering the type of systems hosting they would want to use as a customer, which means all-inclusive hosting with no hidden fees, US-based around-the-clock customer support and ultra-reliable servers with high performance. This commitment to excellence in service and leadership in environmental responsibility make A2 Hosting a great example of a small business doing its part to help hasten our transition to a cleaner energy future.
Ann Arbor, MI, June 2, 2010 - Linux Hosting company, www.A2Hosting.com has announced that they are planting trees for each hosting package they sell during the month of June. A2 Hosting will be supporting nonprofit carbon reduction organization Carbonfund.org’s Million Tree Challenge. A2 Hosting has even released the 30 percent off coupon code “3TREES” that customers can use to reduce the price of their purchase.
In a blog post last month, I wrote about how climate change science is set to be taught unevenly in the US curriculum. It’s great that middle and high school age kids in the US are going to learn about climate change. Unfortunately, the Next Generation Science Standards are voluntary and could take years to implement. So is there an option if we want our children to learn about global warming now?
The non-profit Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) fills this need. Their mission is to, “educate high school students on the science behind climate change and inspire them to take action to curb global warming”. One look at their website and you can see they are on the right track in reaching their target audience. It’s packed with social media links and interactive blog entries.
Since the fall of 2009, ACE has reached more than a million high school students at over 1,550 schools. While this is impressive, there are some teachers and parents who oppose the presentations, believing climate change to be a controversial and/or political issue. However, all of the climate science ACE presents comes from peer-reviewed published science articles, with a focus on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4). The IPCC AR4 is one of the most heavily researched science reports in history.
ACE’s efforts don’t end with their presentations. They also offer Student Action Programs to help get kids started right away. Then ACE grooms student environmental leaders who influence peers and lead change.
With the help of an ACE grant, Daniela Lapidous and Shreya Indukuri installed energy monitoring technology at their school. Saving both energy and money led them to expand the project to other local schools. Their project’s success brought them to the White House’s attention, where a mere two years after their first ACE presentation, they advised Energy Secretary Steven Chu on their smartmeter project that reduced their school's electric bill by 13%. Daniela wrote about her experience on ACE’s blog, “Hot and Bothered” and is a co-founder of SmartPowerEd.org.
It’s inspiring to see the ripple effect that climate change education can bring about. And getting information about global warming to high school aged kids is critical and a conscious choice. "They're going to be the generation to feel the impacts [of climate change] hardest and first," says Matt Lappe, ACE's education director. "And so in some sense we target high-schoolers and young people in general, because they really have a right to know climate science."
We should all take a page out of the next generation’s book. Not only are they learning about global warming, but they are taking the next steps to do something about the problem. Taking charge of the future is what it is all about since they’re the ones that will have to live with the consequences if we don’t.
The United States is one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world. What can our country do for the good of the planet with this role?
One thing the U.S. federal government does every few years is engage hundreds of experts to evaluate the impacts of climate change, now and in the future. The resulting National Climate Assessment report, which was recently released, showed that America's current efforts to reduce carbon pollution are too little to avoid dangerous climate change. Last year President Obama announced new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards for cars and light trucks such as minivans and sport utility vehicles. Let’s build on this historic progress to limit carbon emissions. There are several ways that the president and federal government can make a real difference in the fight against global warming.
The Clean Air Act is a powerful tool that our nation’s leaders could be leveraging more fully. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with using the Clean Air Act to issue rules to reduce greenhouse pollution. This farsighted law has reduced damaging air pollution for forty years, saving many lives. The EPA has already used it to protect public health and welfare from six extensive and harmful pollutants including: ozone, particulate matter, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and lead. Now is the time to lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by setting a national pollution cap for greenhouse gases.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has also proposed higher emission standards on coal-fired power plants. These standards need to be fortified, finalized and implemented posthaste. Why stop with power plants? There are other places where higher greenhouse gas emission standards can be successfully applied to help save our planet such as oil refineries, cement plants, and even the airline industry.
Another way to help the environment would be for President Obama and the State Department to decline approval on the Keystone XL pipeline, which proposes moving oil down from Canada through the western United States to refineries along the Gulf Coast. There are no guarantees that the pipeline won’t spring leaks. Furthermore, there is evidence that extracting oil from the sands are increasing levels of cancer-causing compounds in surrounding lakes far beyond natural levels. Denying approval would show that America is committed to transitioning away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
Of course, it’s not all up to the federal government. We can all do our parts to speed the transition to a clean energy future. First we can encourage our elected officials to take the climate change actions recommended above. Second we can reduce our own carbon footprints. Consider lowering the heat or air conditioning depending on the season, using a clothesline, rake, hand mower and other manpowered devices, composting, forgoing meat at least one day a week and riding a bicycle. Lastly, we can all find simple ways to be part of the solution such as planting trees and offsetting remaining carbon emissions.
