Today’s wealth management environment, like protection of our natural environment, demands transparency, accountability, responsible citizenship and the highest ethical standards.
Adhering to these principles, Carbonfree® Business Partner RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC, a New York-based independent employee-owned sustainable wealth management firm, chose to work with Carbonfund.org to continue its commitment to operate as a carbon neutral organization, part of the firm’s sustainability goals.
The firm is committed to running a sustainable business practice that limits impact on the planet by using electronic storage and delivery of documents, effectively reducing paper consumption, helping to save trees, and further reducing emissions associated with shipping of documents.
In order to do more, and with the help of Carbonfund.org, RLP Wealth Advisors offsets annual carbon emissions from office energy use, business travel, and daily employee commuting. The firm’s investment in carbon offsets helps to fund projects that include renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation and forest preservation.
“RLP Wealth Advisors is committed to environmental stewardship and we believe Carbonfund.org is an effective tool for businesses to help address climate change and promote sustainability,” states Bud Sturmak, CFP®, AIF®, Partner at RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC.
In addition to RLP’s mission to be a sustainable company, RLP’s business is focused on providing sustainable investing solutions to non-profit organizations, corporations, foundations, and families. RLP acts as the lead investment steward working closely with the investment committees of large organizations, combining their expertise in sustainable investing and fiduciary responsibility to assist their clients in aligning investments with their broader mission, values and goals.
The firm extends its commitment to environmental stewardship through affiliation with 1% For the Planet and The Conservation Alliance, and their website is 100% solar powered. As thought leaders in sustainable investing and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) analysis, RLP Wealth Advisors co-authored the groundbreaking study, “Carbon Footprints, Performance and Risk of U.S. Equity Mutual Funds,” and were a contributing author to the recently released book, “Evolutions in Sustainable Investing.”
As a sustainable company, RLP Wealth Advisors has a unique appreciation, understanding, and natural interest in assisting their clients in aligning investments with mission, values and goals. Carbonfund.org is pleased to help RLP Wealth Advisors do the same for its firm-wide sustainability initiatives. You can learn more about RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC by visiting their website at http://www.rlpwealth.com.
Adrian Reif and Matt D’Amour share a love of yummy nut butter and of an idealism to help people eat better while caring for the environment. Their love for fresh, healthy food led to grinding homemade nut butter batches, then expanding their fledgling Yumbutter brand into a company that could have meaningful impact. Yumbutter crafts creative and inventive nut butter “potions” using organic, wholesome nuts, seeds, and superfoods to get more nutrition into each batch. With a mission to “Nourish the World” through what they call “Holistic Responsibility,” Yumbutter seeks to be the best organization it can be – from conception to consumption of food – and beyond.
As part of their commitment to environmental responsibility, Yumbutter recently made the decision to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program and purchase carbon offsets in reforestation projects for over 250% of their annual administrative operation’s carbon footprint.
“Carbonfund.org allows us to do more than we’re able to organizationally. We’ve desired to build a carbon negative business since the beginning and supporting reforestation projects get us closer to that goal,” explains Adrian, the Chief Goodness Warrior for Yumbutter.
Their Holistic Responsibility program is the result of asking the question: “How can a nut butter company improve people’s lives?” They consider the company’s impact on the health and happiness of Yumbutter fans, supply chain partners, Mother Earth, employees, the business ecosystem, and people born into unfortunate circumstances. So when customers spread Yumbutter, they’re actually supporting a shift in the way businesses are run.
Yumbutter is a Certified B Corporation, a new breed of company dedicated to positive social and environmental impact. Certified B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency - a holistic measure of sustainability. Yumbutter also is a certified YouthTrade company for mission-driven companies run by young entrepreneurs.
Through their BuyOne:FeedOne program, Yumbutter and its customers have helped to feed over 14,000 children with malnutrition since mid-2012. Every time a customer buys one jar or pouch of Yumbutter, a small donation is made to help feed a child with malnutrition through a non-profit group in Guatemala providing holistic care to malnourished children and their mothers. And with Carbonfund.org, Yumbutter helps nourish the environment by restoring and preserving forestry projects around the world.
