Five years ago, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists approached the Carbonfund.org Foundation to create a unique program to neutralize the emissions from the wedding gown cleaning and preservation services offered by its members. ZeroCarbon™ gown preservations became the first carbon-neutral wedding gown cleaning and preservation program in the wedding services industry, and it ensures that the beauty of each wedding gown is preserved while safeguarding the environment. ZeroCarbon™ wedding gown preservations are endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants and Green Bride Guide.
Carbonfund.org helped to calculate the carbon footprint of the gown cleaning and preservation process and created a per-gown treatment emissions level to be neutralized. Each Certified Wedding Gown Specialist™ makes a separate per-gown preservation donation to Carbonfund.org, which helps to support reforestation projects that reduce carbon emissions worldwide. To date, the ZeroCarbon™ wedding gown preservation program has mitigated over one million pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the total emissions absorbed by 11,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists created a flyer about the ZeroCarbon™ preservation program printed on recycled paper in soy ink for their members to use, and they’ve added the ZeroCarbon™ text to the complimentary care labels supplied to wedding gown designers.
“My own experience with the ZeroCarbon™ labels has been very positive,” explains Sally Conant, Executive Director. “At my personal company, which is also a member of the Association, brides inspect their gowns before they are packed in acid-free wedding chests. When the gown is packed I explain that the ZeroCarbon™ label means we have offset all of the carbon emissions with a donation to Carbonfund.org to support reforestation projects."
"About a quarter of the brides say they chose my company because we do green gown preservations, and the rest are pleasantly surprised to hear about the program when they come for the gown. One bride recently told me it was very reassuring to know that she could care for her gown without damaging the environment. If it is a relative of the bride who comes to collect the gown, about a third of them say something such as ‘She will be so pleased. She cares about our environment.’"
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was launched in 2007 with the goal of helping businesses of all sizes – start-ups through global Fortune 1000s – to make a commitment to environmentally-sustainable operations and to keep that commitment for the long haul.
Six years later, we’re honoring over 100 small businesses that have been consistent CarbonFree® Business Partners for the past five and six years. One of these businesses is Moxie Bookkeeping of Brooklyn, New York, started in 2004 by Ean Murphy, with the purpose to serve small operations and to make bookkeeping a valuable tool for making smart decisions instead of one more hassle at the end of a long week.
While Moxie Bookkeeping does not sell ‘green’ products, they’ve made the conscious decision to provide services in the most environmentally-responsible way possible. This included joining our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in 2008. Moxie Bookkeeping makes an annual donation to Carbonfund.org in order to support our carbon reduction and clean energy innovation projects around the world. In addition, Moxie Bookkeeping focuses their service on electronic delivery wherever possible, to avoid printed statements and checks. Their office products are purchased through green product providers and recycling is mandatory in their offices.
“I can’t run my business without using electricity and natural resources,” says Ean Murphy. “I want to make sure I am an active part of the solution.” Through her long-term partnership with Carbonfund.org, Ean is able to provide her holistic bookkeeping services in a CarbonFree® work environment.
In a telling and ironic move, coal industry giant BHP-Billiton, is replacing one of its coal export facilities in Queensland, Australia because of its vulnerability to increasingly frequent hurricanes from global warming. BHP-Billiton is an Australian coal company that produces one-fifth of globally traded coal for steel making and is the largest mining company on Earth. The upgrade represents a major investment in planning for climate change. In fact, the company’s coal operations are led by Marcus Randolph, who confirmed they are planning, “to rebuild the facility to be more durable to climate change.”
Readers of this blog already know that increasingly extreme weather events are the result of climate change in addition to the fact that many businesses are planning now for climate change’s effects. Why not a coal company too? The announcement makes it obvious that BHP-Billiton understands that climate change is real and the time is now to begin making changes even if the manufacture of their product contributes to the issue.
Randolph has even warned investors about the implications of remaining dependent on the non-renewable resources of fossil fuels by saying, “In a carbon constrained world where energy coal is the biggest contributor to a carbon problem, how do you think this is going to evolve over a 30- to 40-year time horizon? You'd have to look at that and say on balance, I suspect, the usage of thermal coal is going to decline. And frankly it should.”