Washington, DC. April 5, 2006 - The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), a globally recognized automotive trade association, has offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced from travel to today’s 2006 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year reception by making a contribution to Carbondfund.org.
Sponsored by AIAG and DNV Certification, the invitation-only event at the Detroit Athletic Club honors Bill Ford, chairman of the board and CEO of Ford Motor Company, who is the recipient of the 2006 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year Award.
“We are very happy AIAG is taking this initial step,” says Lesley Marcus Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Awareness, education, and action are all important steps in stopping climate change, and AIAG is elevating all three.”
Carbonfund.org is a non-profit organization whose goal is to make carbon offsets and climate protection easy, affordable and a normal way of life for every individual and business. Carbon offsets - also called renewable energy certificates and ‘green tags’ – enable individuals and businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in one location, where it is cost effective, to offset the emissions they are responsible for in their normal activities, like home, office, driving or air travel emissions. For instance, a clean, zero CO2 wind farm can offset the carbon dioxide produced by a coal-fired power plant that powers a home.
The average American is directly responsible for about 10 tons of carbon dioxide annually through their home, car and air travel, and their average total annual impact rises to an average of 24 tons when factoring in the purchase of goods and services. Events such as this one, with often heavy reliance on transportation, are an easy first step for any organization to offset. Because events also often bring decision makers together, for Carbonfund.org, it is an excellent opportunity to educate and demonstrate that being responsible is both simple and environmentally effective.
Founded in 1982, AIAG is a globally recognized organization where OEMs and suppliers unite to address and resolve issues affecting the worldwide automotive supply chain. AIAG’s goals are to reduce cost and complexity through collaboration; improve product quality, health, safety and the environment; and optimize speed to market throughout the supply chain. Headquartered in the metro Detroit area, its more than 1,500 member companies include North American, European and Asia-Pacific OEMs and suppliers to the automotive industry. Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.aiag.org.
A study released in 2009 by two New Zealand scientists, claiming that a medium-sized family dog had a carbon footprint twice the size of an SUV, caused quite a stir in the pet food industry. Carbonfund.org business partner Ainsworth Pet Nutrition took note. A fifth generation family-owned and operated company catering to all segments of the pet food industry, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition makes a wide spectrum of pet foods and snacks, from brands that offer sound nutrition and convenience to ultra-premium specialty foods.
In late 2009, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition began an ambitious company-wide Social & Eco Responsibility program, making significant achievements across the entire company and establishing longer-term 2015 goals for its logistics, packaging, manufacturing, products and community. By 2011, their manufacturing operations achieved a recycling rate of over 90% and reduced waste from 6% to 2% in their largest facility. The company’s overall sustainability goals for 2015 aim to reduce overall carbon emissions from manufacturing and shipping by 15%, water-usage by 25%, achieve a 99% recycle-rate, and produce less than 1% created waste.
In 2012, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition took the additional step to analyze then neutralize the annual carbon dioxide emissions related to the manufacturing process and shipping of two of the company’s high-end brand, Back to Basics and Rachael Ray Nutrish. Ainsworth partnered with Carbonfund.org to support a CCBS-validated reforestation and preservation project in the Darien, Panama rainforest in order to mitigate 2012 annual operational emissions for these two brands.
Ainsworth plans to continue to extend its sustainability initiatives to examine product sourcing, reviewing the entire supply chain to select suppliers based on their environmental actions, proximity to production facilities, and socially-responsible behavior.
“Continuous reduction of our environmental impact has become one of Ainsworth’s top strategic objectives,” states Jeff Waters, President of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.
Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with a forward-thinking company like Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, helping them to lead the pet food manufacturing industry in maintaining an aggressive and ongoing commitment to operational sustainability.
Alder Associates formed in 2001 with the commitment to use combined skills and experience to leverage their clients' success, and bring a seamless combination of knowledge and expertise that enhances clients' thinking, leadership and organizational capability.
As part of their commitment to their own operational success and sustainability, Alder Associates recently joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program. We commend Alder Associates for making this commitment to environmental responsibility and thank them for their partnership.
Alder Associates works with clients to co-design fully integrated approaches in which leadership alignment and strategy implementation are dominant and integral threads in the fabric of the business. Alder Associates provides a seamlessly integrated set of capabilities: strategy implementation, leadership development, and cultural transformation.
For more information, visit http://www.alderassociates.com/index.html.