Tuesday, 17 May 2011 14:36 Written by Alterra Hetzel
Greenbiz.com published an article in May titled Transparency; Regulations Drive LCA Popularity that highlighted the growth in corporate interest to perform Life Cycle Assessments, otherwise known as LCAs. A fill product LCAs is a method used to calculate the carbon footprint of each unit through the entire supply chain – from raw material extraction to use and disposal. This article highlights a Green Research report that surveys the field of LCAs including companies, academia, and LCA providers. What the report found was that the typical barriers for performing LCAs include costs, time, lack of regulation, and a lack of awareness of the benefits. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="392" caption="image courtesy of scienceinthebox.com"][/caption] As the article points out though, the benefits can far outweigh the barriers. For example, the cost and time associated with LCAs is heavier on the first product. As data is collected and incorporated into research databases, the re-use of that information cuts significantly both the time and cost of the process for the company’s additional products. Now, how about lack of regulations or awareness of benefits? The article reports that when the survey done asked companies “What best reflects your thinking on the business benefits of LCA?” The top five responses were that the LCA will: enable them to make better products, enable them to respond to customers, put sustainability on scientific footing, enhance brand, and help make them more efficient. This research report also finds:
“Of 23 companies surveyed that have already conducted LCAs, 82 percent plan to do at least one in the next 12 months. The number of scientific publications that reference LCAs has jumped from 473 in 2008 to 902 in 2010, with 636 referencing LCAs between January and April 2011. And LCA tool vendors and consultants report 30-40 percent sales increases a year, with many companies turning to LCAs to get a better grasp on their impacts, respond to demands for transparency and get ahead of regulations or eco-label requirements.”An example of an eco-label that requires an LCA is CarbonFree® Product Certification. This certification label is a meaningful, transparent way for companies to provide environmentally friendly, carbon neutral products. By determining a product’s carbon footprint with an LCA, reducing inefficiencies where possible and then offsetting remaining emissions through third-party validated carbon reduction projects, companies can (as the survey points out): differentiate the brand and product, increase sales, improve customer loyalty and, of course, strengthen corporate social responsibility & environmental goals. Companies that have performed LCAs and achieved this certification include: Motorola, LEI Electronics, Intek America, Nika Water, Grounds for Change, Domino Sugar as well as others. Considering this new research report on LCAs, these companies are clearly onto something! For more information about these products or about the Certification Program, visit: www.carbonfund.org/products
Thursday, 12 August 2010 09:58 Written by Michelle Lam
As a nonprofit ourselves, we know the array of factors that go into starting and then managing a nonprofit organization. Strategic planning, management, capacity building and fundraising must be well thought out in order for a nonprofit to accomplish its mission. Carbonfund.org partner EMD Consulting Group, LLC lends its experience and provides guidance and support in these areas and identifies challenges and opportunities. EMD Consulting Group has helped a number of nonprofits develop their fundraising, marketing plans, economic feasibility studies, program development and much more. The Group has worked with nonprofits with very diverse missions from the Judevine Center for Autism to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. EMD Consulting Group is not only in the business of helping socially responsible organizations, but it demonstrates its own corporate social responsibility by partnering with Carbonfund.org to reduce its climate impact. To learn about how your company can partner with us, visit www.carbonfund.org/business.
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 19:07 Written by Greg Taylor
Our CarbonFree® Partner evo builds on its 3.5 year partnership with Carbonfund.org to help us plant one million trees. If you’re looking for some great skis, snowboards, or wakeboards, you can join the effort by donating $0.50 at checkout. Evo will match each of these donations for a total of $1 to plant a tree as part of Carbonfund.org's Million Tree Challenge. Evo is committed to maintaining a healthy natural environment because the sports they love depend on it! While the ski, snowboard and wakeboard industries are far from perfect, a growing number of brands that evo carries are produced with the environment in mind. Some of the industry leaders in this regard include: Patagonia, Bond Outerwear, Arbor Snowboards, Lib Tech Snowboards, Gnu Snowboards, Surface Skis, and Liberty Skis. If you want to join evo and Carbonfund.org in the Million Tree Challenge, you can plant your own tree too! Just visit our page at www.carbonfund.org/trees and plant as many trees as you’d like for $1 each.
Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:31 Written by Linda Kelly
Envision Technology Marketing Group, Inc. (ETMG) is a 100% virtual marketing communications agency that provides high technology companies with a comprehensive range of marketing services, including project management, writing and editing, design and production capabilities. ETMG’s scalable business model gives clients the option to choose the services they need to meet current and long-term tactical and financial objectives. ETMG has operated as a virtual company since its inception in 1998– a decision that has made a positive impact on its bottom line as well as the environment. ETMG does not maintain commercial office space or use any commercial janitorial services. Employees do not commute and therefore do not contribute related harmful CO2 emissions into the environment. Every employee works from home, connecting with their clients and with each other by maximizing the use of virtual business tools such as instant messenger, webinars and social media sites. In this way, ETMG has managed to streamline project workflow as well as business operations while maintaining a miniscule carbon footprint. While being virtual has its inherent environmental benefits, it wasn’t enough. ETMG stepped up its environmental commitment by implementing green policies throughout the company and has purchased hundreds of tons of carbon offset credits that will go towards several energy conservation measures. ETMG partners with Carbonfund.org to offset their carbon footprint in an effort to neutralize the impact their operations have on the environment. Further, ETMG donates 500 pounds of carbon credits through Carbonfund.org for every new purchase order opened by a client. And ETMG has reached its goal of becoming 100% carbon neutral and has been certified as a “Green Business” by the Bay Area Green Business Program—a program that distinguishes small to medium-sized businesses that protect, preserve and sustain the environment. Read more about ETMG's process in their "Becoming Green Certified" blog posting. “We’re at a time when being environmentally sustainable is a better way to do business, not just because it’s the right thing to do,” said Michael Grodin, principal of ETMG. “We are planting a seed to encourage our employees and customers, no matter how environmentally conscious they may already be, to become more green in ways that are meaningful to them. Leading by example multiplies the effect of being green and every small step counts.” Click here to learn more about the exceptional marketing services offered by ETMG.