When a company that mines and exports coal starts planning for climate change it means the writing is on the wall. Businesses and individuals alike should all be working to decrease carbon footprints and offset the remaining carbon emissions. Let’s give the planet a holiday present and start doing all we can this season to embrace a cleaner energy future.
NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline™, today announced the launch of its True Giving program, a unique enhancement to the airline's TrueBlue customer loyalty program that provides members with an alternate way to use their TrueBlue points. TrueBlue customers now have the choice to redeem their points for future travel or donate them to benefit others. Points can be donated locally or globally to more than 2.5 million causes in the True Giving database which is powered by KULA Causes, Inc. During the season of giving, JetBlue will match all customer donations made through this program, up to $25,000, from December 10 - 17, 2012 (a). TrueBlue members can donate points at Truegiving.jetblue.com.
"We know giving is very personal. With True Giving our customers can turn their TrueBlue points into dollars and support non-profit organizations around the world that they are passionate about," said Mike Stromer, JetBlue's vice president of customer connections. "On a corporate level, JetBlue proudly supports youth, education and the environment throughout the cities we serve. We also understand that each community has its own unique needs and each TrueBlue member has causes that are important to them. True Giving is one more way JetBlue is personalizing our customer's experience and offering them more choices."
Caring and passion, two of JetBlue's core values, were the motivation for True Giving. JetBlue partnered with KULA Causes, Inc., the world's largest online giving platform to create the True Giving program providing its customers with a choice in their charitable efforts. JetBlue proudly supports a number of national non-profits on a corporate level including Carbonfund.org, DoSomething.org, KaBOOM!, and FirstBook. Customers can make donations to the charity of their choice by entering a charity name, a keyword or selecting the regions and countries or local causes of interest. Next, customers can view their selected cause's profile for additional information and then, click donate. Donations are made in increments of points; transaction fees apply. Customer donations can be applied to categories specific to each charity including development, training, advocacy, etc. Once the donation is completed, a receipt is emailed to the customer from Kula Causes.
"KULA Causes is proud to be partnering with JetBlue Airways, a company that is redefining frequent flyer programs for the 21st century," said Gerrit McGowan, KULA Causes Founder and CEO. "This partnership has demonstrated that JetBlue is committed to their charitable giving efforts. They are an airline that consistently pushes the envelope in the ways that they engage with passengers, customers and crewmembers. KULA is proud to be a part of their vision, as our technology powers a giving platform that democratizes the charitable giving process, enabling customers to contribute to the causes they care about most on a local and global scale, while also increasing JetBlue's brand equity."
True Giving is an evergreen donation program and it follows JetBlue's most recent donation campaign for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Throughout the month of November, JetBlue quickly mobilized to engage customers and TrueBlue members to raise funds for the Red Cross. In one month, customers donated more than $835,000. The donation site, also powered by KULA Causes, provided the platform for customers to donate directly to relief efforts right in their local communities in the New York tri-state area. For every one dollar donated via the site, TrueBlue members received six TrueBlue points in return. Through this transactional giving program, JetBlue's loyal customers became donors and brand advocates providing much needed, time sensitive charitable donations.
About KULA Causes: Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, Colorado, KULA Causes helps companies create meaningful brand loyalty. KULA's loyalty technology, CLM™, is an innovative business-to-business SaaS application that enables companies to measure, engage, and reward their customers through democratized charitable giving. This puts the power of choice in the hands of customers, creating rich customer engagement and meaningful brand loyalty. With over 2.5 million charities in 80 countries to choose from, CLM reaches virtually every customer giving affinity — from local schools and places of worship to international development and aid organizations. CLM calculates and drives the ROI of corporate philanthropy, while increasing the visibility of non-profits across the world. For more information, please visit www.kulacauses.com.
About JetBlue's TrueBlue Program: TrueBlue is free to join and includes the ability to use points for any seat on any JetBlue operated flight and with no blackout dates. (b) TrueBlue customers earn points by booking flights and for usage of the JetBlue Card by American Express. Points do not expire if you earn points from flying JetBlue, purchasing a JetBlue Getaways vacation package or using your JetBlue Card at least once every twelve months. Additional information about TrueBlue and registration can be found at https://trueblue.jetblue.com/.
About JetBlue Airways JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™ with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 75 cities with 750 daily flights and plans to launch service to Charleston, South Carolina and Albuquerque, New Mexico in early 2013. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800-538-2583 (TTY/TDD +1 800-336-5530), or visit www.jetblue.com.