It’s still early in this new year, and with Earth Day approaching next month, it’s a great time to look for ways to improve, expand and enrich your commitments to protecting and preserving our environment.
During 2013, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery of St. Helena, CA augmented their organic agricultural practices and environmental sustainability initiatives by offsetting business flight emissions through Carbonfud.org. This year, Spottswoode took the additional step to allocate a larger portion of its 1% for the Planet pledge to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, thus neutralizing all of their annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world.
“Climate Change is the defining issue of our time, and we feel strongly that we must be a part of the solution to this global crisis,” explains Beth Novak Milliken, President and CEO of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. “We take our commitment to the environment seriously, and through our actions, we hope to inspire others to care for and respect our natural resources as well.”
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned vineyard and winery renowned for producing classic and refined wines that honor their vineyard origins. The balance, grace, and integrity reflected in their wines also drive a commitment to organic farming and stewardship of the winery’s gardens, historic building, and local watershed.
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery has farmed organically since 1985 and became a California Certified Organic Farmer in 1992. In addition, Spottswoode is certified Napa Green by the Napa Valley Vintners, uses solar power in their vineyard and winery, maintains insectaries and bird boxes in the vineyard, runs tractors on biodiesel and works to conserve water. The winery spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of their vineyard and is shared with many residential neighbors. The expansion of the winery’s environmental responsibility to mitigate all operational carbon emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership demonstrates an ongoing dedication to the health of land and air upon which Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery depends.
It’s a lot easier to follow your mantra and lead by example when helping businesses transform their IT services and their operational sustainability. This is exactly what Carbonfree® Business Partner Mantra Computing is accomplishing.
Mantra Computing provides business in the Boston and Providence areas with business technology consulting and support services, using a high-tech, high-touch approach to business technology services, and working closely with business owners and managers to understand their businesses and financial needs. Mantra’s TotalCare Managed Services, various hosted solutions and on-call support solutions help clients stay productive and ahead of their competition.
In order to lead the way, Mantra Computing has instituted a variety of sustainability initiatives for their own business, many of which they then recommend to their clients.
For the past five years, Mantra Computing has neutralized its own annual operational emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program by supporting clean energy technology and carbon reduction projects around the world.
“One of Mantra Computing's tenets is a responsibility to its surrounding community,” explains Garrett Brown, President of Mantra Computing. “We also believe that we have a responsibility to do something about global warming, which is why we’ve chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org.”
In addition, Mantra Computing assists clients with technological solutions to conserve energy by implementing automated processes to power down idle equipment during non-business hours. Mantra uses remote support and remote access technology tools to minimize unnecessary travel for service support, and they help clients recycle old electronic equipment responsibly through partnership with ACT Secured Recycling. Leading by example and maintaining a commitment to operational sustainability is part of the proven formula for success at Mantra Computing.
The New Year is here, and progressive businesses are already launching their sustainability initiatives. New Carbonfree® Business Partner evolveEA is out of the blocks early with their Green Vision for Living Buildings in 2014.
evolveEA is a multidisciplinary architectural design practice committed to sustainability in the built environment, and ready to help individuals, communities, and organizations take strategic action towards sustainable practices. evolveEA looks through three lenses of sustainability: People, Process, and Place.
evolveEA is a carbon neutral, B-Corp certified company and won first place among small businesses in Southwest Pennsylvania in a 2012 competition judged on all aspects of a company’s sustainability footprint. After reducing emissions wherever possible, evolveEA chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to completely neutralize emissions from four years’ worth of annual business operations. Through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, evolveEA is supporting energy efficiency projects in order to mitigate its own operational emissions.
“evolve’s mission to advance sustainable systems and solutions for people, processes, and places has driven us to achieve and maintain carbon neutral operations since 2011,” explains Steve Hockley, Sustainability Process Manager. “While we have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint, Carbonfund.org has enabled us to reach net zero emissions by purchasing offsets for four years worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our office operations and travel.”
