With both our economy and our climate in crisis mode right now, the 'Cash for Clunkers' CARS program took aim at both reducing global warming emissions and spurring investment in America's manufacturers. The program came to a close on Monday and has been deemed 'wildly successful' by Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Dealers submitted 690,114 rebate claims totaling $2.88 billion dollars. 84% of people traded in their 'clunker' trucks for fuel efficient cars like Toyota Corrolla, Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry. The switch from older trucks to more efficient cars has resulted in a 58% improvement in MPG among the nearly 700,000 participants of the CARS program. That is going to save consumers a lot of gas and a lot of money! There are many benefits to a program like CARS that highlight what Americans may be able to expect from comprehensive climate legislation.
- Job Creation - by putting the right incentives in place that encourage greener technologies, jobs are created that can't be outsourced. Americans need to build the technology needed to meet our ambitious climate goals. The CARS program claims to have saved or created over 42,000 jobs and boosted economic growth for the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3-0.4 percentage points.
- Consumer Savings - though there is an upfront cost to cleaner technologies (those participating in the CARS program were only subsidized for part of the value of the new vehicle, the rest they had to spend out of pocket), savings will be reaped over the long run. An average vehicle's lifespan is about 13 years and 145,000 miles - so one vehicle traded in through the CARS program will use about 3,354 fewer gallons (and emit about 65,600 fewer pounds of CO2!) than their clunker predecessors over that lifetime. Assuming gas costs $3.00 over that lifespan, that is a savings of more than $10,000!
- Environmental Benefits - the benefits to the environment from reducing emissions, be it at the tailpipe or at a smokestack, are multifaceted. By reducing global warming pollutants, we are also improving local air quality (which improves human health), preventing the release of toxic materials that seep into our water and food (which also improves human health), and reducing the need to drill or mine for fossil fuel resources.
Is it real, and who says so? Real carbon offsets are third-party verified and meet the highest internationally recognized standards. An uncertified project provides no assurances that it is actually doing what you are paying it to do - making the investment inherently risky. One of the leading carbon offset standards is the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). A wide variety of project types, including reforestation, are verified to this standard because it is an internationally recognized label of quality. Recently it was announced that this standard is getting updated. According to BusinessGreen.com, "Under the new requirements, emission-reduction projects wishing to carry the popular Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) label will have to adhere to more detailed and stringent requirements governing how they achieve third-party verification for their projects... while all VCS-approved projects already require third-party approval from two separate verification bodies, previous guidance on how this should be achieved was open to some interpretation." Carbonfund.org supports projects that are third-party verified to the highest standards, including North America's first project to meet both the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards with Gold Distinction and the VCS.
The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) - a project of the Center for a New American Dream - has released its purchasing guide for carbon offsets. RPN had contacted Carbonfund.org as a nonprofit provider who has worked with over 1,200 businesses & organizations. The guide is a comprehensive source of information that is particularly useful for businesses and institutions that are looking into offsetting their carbon footprint. The guide empowers readers by outlining the framework for what makes a quality carbon offset, the standards, third-party verification and auditing. Carbon offset standards like the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Climate Acton Reserve, the Gold Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards ensure that projects meet the most stringent additionality and permanence requirements - thus making the projects real and reliable. Unlike other offset guides out there today this guide makes no attempt to rank providers. Many carbon offset provider rankings are based on subjective and/or arbitrary criteria that may or may not have anything to do with whether an offset is real or of high quality. Click here to view the guide.
