Initial industry survey finds Carbonfund.org with best price and value

Washington, DC. March 20, 2006 - As more and more people are taking responsibility for offsetting their climate footprint by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation to reduce their emissions, Ecobusinesslinks.com, a leading web-based environmental information portal, has done the first comprehensive comparison of the nonprofit and for profit organizations providing carbon offsets.

“While more than a dozen organizations and companies are providing the services, what shocked us was the price discrepancy between groups basically providing the same level of environmental protection,” said Ecobusinesslinks.com editor Edgard Swinnen.  “Each group offered a high-level of certification for their offering, suggesting consumers should really be looking at price as the determining criteria.  Carbonfund.org clearly offers the most environmental protection per dollar,” he added.

Of the eleven organizations analyzed, five are based in the US, including Carbonfund.org, three in the UK, two in Australia and one in Switzerland.

At just $5.50 to offset a metric ton of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas causing climate change, not including the tax deduction American donors receive, Carbonfund.org was the clear leader in the study.  Carbonfund.org supports certified wind energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects, including a wind project on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.  “Carbonfund.org also wins kudos for giving their supporters the choice of projects they want to support, providing an empowering customer experience,” said Swinnen.  Carbonfund.org also provided the greatest range of offset types, including cars, home, air travel and national average.

“Carbonfund.org is dedicated to making it easy and affordable for anyone to reduce their climate footprint,” said Carbonfund.org President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “We are trying to offer the lowest cost pathway while giving our supporters the choice of where their money goes.  If we are going to solve the massive global problem of climate change, which is getting worse with every passing day, we simply need millions of people engaged in the solution.  On this issue, we can not afford to put profit ahead of our climate,” she added.

Several groups, such as UK-based Trees for Life ($20 per ton of CO2), support only reforestation projects, seeking to replenish the rain forests and other areas ravaged by old growth forest cutting.  The more expensive groups, including Native Energy, are for profit companies that are specific to car travel or wind energy and cost substantially more than Carbonfund.org, which offers both services.  Sustainable Travel International, another for profit, came in at a whopping $30 to offset one ton of CO2, nearly six times the low cost provider.

The study also suggests the future for carbon offsets looks bright as more and more people are seeking to do their part to stop climate change.

Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are the process of reducing a ton of carbon dioxide emissions in another location for the emissions you cause. While most people can reduce their climate footprints by using energy more efficiently and buying cars that get better gas mileage, cost-efficiently reducing it to zero through individual actions is nearly impossible. Carbon offsets are a cost effective way to reduce the remainder of one’s climate footprint.

Carbon offsets enable anyone to reduce their climate footprint by supporting projects, typically energy efficiency, renewable energy, sequestration, biomass, etc. that reduce carbon dioxide emissions to offset one’s own climate footprint.

 

 

Washington, DC. March 22, 2006 – The Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) General Assembly will take place from June 21-25 in St. Louis, Missouri. This year, the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE), an affiliate organization to UUA, whose mission is to promote “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” has requested that General Assembly participants be given the opportunity to make a small contribution to offset the average per person amount of carbon emissions produced by a typical conference like GA. Carbon offsets are the process of reducing a ton of carbon dioxide emissions in another location for the emissions caused in either homes, offices, commuting, traveling or other activities that use energy and cause emissions. The contributions from GA will address climate change by supporting renewable energy and efficiency projects through a partnership with Carbonfund.org, 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.

The primary goal for Carbonfund.org, the UUA General Assembly Planning Committee, and UU Ministry for Earth is to move towards making this annual event carbon neutral on a voluntary basis. The UUA expects between 4,000-5,000 participants and will encourage them to make a tax deductible $6 contribution to offset their carbon footprint at the event. After the conference is over, Carbonfund.org and UU Ministry for Earth will produce a report on the results, the positive impacts made, and detail lessons learned for future events.

In addition, Carbonfund.org and UU Ministry for Earth will share a booth at the event, where participants will learn about climate change, the best ways to take action, and learn about reducing one’s personal carbon footprint and carbon offsets. In addition, Carbonfund.org will conduct a UUMFE-sponsored workshop for attendees entitled: “Using Carbon Offsets to save Creation.”

Carbonfund.org is looking forward to supporting and developing their partnership with the UU Ministry for Earth and the Unitarian Universalist Association. “Carbonfund.org is very proud to develop a partnership with the UU Ministry of Earth and the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly,” said Leslie Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “We are very impressed with their level of commitment and determination in making reductions and offsets a regular part of their event planning, and we look forward to expanding this program throughout the UUA organization.”

Jan Sneegas, Director of General Assembly and Conference Services at the UUA said, “Because the Association embraces social and environmental responsibility, then naturally our events should reflect that commitment. The GA Planning Committee is working toward the environmental sustainability of our meeting on several fronts, including working with hotels and vendors to increase the use of sustainable practices. But it is perhaps most exciting to see that nearly one in four of our registrants has volunteered to contribute to this effort in the first week of registration. We believe there is broad-based support among our attendees to make General Assembly a “green” meeting and we are strongly committed to this endeavor”

UU Ministry for Earth Chair, Claudia Kern comments: “The General Assembly will be voting this June on a Statement of Conscience on Global Warming. UUs are deeply concerned about this urgent crisis and are seeking meaningful ways in which they may take action both as individuals and as congregations. We understand that a sustainable future will require unprecedented changes in how we live our lives, but at the same time we recognize the reality that most of us cannot immediately give up our cars, remodel our homes with alternative energy options for heat and electricity, or avoid some air travel. As we work hard to change our behaviors and to move our society as rapidly as possible towards sustainable solutions, carbon offsets offer us an action we can take right now to begin reducing our footprint on the Earth.”

About UUMFE
UU Ministry for Earth is the environmental affiliate organization of the UUA. Their focus is upon the theological, spiritual, and ethical implications of human behaviors as they affect the health and sustainability of the living Earth. Their work includes a Green Sanctuary Certification process, production and dissemination of resource materials for study, religious education and worship, and support for UUs in their personal and congregational efforts to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world.

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