The impact of building sustainability can be seen in recent evolveEA projects, including the US Steel Tower’s LEED certification process begun in 2007. With the recent changes to LEED certification, businesses have additional opportunities and incentives to neutralize building emissions by supporting carbon emissions offsetting projects. evolveEA and Carbonfund.org look forward to partnering on future projects to help advance sustainable systems and solutions across the country through the design of green buildings and facilitation of carbon-neutral operations.
For visitors to the greater Chicago area and the locals who’ve endured a long winter, a big three-season draw is the Lake Michigan waterfront. Among the popular waterfront pastimes are the various Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat cruises that provide passengers with views of the Chicago skyline, architectural tours, dinner cruises, and on-board wedding and special event celebrations.
To help protect and preserve the Lake Michigan resource, the environmentally-focused passenger will consider a cruiseline’s attention to environmental responsibilities and fuel conservation when booking their tour. CarbonFree® Partner Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline will stand out as a leader in this area.
As part of their extensive sustainability initiatives, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline has partnered with Carbonfund.org to measure and neutralize their annual carbon dioxide emissions. Office energy usage, business travel and employee commuting emissions, as well as all fuel used by the cruise ships throughout 2012, were included in the emissions calculations. The resulting total annual operational emissions were mitigated by corresponding donations to support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects.
The CarbonFree® Business Program status joins many other environmentally conscious initiatives followed by the Chicago-based cruiseline company. Since 2006, all vessels have used B-11 biodiesel fuel, saving more than 4,000 gallons of imported crude oil per year. Their newest vessel, Chicago’s Leading Lady, added to the fleet in 2011, is equipped with computerized energy-efficient engines that help the boat save over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises encourages their passengers to join an active office and operations recycling program by recycling their onboard maps for future guests. Dockside waste bins are constructed of recycled plastic milk containers, and beverage cans and bottles are collected onboard and dockside for recycling. Promotional materials are printed by CarbonFree® Partner Digital Hub, voted Chicago’s Greenest Printer, with soy-based inks and recycled papers. All employees are encouraged to ride their bike, walk or commute to work by using public transit, and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruisline encourages its staff to participate in the employee public transit reimbursement program.
This focus on measures to protect the waterways its passengers enjoy demonstrates a firm commitment to environmental stewardship by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, and Carbonfund.org is glad to participate in these efforts.
We’ve heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” associated with many environmental movements and causes. Our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program takes this call to action a step further by helping businesses of all sizes to “act globally and act locally.”
For the past five years, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café in Silverdale, WA has heeded this call. They’ve maintained a CarbonFree® Business as an important part of their overall commitment to “remarkable customer service” and sustainable business practices. Monica and her team recognized that it was important to supplement their dedication to sourcing locally, and to eliminating waste and emissions wherever possible, by adding a global commitment to neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from their business operations.
"Because we know we are doing some things well and there are lots of things that we can do better,” explains Monica Downen, Owner and namesake of the bakery and café. “We love that we reduce what we can and offset what we can't!"
Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café offers a menu featuring local produce, dairy, eggs, coffee, honey, sodas, flour and grains, pickles, and poultry. The staff composts food waste, recycles, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and subscribes to green power through the local utility. All of these efforts accompany their five-year commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® operation.
Make sure your sustainable business plan minimizes your impact on the environment. Join Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Café in our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and support our carbon reduction and clean air technology projects around the world.
As we continue to celebrate fifth and sixth anniversaries with many of our CarbonFree® Business Partners, new businesses are joining our partnership ranks as part of their environmental commitment.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner Beautycounter launched with its skin care line on March 4, 2013. Beautycounter’s mission is to educate families about the need for safer chemicals and beauty care products, and to be a part of the solution by creating safe and effective skin care and beauty products in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Beautycounter was founded by a team of social entrepreneurs who believe in using the power of business and strategic partnerships to move in the right direction.
One of these right decisions was joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and CarbonFree® Shipping Emissions programs, neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from general business operational and from shipping their products to customers. Through the CarbonFree® programs, Beautycounter is supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency projects around the world.