(a) Transaction fees of up to 12.25% for donations to US-based charities and up to 19.25% for donations to non-US based charities apply to donations via True Giving, powered by KULA Causes. These transaction fees do not impact JetBlue's matching donations. JetBlue will match True Giving donations from December 10 – December 17, 2012, up to a maximum of $25,000 in all matching donations.
(b) All seats on JetBlue flights are available for booking using TrueBlue points. Even More Space seats are also available for the applicable fee; TrueBlue Mosaic members may purchase Even More Space seats using the specified number of TrueBlue points required for the particular flight. No blackout dates apply to JetBlue operated flights. Blackout dates may apply to code share, interline, and partner flights.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways
Wind turbine blades currently have some challenges that impact their cost effectiveness. First, most wind blades are made of fiberglass, and the molds to manufacture these blades cost millions of dollars to acquire. Transporting the massive manufactured blades also poses a challenge as they cannot be assembled on site. Furthermore, fiberglass places limitations on the size of the rotor diameters, which means the turbines are smaller and heavier so they are less able to capture wind at lower wind speeds in places such as the US Midwest.
The US Department of Energy's advanced research projects agency (ARPA-E) project aims to address these limitations by researching and developing architectural fabrics in lieu of conventional fiberglass. These tough, flexible fabrics would be tension-wrapped around a metal frame and specially designed to meet wind blade operations’ demands as well as allow for easy maintenance. The project will span three years and be comprised of a team from US electrics company GE, Virginia Tech University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
If successful, these advancements in blade technology will enable larger, lighter turbines that allow tapping previously unsuitable moderate wind speed markets. The new approach also has the potential to overcome earlier manufacturing and transportation limitations since the wind turbine components can be built and put together on site. According to GE, this new blade design could reduce blade costs 25%-40%, making wind energy as economical as fossil fuels without government subsidies.
Expanding wind capabilities and lowering its costs as an energy source represents forging a course towards a clean energy future.
Sixth Anniversary CarbonFree® - Federal Career Experts Provide Career Counseling with CarbonFree® CommitmentWritten by Linda
Founded in 1996 by federal employment veteran John Grobe, Federal Career Experts (FCE) is a small business that specializes in training and consulting in the areas of retirement, career development and transition services for federal government agencies and their employees. FCE has a network of consultants, most of whom are retired federal employees, with experience in all categories of federal agency employment and career development areas.
As part of its overall mission, Federal Career Experts believes in protecting the planet by making choices that enhance the quality of the atmosphere and the resulting quality of life. In order to help achieve this goal, Federal Career Experts became CarbonFree® in 2007, offsetting their carbon footprint by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy projects. FCE remains one of Carbonfund.org’s most tenured CarbonFree® Business Partners.
“The nature of Federal Career Experts’ business requires that we travel a great deal”, said John Grobe, President. “Though we are conscientious about our energy usage, we still have a relatively large ‘carbon footprint’ and have chosen to take steps to offset our impact on global warming.”
To date, Federal Career Experts has neutralized carbon emissions equal to the emissions created by combusting over 18,000 gallons of gasoline. This continuous focus on serving federal employees while maintaining a sustainable business practice sets FCE apart in its field. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Federal Career Experts in this long-term commitment to operational excellence.
Carbonfund.org is pleased to announce that 2013 will bring big program anniversaries for about one hundred of our small business partners. The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, launched in 2007, makes it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to enhance their sustainability by joining the program either at pre-set donation levels based on employee size, or by calculating and mitigating actual annual operational emissions. The program benefits include promotion of this environmentally responsible initiative through displaying the CarbonFree® Partner logo, maintaining a Partner Page on the Carbonfund.org website and being featured in online blogs and e-newsletters written by Carbonfund.org.
Our 5th and 6th year anniversary partners include the spectrum of businesses – healthcare/nutrition, eco-tourism, product retailers, technology service providers, and a variety of start-up product and service companies. What these businesses have in common is demonstrated leadership in a long-term commitment to ensuring that their products, services and operations are offered to their customers in the most sustainable way possible.
