Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A), an architectural, interior design and planning practice headquartered in Cambridge, MA with over three decades of service to its clients and community, attributes much of its success and cultural alignment with the green building movement. In 2000, TK&A joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to enhance and expand the firm’s expertise and became an early adopter of pursuing Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their clients’ projects, including the first LEED certified buildings on the campuses of Washington University, Boston College and a LEED Core & Shell (CS) Pilot Project. In 2009, TK&A joined “A Better City,” a consortium of Boston-area businesses whose goal is to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through their “Challenge for Sustainability” program. TK&A engaged in the program and has taken the steps to initiate annual reporting of its own business operations through a Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility Report, including a detailed accounting and neutralization of the firm’s annual operational carbon emissions, in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Since 2011, TK&A’s firm-wide carbon emissions offset program has resulted in a balancing of 1,877 metric tonnes (MTs) – over 4 million pounds - of CO2 emissions from its operations (504 MTs in 2014). The emissions neutralization program has had the same positive environmental impact as planting 48,000 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.
TK&A plans to continue tracking and offsetting operational emissions while simultaneously engaging staff to help reduce the firm’s impacts on the planet, engaging staff in daily mindfulness of sustainable behaviors that benefit the business and their practice. These efforts culminated in The City of Cambridge awarding TK&A two “Go-Green” awards in 2012 in the Large Business Category for “Transportation” and “Climate Change.”
Carbonfund.org congratulates Tsoi/Kobus & Associates on its progressive positions on operational sustainability and reporting, and for continuing to achieve Carbonfree® business operations.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched the newest version of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building program at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia this week. Since 1998, the LEED program is credited with transforming the built marketplace as the world's standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Among the many new provisions and improvements introduced in LEED v4, carbon offsets now may be used to mitigate Scope 1 or Scope 2 emissions on a metric tonne of carbon dioxide–equivalent basis and earn LEED points – up to two points for new construction projects and up to five points for existing building projects.
This is an exciting new provision to the LEED program, and Carbonfund.org looks forward to assisting building project owners, design and construction professionals earn Scope 1 and 2 emissions neutralization points by supporting our third-party verified and validated carbon reduction projects.
Carbonfund.org visited the GreenBuild Expo hall this week, courtesy of our Certified Carbonfree® Product Certification partners at NSF Sustainability, to talk with green building product manufacturers and building project design professionals about the LEED v4 changes. We were pleased to talk with some of our business partners exhibiting there, including Certified Carbonfree® Product partner Tandus Flooring, Spiezle Architectural Group, and IceStone, LLC.
"LEED v4 is a quantum leap for LEED," commented Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "Over the past 15 years, LEED has fundamentally revolutionized how we design, construct, operate and maintain our buildings and communities. LEED has created a completely new industry of business enterprise committed to energy savings and efficiency. LEED v4 is as much a testament to the achievements of LEED project teams around the world as it is to the green building community's ambition to create significant global and local change through resource-efficient, cost-effective green buildings."
If you’re involved with new building project development or an existing building renovation, please contact Carbonfund.org to discuss earning LEED v4 points for Scope 1 and 2 emissions mitigation.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., BETHESDA, Md. & BARRIE, Ontario, Canada (September 18, 2012) - Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF International are pleased to announce the renewal of LEI Electronics’ Eco Alkalines™ batteries into the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. In addition to completing a carbon footprint, the batteries continue to meet and exceed some of the most important international standards such as PAS 2050 (carbon label standard) and ISO 14044 (life cycle assessment standard).
LEI’s Eco Alkalines™ batteries are entering their third year under the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program offered through NSF International’s Sustainability Division. CarbonFree® certified products are available in multiple countries and LEI reports increasing sales as the product continues to gain acceptance from consumers seeking a cleaner way to meet their battery needs. For example, retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, Grainger, Walmart, Amazon, The Home Depot and many others are recognizing the value of these batteries and offering them to their eco-conscious customers. Commercial customers also report using LEI’s Eco Alkalines™ batteries to assist in meeting their green goals.
LEI Electronics Eco Alkalines™ batteries may also contribute to earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits. LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operation and maintenance solutions. LEED is based on a credit system and points are allocated based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit. Under the current LEED credit system, Eco Alkalines™ batteries may contribute to earning one prerequisite and one point under the LEED category of Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system.
Lionel Lalonde, Partner and Vice President of Sales at Eco Alkalines™, credits their steadily increasing sales to the growing consumer demand for sustainable products and the competitive market edge and product confidence associated with the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. "Certification sets us apart from our competitors," says Lalonde. "We are currently the world's only disposable alkaline battery with this certification. We have found that certification has helped to increase our market share and create customer and brand loyalty among consumers who are seeking to purchase and use eco-friendly products."
CarbonFree® certification also lends credibility to Eco Alkalines™, a relatively newer brand, in a marketplace of well-known battery products. "Although many products claim to be ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly,’ these terms are often used loosely or without a clear description of what that means. We wanted third-party verification from two trusted and recognizable organizations – Carbonfund.org and NSF International - so that consumers would understand and have faith in our green claims," added Lalonde.
Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org Foundation, agrees, “Eco Alkalines™ batteries are an important solution to climate change, providing consumers a simple and affordable way to meet their daily needs while limiting their impact on our environment and supporting innovative carbon-reducing projects globally. Eco Alkalines™ is continuing its commitment to environmental protection and proof positive that what is good for the planet is also good business.”
“By maintaining its CarbonFree® certification through NSF International, LEI’s Eco Alkalines™ batteries continue to lead the disposable battery industry to a more sustainable future and provide businesses and consumers with a certified carbon neutral battery that will help them achieve their green building and sustainability goals,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
Manufactured with 0 percent mercury, lead, and cadmium, Eco Alkalines™ batteries set the standard for responsible disposable alkaline batteries. Eco Alkalines™ brand batteries have ZERO of these heavy metals while all other batteries carry at least one or more of these toxic elements. Eco Alkalines™ batteries use recycled materials where possible and contain 98 percent plus recyclable content. While they are considered landfill safe, recycling is still advised where available. Eco Alkalines™ also have a patented leak resistant seal, ensuring they will not leak into devices.
Visit Eco Alkalines™ at the annual Greenbuild Conference November 14-15 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif. Or learn more by visiting: www.leiproducts.com/eco-alkalines.
About LEI: LEI was established as Logitech Electronics Inc. in 1988. LEI quickly grew to a flourishing import, wholesale, and distribution business with offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shenzhen to support the growing North American business. In addition to the domestic business LEI provided private label products for KOSS Corporation, Sanyo Canada and in excess of 500 private label products for the former RadioShack Canada. Today LEI is an ISO 9001:2008 registered company. They specialize in brand development, global sourcing, web fulfillment, and distribution with an emphasis on eco-friendly products.
AboutCarbonfund.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, operations, systems and supply chains. Product assessments include testing and certification for sustainable products such as green chemicals and building products. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability standards for products such as carpet, flooring, and other commercial building materials.
Additional NSF services include Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems registration, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.