The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly created a National Program of standards for light-duty vehicles that lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel economy. Cars and light trucks' GHG emissions standards in the 2012 model year, the first year of the 14-year program, were 296 grams of GHG/mile. The EPA reports automakers' overall GHG performance was, on average, 286 grams of GHG/mile, which is 9.8 grams of GHG/mile below what the 2012 standards required. The EPA says, the automobile industry is "off to a good start".
GHG emission standards are projected by the EPA to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetimes of vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025. The agency released a Manufacturers Performance Report last week that evaluates how the automobile industry is doing in meeting GHG emissions standards. The report shows that the industry lowered tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 and also used optional flexibilities included in the standards.
Some of the flexibilities include emissions credits transfer among manufacturers on a yearly basis and for improvements in air conditioning systems. The EPA's reasoning in allowing these flexibilities is that they will result in higher emissions reductions, lower compliance costs and more options for consumers.
Speaking of which, the report indicates consumer preference is playing an increasing role. Americans bought lower emission vehicles in the first year of the program than required by the 2012 GHG standard.
The EPA will wait to issue formal compliance determinations for the 2012 model year until 2015 because of the program’s multi-year structure. However, the agency plans to continue tracking compliance and expects to produce annual manufacturers’ performance reports for the program.
In more good news from the EPA, their most recent Fuel Economy Trends Report shows fuel economy improved by 1.2 mpg in 2012 compared to 2011, which is the second biggest improvement in the last 30 years.
Carbonfund.org is pleased to announce the addition of a new Certified Carbonfree® Product that no only neutralizes its product’s cradle-to-grave production emissions but also produces a source of renewable energy from reclaimed coffee grounds waste.
Kofcan Inc.’s biomass fuel pellets, which are made from spent coffee grounds, have earned Carbonfree® certification from Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. Carbonfree® product certification for its 15 kg, 25 kg and 1.5 kg bags of coffee pellets is a credible, transparent way for Kofcan to provide a carbon-neutral fuel source to home owners and environmentally-conscious companies.
Kofcan’s biomass fuel pellets were designed to recycle waste into energy and provide a more efficient and lower environmental impact alternative to wood pellets. Instead of contributing to landfills, the spent coffee from which the pellets are made is collected from restaurants and institutions in a 200 km radius of the micro pellets plant in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The resulting pellets have a higher energy output, generating 27.5 percent more BTUs (British Thermal Units) than wood pellets.
“Kofcan and its founders Michel Cordeau and Sylvain Laroche have developed a truly waste-free and efficient energy source. With the addition of Carbonfree® certification through NSF Sustainability, Kofcan is able to demonstrate the carbon neutrality of its coffee pellets and communicate to home owners as well as industrial companies its commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division.
“Kofcan is proud to have the first energy pellet to be certified Carbonfree® as well as the first energy pellet that creates viable energy from a waste product instead of the harvesting and processing of trees,” said Michel Cordeau, CEO and founder of Kofcan, Inc.
In addition to maintaining a low carbon footprint by sourcing spent coffee from local businesses, Kofcan also assessed the environmental impacts of its coffee pellets by undergoing a detailed life cycle assessment to measure its carbon emissions in North America. Kofcan then offset its carbon emissions through investment in third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects provided by Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit and developer of the Carbonfree® Product Certification program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America.
“Increasingly, companies are recognizing the importance and value of offering carbon-neutral products and carbon content labeling,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Undergoing a comprehensive process to achieve carbon neutrality and Carbonfree® Product certification for their coffee pellets, which are a unique renewable energy source from a waste material, marks Kofcan as a leader in the solution to global warming.”
The Carbonfree® Product Certification program uses life cycle assessments (LCAs) to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a product’s entire life cycle. GHG emissions (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) that cannot be reduced or eliminated from the product’s life cycle are offset or neutralized with third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects.
Carbonfree® certified products earn the use of the Carbonfree® mark along with being listed in the Carbonfund.org online product certification database. The Carbonfree® mark can be found on a variety of products today, including food, beverage, electronics and apparel.