EcoSecurities is about to launch the second iteration of their Carbon Management and Offsetting Trends Survey Results new and improved for 2009. The survey participants included 280 companies and 31 carbon offset organizations from all over the world to gain insights into green purchasing patterns and important decision making factors. Carbonfund.org participated in the survey that is slated for public download on September 29th. Carbonfund.org is honored to be a top recognized carbon offset provider in the survey. Some key insights from the study is that interest in green issues is still high despite the recession, with 76% of companies surveyed having implemented or are developing a carbon plan and 60% of companies have measured their carbon footprint. But North American companies are lagging behind, with only 54% of companies surveyed having completed a carbon footprint assessment. Other highlights from the survey include:
- Over three quarters of companies have implemented or have started developing a carbon management strategy
- Two thirds of respondents have already offset their carbon emissions or will consider offsetting in the future
- Environmental benefits (91%) were highlighted as one of the main motivations for interest in carbon offsets, closely followed by carbon neutrality and marketing (89%)
- 72% of participants nominated the US as the most desirable geographic region for purchasing offsets; this may reflect the desire for domestic projects as 56% of the respondents came from North America. Africa and South America were also rated as highly desirable locations for emission reduction projects
- Respondents prefer renewable energy projects above any other project type with solar scoring 92% and wind 86%
Thursday, 05 November 2009 11:00 Written by Emily Pugliese
Two free webinars will enable you to learn about two exciting programs we offer- product certification, featuring the first carbon neutral product label in the US-- CarbonFree® Certified, and our CarbonFree® Business program. You can sign up for them now: the product certification webinar on Nov. 12, and the business program webinar on Nov. 17. The CarbonFree® Certified Label has already been used by leading brands, and provides a meaningful, transparent way for you to provide carbon neutral products to your customers. This webinar will provide a helpful overview of the process involved in obtaining our label and making your product carbon neutral. Thursday, November 12th, 2pm ET Speakers: · Caterina Conti - Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Anvil Knitwear, Inc., which certified & launched its AnvilRecycled™ apparel CarbonFree® · Christopher Kral - Senior consultant with WSP Environment & Energy on determining a product's carbon footprint · Emily Pugliese - Senior Climate Change Specialist, CarbonFree® Product Certification Program of Carbonfund.org on the certification process Join leading companies such as Motorola, Florida Crystals, and Anvil Knitwear which have certified and successfully launched products CarbonFree®, using the label to impart their environmental commitment, differentiate their brands and help increase sales and customer satisfaction. Our CarbonFree® Business Program lets your business take charge of its carbon footprint and benefit from Carbonfund.org’s services for CarbonFree® Partners. The program is an innovative and flexible way to help your business reduce and offset its carbon footprint. Tuesday, November 17th, 2 pm ET Speakers: Karen Kiley - Vice President, Building Operations, Discovery Communications, parent of Discovery Channel, TLC, TreeHugger and other media brands Eric Carlson - President, Carbonfund.org From Fortune 500 companies to small & start-up businesses, the program comprises many of the most innovative, environmentally responsible companies. Remember to sign up for your free product certification and/or business program webinar today.
Thursday, 19 November 2009 17:59 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 09:45 Written by Ivan Chan
In the DC metro area, it's Car Free Day, encouraging commuters to consider alternatives to driving. If more people biked, took transit or walked, not only would it free up some room on the highways and roads, it would reduce air pollution and encourage exercise. In fact, the DC metro area has some of the lowest air quality in the country. Although as a region DC has some avid runners and great trails, more people could take advantage of the area's outdoor offerings especially on weekends. The events are in conjunction with World Car Free Day, each Sept. 22. Learn more about the events around Car Free Day here. Also, you can offset your carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org in support of outstanding projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the US and abroad. Get started- calculate your carbon footprint!
Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:24 Written by Paul Burman
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="406" caption="Wind turbines in Europe viewed close up"][/caption] The Cape Wind renewable energy project has been approved by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, clearing the latest hurdle for the project. Since 2001, Cape Wind - an offshore wind farm proposal located just off the Massachusetts coast - has struggled through multiple battles in the courtroom and in the media from local residents including some heavy hitters like members of the Kennedys. The privately financed project will feature 130 wind turbines spread over 25 square miles off the coast of Massachusetts that will generate up to 468 megawatts and average 182 megawatts of power over the course of the year. At its peak production, the turbines will power 700,000 houses - or about 75% of the electricity demanded at Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. The project is expected to create several hundred construction jobs and cut carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by up to 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year. The controversy with the project has centered around the potential environmental and aesthetic impacts that the turbines will have on the historic Cape Cod area. Located 5 miles off the coast on a shoal, some residents including members of the Kennedys are concerned about views. Extensive underwater environmental impact assessments have been undertaken, with more to come; they have thus far determined that the turbine bases will have minimal impacts on the local environments. There's still no assurance yet that the turbines will be built as more lawsuits are expected; however, the Interior Department's approval is important news for US wind and clean energy development.