New Carbonfree® Business Partner, Sparkfactor.org, wants to make it simpler for companies to support programs that provide better access to educational opportunities for all.
Sparkfactor.org is the nonprofit division of Sparkfactor Design, with programs centered on technological and philanthropic innovation, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education for underprivileged communities. They also focus on corporate giving, and on making it as simple as possible for other companies to donate.
Sparkfactor.org found the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program to be an equally simple and affordable way to neutralize a portion of their operational emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction, mitigation and sequestration projects.
In order to spur further innovation, Sparkfactor.org has also begun a program called Makers 4 Good. Its goal is to create strategic partnerships between “maker” companies and other nonprofits for the mutual benefit of both. The flagship product will be a battery-powered USB charger developed by Sparkfactor Design.
The team at Sparkfactor.org believes that everyone should have access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, and that their partners and supporters can bring both expertise and financial support to bear in the effort to democratize technical learning. In the 21st Century, STEM topics will continue to weave their way into nearly all human endeavors, and Sparkfactor.org wants to make sure there are as many seats at the table as possible.
Sparkfactor.org recently announced their latest STEM program awardees, seven organizations receiving funding to advance innovative ways to bring technological education to students in underserved communities. Carbonfund.org commends Sparkfactor.org’s work and their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their own operations, while supporting the educational advancements of the organizations they support.
Celebrating over thirty years, Earth Science Naturals creates products with the goodness of natural ingredients enhanced with plant-based nutrients, vital vitamins, soothing botanicals, hydrating moisturizers and pure essential oils. Committed to providing environmentally safe skin, body, and hair care without parabens, animal testing, animal-derived ingredients or artificial colors, Earth Science Naturals cares about its customers, and about the environment we share.
Earth Science also cares about the impact its business has on our environment. Even with the care taken to choose the most environmentally-safe products and practices, Earth Science knows its own office energy use, product transportation and business travel creates greenhouse gas emissions. To neutralize this impact, Earth Science partners with Carbonfund.org to support carbon emissions reduction and clean air projects. Since joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program seven years ago, Earth Science has neutralized over 600,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, the equivalent to planting almost 7000 trees and growing them for ten years.
“At our core, we believe that having a “healthy” business means striving to do good in the world,” explains Kenneth Grand, Owner and President. “A proud sponsor of Carbonfund.org, Earth Science Naturals is dedicated to supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against climate change by supporting climate-friendly projects."
Earth Science will be launching a new hair care line this fall with all locally sourced packaging and bottles at 80% post-consumer content. They’ve repackaged their Active Age Defense line in more sustainable packaging, use recyclable components manufactured locally, choosing American-made, recycled, and sustainable resources whenever possible. All cartons hold the FSC seal, certified to ensure responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Earth Science is dedicated to support the fight against climate change by encouraging and supporting climate-friendly projects, locally and nationally. By specifically seeking out local vendors and local manufacturing facilities, Earth Science reduces transportation and its related pollution. All Earth Science products are produced in California, near the corporate offices in Santa Barbara, and many products have been formulated using organic and fair trade extracts and oils.
As a family-run business, Earth Science Naturals values giving back to and staying connected with its national and local communities. Earth Science Naturals has been a strong supporter of not only global environmental concerns, but also local organizations that work toward building healthy, sustainable communities, through planting trees, funding educational programs, pet adoptions or providing meals.
Summer is fast approaching, and as temperatures climb and everyone heads to the beaches, thoughts turn to the delights of creamy, cool summer ice creams. New Carbonfree® Business Partner Beachy Cream is helping to satiate ice cream lovers through its store in Santa Monica and through grocery stores and restaurants in the broader southern California area. Beachy Cream manufactures and sells only certified organic ice cream, all of which is made in small batches, with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, such as dairy products from Straus Family Creamery and produce from the local farmer’s markets.
This year, Beachy Cream made the important decision to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, to expand on its responsibilities as a Certified Santa Monica Green Business and to neutralize 36 metric tonnes of operating emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction, clean energy and forestry preservation projects.
“At Beachy Cream, we are committed to organic because we believe it is the best hope our planet has for improving our environment and all living beings,” explains Ann Ryan, CEO and Founder of Beachy Cream. “We are honored to be partnered with Carbonfund.org and share its vision, values and goal to fight global warming.”
With tempting flavors like Strawberry Balsamic Swirl and Candied Ginger, along with several vegan flavor options and hot dogs, chili, grilled cheese and more at the Santa Monica shop, Beachy Cream is sure to lead the organic ice cream revolution and stand out as a sustainable business operation as well. Carbonfund.org is pleased to welcome Beachy Cream to the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.