“When we designed the CarbonFree® Partner Program, we wanted to make it a very simple, easy-to-understand program that fit the budget of any business, regardless of age, size or industry,” explains Carbonfund.org founder and president Eric Carlson. “These one hundred businesses celebrating their 5th or 6th anniversaries help to confirm that we’re doing what we set out to achieve.”
In honor of the renewal anniversaries for these CarbonFree® Business Partners, Carbonfund.org developed a unique 2013 CarbonFree® Partner logo featuring the number of years the business has been in the program. We’re also planting trees on behalf of these anniversary Partners – 50 and 60 trees planted for the 5th and 6th anniversaries, respectively – as an additional way to acknowledge their long-term commitment to helping win the fight against climate change and supporting our carbon reduction projects around the world.
Watch www.carbonfund.org/blog for features of our CarbonFree® Anniversary Partners, starting in December and continuing throughout 2013.
Bethesda, MD and Dalton, GA (December 3, 2012) – Tandus Flooring, a leading manufacturer of commercial floorcoverings, headquartered in Dalton, GA, has renewed its commitment to offer customers the option to offset the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of its hybrid resilient and modular product lines. This program, offered jointly by Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF International ensures Tandus Flooring has taken a very measured approach to make certain its CarbonFree® Certified product offerings are conducted responsibly through a third-party certification process, producing meaningful results in decreasing the overall level of its GHG emissions.
Tandus Flooring renewed its CarbonFree® product certification, by conducting extensive product Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to determine its products’ per unit carbon footprint. Now in its fourth year, Tandus Flooring’s Carbonfree Flooring program allows customers the option to purchase their products as carbon neutral.
Working in conjunction with Carbonfund.org and NSF International, third party validated carbon offset credits are purchased to neutralize the greenhouse gases associated with the product’s life cycle. Carbon offset credits purchased in the program are ‘retired‘ so that the carbon is essentially eliminated from use. Through the program, Tandus Flooring has provided CarbonFree products to customers, such as, Google, Bank of America, National Life Group, NV Energy, Stanford University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Vermont.
“Many companies are looking for ways to reduce the climate impact of their products and operations,” said Lynn Preston, Technical Environmental Manager, Tandus Flooring. “Tandus Flooring’s Carbonfree Flooring program demonstrates our commitment to take action against global warming and provides customers with a convenient, credible means to decrease the environmental impact of their purchase.”
Carbonfund.org President Eric Carlson commented, “Providing products that are certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org reflects Tandus Flooring’s leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing. We are proud to be partners with Tandus Flooring and applaud their environmental leadership.”
The CarbonFree® certification label lets companies demonstrate that their products have been carbon offset as well as helps consumers identify carbon neutral products. “The CarbonFree label on Tandus Flooring’s products exemplifies the company’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their products,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
For nearly half a century, Tandus Flooring has been a pioneer in the research and development of sustainable flooring processes and products while continually advancing business practices to meet the critical environmental challenges facing our industry. Tandus Flooring has employed a multi-faceted approach to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations and products including the reduction of energy, water and solid waste, the increased use of recycled material and renewable energy, along with a continued emphasis on closed loop recycling and post consumer reclamation of its products.
Products included in the Tandus Carbonfree Flooring Program include ethos® Modular, Powerbond® ethos® Cushion, ER3® Modular, Powerbond® ER3® Cushion, Powerbond® Cushion, Medfloor®, Flex-Aire® Cushion Modular, Conserv® Modular.
About Tandus Flooring
Tandus Flooring (www.tandus.com) creates innovative floorcovering solutions through our unique product line of hybrid resilient, modular, broadloom and woven products that work in tandem to enhance spaces for learning, working, healing and living. Through inspired design and leading-edge technology, Tandus Flooring offers its customers a single-source for innovative product design and technology, comprehensive services, and environmental leadership. For more than 40 years,Tandus Flooring has been examining all the ways to be a better corporate citizen and environmental steward — and then taking actions that lead to demonstrable, meaningful, quantifiable results.
About Carbonfund.org Foundation:
Carbonfund.org is a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact and hasten our transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbonfund.org supports innovative renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects globally that reduce carbon emissions and help people. Carbonfund.org has worked with over 2,000 corporate and nonprofit partners. More at www.carbonfund.org.
About NSF International:
NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, services, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability assessment standards for products, services and service providers.