Thursday, 02 February 2012 18:57 Written by Linda Kelly
Need a healthier night’s sleep? Then have a look at Essentia Mattresses. They make the only natural memory foam in the world! Essentia memory foam is free of petroleum, formaldehyde, toxic chemicals and contains no volatile organic compounds. The secret? Essentia memory foam is actually made from rubber tree sap but reacts the same way traditional memory foam would. Made with natural latex, organic essential oils, plant extracts and water Essentia natural memory foam has all the comfort of memory foam but without all the toxins that could make you sick. Essentia takes pride in using only the highest quality natural ingredients in its products, so you get health and comfort without compromise. Essentia products also feature a Zebrano striped cover which is both stylish and functional, made with 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified unbleached organic cotton. Essentia’s product line includes mattresses, support pillows, crib mattresses and even something special for the four-legged members of your family. Essentia is one of only 2 companies that produce its own foam. Instead of importing latex like most companies do, Essentia imports the natural rubber tree sap to make their natural memory foam. This uses close to 80% less space than importing the finished latex foam. They also cut down significantly on fuel consumption in transportation by importing the sap, and also by the way they ship their mattresses. Essentia actually compresses and rolls the mattresses, so they use 75% less packaging and take up less space in a truck. All product boxes are made from 80% post consumer recycled paper. Essentia also has recently expanded their environmental commitment by joining the CarbonFree® Partnership program, offsetting a portion of their operational emissions by supporting the projects and mission of Carbonfund.org. Jack Dell’Accio, the founder of Essentia, explains: “It’s important for us to set the example for everyone that we need to take every step possible to leave this earth a greener place. We need to make this mark, especially in the mattress industry which traditionally isn’t overly concerned about consumer health or the impact on the earth. This is why Essentia is more than a brand; we have a commitment to comfort and quality, without compromise. A partnership with Carbonfund.org was a natural step for us to help everyone move towards the future, when the world is green again.” You can experience Essentia for yourself at an Essentia retail location, online or by giving them a quick call to learn more. Also, Essentia mattresses come with a 60-day money back guarantee, a 20-year warranty and free shipping to the Continental US and Canada. If you thought that was cool, it gets better: Essentia is offering a 10% Eco-Driver discount on your Essentia purchase. And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for their monthly contest for a chance to win a Comfort Pillow!
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.
Monday, 03 May 2010 09:25 Written by Ivan Chan
On the field at Yankee Stadium in New York, Eric Carlson, our President, set aside his Washington Nationals loyalty for the night to be presented an honor for his work at Carbonfund.org- the Avis Spirit Award! The award is presented to champions in the community who exemplify the Avis "We Try Harder" spirit. Eric was presented the award behind home plate just prior to Friday night's game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox. Avis chose Eric for his work and commitment on climate change and reducing the company's environmental impact. The popular car rental company has been a Carbonfund.org partner, offering customers the ability to offset the emissions of their rental car use in support of carbon reduction projects. Part of Avis Budget Group, Inc., Avis is one of the world's leading car rental brands and has ranked number one in the Brand Keys® Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for the past eleven years. Congratulations, Eric!!
According to the Washington Post, the EPA is ready to declare carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases a danger to public health and welfare. This move lays the foundation for government regulation of global warming causing emissions, with or without Congress approving a comprehensive global warming bill. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is expected to make the announcement today at 1:15pm EST. This announcement will come as the global climate change meeting is getting ready to commence in Copenhagen, Denmark. The United States has taken a number of positive steps recently to demonstrate to both domestic and international observers that America is ready to act on global warming. President Obama recently announced that the US will reduce emissions 17% by 2020. With this new EPA announcement, the Administration appears willing to back that statement up. Though the EPA will have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, how they would actually administer a program is unclear. The current proposals in Congress use a cap-and-trade framework for reducing emissions. The EPA may choose to use the cap-and-trade model, a carbon tax, or other methods to regulate emissions. Giving the EPA this type of discretion over program creation is troublesome to certain constituencies, thus providing added impetus to pass a comprehensive global warming bill through Congress rather than regulation by EPA. The US needs to take action to reduce our country's emissions and the country appears to be well positioned to do so in the near future. With the EPA announcement today, our nation will be one step closer to a clean energy future. Hopefully that helps us in Copenhagen.