Salsa Labs helps nonprofits ignite action and fuel change by growing and engaging a base of support through its all-in-one online engagement platform. But for their own annual business activities, Salsa has chosen to mitigate the impact of their fuel consumption by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction, clean air technology and forest preservation projects.
Since joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program in 2010, Salsa has neutralized almost a million pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the emissions created by driving a passenger car over a million miles.
“Carbonfund.org shares our core values of making the world a better place," comments Tammy Sproule, Director of Marketing at Salsa. "Their commitment to the environment and fighting climate change is inspiring and we look forward to this partnership.”
With Salsa, organizations can easily organize their supporters and chapters, fundraise, advocate, communicate through email and social media, host events and measure results. The company currently empowers more than 3,000 organizations and their more than 92 million donors, members, activists and fans.
Earlier this year, Salsa announced the release of its newest software, Solis. Designed to help growing nonprofit organizations – including many environmental organizations -- take full advantage of online communications, outreach and fundraising, Solis guides its users step-by-step through developing email, donation, social sharing and online CRM tools, all in one application.
“By integrating all the tools nonprofits need as well as proven best practice guides and tips within the application, we save organizations more than just time. We can lead even the smallest nonprofit to success,” said Charles Parsons, Director of Product Development.
Carbonfund.org commends Salsa Labs for creating scalable solutions for nonprofit and advocacy groups of all sizes, and for maintaining an ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility for its own operations.
Some may think jellyfish are simply a pesky problem when we want to take a swim or snorkel, but they are actually a sign of flagging oceanic health. We think of them as the canary in the coal mine. The difference is the canary dies when there is a problem, but jellyfish flourish in the conditions that global warming wreaks on our oceans.
Climate change heats and acidifies the planet’s oceans. Overfishing adds to the first two major problems. All three contribute to creating an ideal environment for jellyfish to thrive and multiply. So what’s the big deal if there are too many jellyfish?
The issue is that jellyfish take a bad situation and make it worse. They have a unique trait where they’re able to eat up the food chain. This is surprising considering these sea creatures don’t even have brains. However, they actually can consume animals that are bigger, smarter and faster than they are. They damage the ecosystem further by competing with large mammals, such as whales, by feeding on the same fish and plankton that these other animals need to survive.
Marine expert Lisa-ann Gershwin wrote the new book Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean. She points to an example where jellyfish wiped out an entire food chain simply by eating from the bottom up.
The jellyfish species Mnemiopsis leidyi was accidentally introduced into the Black Sea in the early 1980s. In just a few short years, these jellyfish comprised “95 per cent of the biomass in the Black Sea”. This means “ninety-five per cent of every living thing was this one species of jellyfish”.
Jellyfish could rule our planet’s oceans as they once did in the Precambrian era. A time when biodiversity was low, the jellyfish commanded the oceans, and mammals and reptiles did not exist. This is a scary eventuality, that our feet are firmly planted on the path towards. We need to heed the warnings that these gelatinous invertebrates provide and begin seriously reducing our carbon footprints and offsetting the rest of our carbon emissions.
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.
According to the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can help companies realize $12.3 billion in energy savings and reduce carbon emissions by 85.7 million metric tons annually by the year 2020. This staggering carbon emissions reduction figure is equivalent to mitigating the emissions from almost 181 million barrels of oil each year.
These compelling statistics are creating a surge in cloud computing options and providers; the challenge is to find the right provider offering the breadth of computing services, systems security and deliver the flexibility required by each business.
Chicago-based Steadfast Networks offers an additional benefit to its customers by operating in a CarbonFree® environment. Steadfast Networks calculates the annual carbon emissions from all base operations and neutralizes those emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air technology projects. Steadfast Networks also provides a CarbonFree® option to all customers by calculating and mitigating specific operational emissions through Carbonfund.org for each customer’s dedicated or co-located server energy consumption.
"At Steadfast, we're always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Carbonfund.org fit organically into our business model and so it was pretty much a “no brainer” for us," explains Karl Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Steadfast Networks.
Steadfast Networks specializes in highly flexible cloud computing, including options for dedicated servers or collocation services at their fully redundant data centers in Chicago and New York. The facilities used by Steadfast Networks are highly engineered to assure reliability and maximize energy efficiency, resulting in a significantly reduced carbon footprint. Their status as a CarbonFree® Business Partner sets Steadfast Networks above the competition for companies seeking the most environmentally responsible options for cloud computing solutions.