“In order to be successful in business and in our social mission, we have to reject the short-term thinking that got all of us into the current environmental crisis,” explains Mia Davis, Vice President of Health & Safety. “Beautycounter recognizes that we can’t do it alone—strategic partnerships are absolutely necessary to create meaningful, lasting change. We’re proud to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset our carbon emissions, and for guidance on reducing our overall footprint.”
Beautycounter maintains an extensive list of chemical ingredients that will never be used in their products, which contain no hidden fragrances or preservatives. Beautycounter also prohibits testing of their cosmetics on animals, makes every effort to use FSC-certified paper and post consumer recycled content in both paper and plastic materials, and sources plastics that do not leach toxic chemicals and that are recyclable in most communities.
These comprehensive initiatives demonstrate Beautycounter’s forward thinking approach to entering the beauty and skin care industry as a responsible leader in environmental sustainability, and Carbonfund.org is pleased to be a partner in their efforts.
Many of our CarbonFree® Business Partners set the standards for excellence in their respective industries, in part by leading their peers through a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Celebrating its fifth year as a CarbonFree® Business, Elumin Healthcare Solutions of Sammamish, WA maintains its industry leadership through its focus on technology solutions design and implementation, customer service, and its dedication to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Elumin offers information technology advisory, project management and implementation consulting solutions to the healthcare provider community, that includes implementation services for Allscripts, Cerner, Epic and Siemens applications coupled with an array of advisory services that includes interim leadership, project management, business and clinical alignment, process and workflow design and enablement strategies.
As an important part of its overall sustainability initiatives, Elumin joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in 2009, supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy technology development projects. Elumin also is committed to reducing its impact on the environment by reducing unnecessary business travel, conserving energy and water resources in their facilities, and providing incentives for employees to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.
“Partnering with Carbonfund.org is more than just our company making a statement about carbon emissions,” says Mark Williams, CEO of Elumin Healthcare Solutions. “This is a whole-hearted commitment to improving the world we live in and doing our part to set an example in the business environment for what can be done.”
Elumin’s long-term commitment to sustainable business operations underscores a dedication to improving our environment and helping to hasten the transition to a cleaner energy future.
Two years ago, the Carbonfund.org staff “went virtual” as a way to eliminate the carbon emissions from occupied office space and regular employee commuting to the office, and as a way to save operational costs. For the past five years, CarbonFree® Business Partner the Boardroom Executive Suites® has offered virtual offices and other alternative workspace options to the Denver community, while also neutralizing its remaining operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction technology projects.
Boardroom Executive Suites provides ready-to-use office space, virtual office services, conference room rentals, advanced telecommunications and administrative support services in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, CO. “A typical office space is used less than 50% of the time. That means that there is a huge amount of waste associated with a typical office – heating, cooling, electrical, janitorial services,” explains Nathan Jansch, President and Owner of Boardroom Executive Suites. “Add to the office emissions those from employee commuting, often from lengthy and highly-polluting commutes. In an executive suite or virtual office environment, all of that changes.”
The structure of most executive suites and virtual office centers also helps reduce emissions by making use of office space and support resources more effectively. Instead of having an office suite that is used by one person 50% of the time, executive suites and virtual offices provide shared amenities and encourage maximum utilization of space and resources, reducing the per-worker carbon emissions that the suite emits.
Nathan adds, “the Boardroom Executive Suites furthers carbon emission reduction efforts by engaging in energy conservation efforts in our suites (reducing what we can) and aligning ourselves with Carbonfund.org to offset our estimated yearly carbon emissions (offsetting what we can’t).” Their long-term commitment to carbon emissions reduction efforts and operating a CarbonFree® business over the past five years shows real leadership and innovation as an alternative workspace provider.
Is 2013 the year to green up your work environment? Consider virtual office space, home office, virtual conferences and shared office space options as ways to reduce what you can, then talk to Carbonfund.org to neutralize your remaining operational emissions that you can’t eliminate.