press releases | carbonfund.org
Monday, 10 January 2011 13:07

Consumer Electronics Trend Toward Sustainability

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For anyone who's ever bought an item sealed in plastic clamshell packaging, it's no secret how difficult it is to open. The shocker is that some manufacturers are finally heeding our frustration and ditching the clamshell -- not just because it's annoying but largely due to the significant cost savings and reduction in environmental impact. When electronic toothbrush manufacturer Philips switched to recycled-cardboard packaging, plastic mass was reduced from 60g to 2g, shipping became "much less expensive," and the company saw a 60% improvement in approval ratings. This is just one trend highlighting the shift in private business to rework products to be more sustainable, as reported in the Consumer Electronics Association 2010 Sustainability Report. The document showcases the best in business when it comes to consumer electronics practices and offers case studies from manufacturers and retailers that focus on energy use, packaging, e-waste and other environmental issues the industry needs to tackle. The report holds up the CarbonFree® Certified Motorola CITRUS™ smartphone as an example of sustainable product design. The CITRUS features a housing made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic, which saves 20% of the energy needed to make the phone housing when compared with standard plastic. It also results in less landfill waste and encourages more recycling by creating a market for used materials. Positive environmental impacts measured in the report include:
  • U.S. sales of EPEAT-certified desktops, laptops, and displays grew nearly 10 percent in 2009, to a total of 48.5 million units.
  • Currently, more than 27,000 consumer electronic product models meet ENERGY STAR specifications set by the EPA and Department of Energy.
  • In 2009, CEA estimated that the electronics recycling efforts of manufacturers and retailers in the U.S. diverted more than 200 million pounds of electronics from landfills.
  • In 2009, the 10 largest CE companies by global revenue donated $882 million, in both cash and products, to support activities that enhance local environments, social well-being, and/or economic development.
The growing commonality of sustainable practices in business is an undeniable win for the environment but, as Greenbiz.com editor Matthew Wheeland explains, "These changes -- which are taking place across the electronics industry -- are not happening because of their environmental benefits, but because of the business benefits. And that makes the green improvements even more likely to continue."
Here’s a inspiring concept for the new year – a consumer finance company that is committed to its customers and to the environment! Euroloan Consumer Finance OYJ, based in Helsinki, Finland, provides instant consumer credit to customers throughout Europe. The company is an innovative market leader with a vision to be the most valuable service provider in the instant consumer finance business in Europe. The company’s business model provides a fully automated, web-based service that improves the loan process and offers customers the possibility to choose their own payment plan. Euroloan has been very successful in establishing and expanding its market position, with services currently available in 38 European countries. The management and personnel of Euroloan Consumer Finance Oyj are committed to protecting the environment, and they “walk the walk” in the following ways:
  • Minimize travel and maximize the efficient use of electronic communication
  • Use public transportation as much as possible
  • Reuse, save and recycle and use environmentally friendly  supplies
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water
  • Allocate money from each product sold for environmental protection
As an extra step, Euroloan has committed to donate $1 to Carbonfund.org for every ten loans granted to support environmentally-beneficial projects, including planting trees in deforested areas of the world. “We have found this complements our endeavour for a better environment and hope other companies will follow,” a bold stride and part of the Euroloan  environmental commitment.  Indeed – we at Carbonfund.org agree with our friends at Euroloan. If we all “walk the walk,” our efforts will have a significant collective impact on improving the health of our environment.
nika_logoCarbonfund.org congratulates our partner Nika as the first business to win San Diego’s “Most Significant Impact by a Business” Stay Classy award presented in part by NBC Sandiego.com. Nika has taken bottled water and turned it into a social, environmental, and economic mission; they invest 100% of their profits into clean water projects in Latin America, Africa, and India. They report that over 20% of the world’s population does not have clean water available. On top of that, Nika is CarbonFree® Certified. They have undergone a strict life-cycle assessment of the carbon footprint of their product, from making the plastic bottles, to shipping the water, to recycling or disposal of the water bottles. They invest in reforestation to remove that amount of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. So again, congrats Nika! It couldn’t have happened to a classier company.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 15:44

Ecocamp Patagonia Praised in Responsible Tourism Awards

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CarbonFree® Partner Ecocamp Patagonia was awarded the label “Highly Commended” in the Best in A Mountain Environment category by the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2009. This year the whole world learns what we at Carbonfund.org knows– Ecocamp Patagonia is one of the best, most environmentally responsible ways to tour South America. Certified as a leader in environmental management, Ecocamp Patagonia incorporates “leave no trace” principles into its design. Working with Carbonfund.org, Ecocamp Patagonia has calculated and offset their entire carbon footprint for two straight years. We’re inspired by their leadership in creating an incredible vacation while being eco-responsible.
Friday, 02 April 2010 12:49

Consumers Demand Green Goods Despite Economy

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Despite the recession, consumers will still pay more for 'green' goods. This according to a survey done by Mintel, an international market research firm. Mintel's 'green' living survey showed that more than 35% of US consumers will pay more for environmentally-friendly products. Also, the market for 'green' products outperformed the economy as a whole in 2009. Renew phOne product category, green electronics, showed substantial growth in 2009, most likely do to the increased availability of environmentally friendly electronics like the CarbonFree® Certified MOTO W233 Renew mobile phone. However, the growth of the most frequently purchased green products, household cleaners and paper products, declined slightly. Natural and organic foods was also a strong product category with 28% of the survey group reporting that they buy as much, or more organic food then before the recession and only 21% claiming to have cut down on or eliminated their organic food purchases. This survey would logically lead to the assumption that consumers are becoming more educated and savvy about the purchases they make and how they impact the environment and their personal health. It suggests that buying 'green' is becoming a core lifestyle choice for many of today's consumers.
In a world that is increasingly interrelated, the Compton Foundation seeks to foster human and ecological security by addressing contemporary threats to these inalienable rights. The foundation supports responsible stewardship that respects the rights of future generations to a balanced and healthy ecology, both personal and global, allowing for the full richness of human experience. The Foundation envisions a world in which humans live in harmony with each other, and in sustainable balance with the earth. Dorothy and Randolph Compton believed that world peace would only be possible if the conditions that brought about war could be eliminated. As a result they focused their funding on the problems of the rapid growth of the human population, the depletion of natural resources due to population growth and increasing consumption levels, the accompanying degradation of the environment, and the chaotic status of human rights in much of the world. Dorothy and Randolph’s vision is still alive today and still very much a part of the Foundation’s legacy. Times have changed and the Foundation recognizes new approaches and new problems, but it continues to honor the Founders’ ideas and values and the world challenges they met with such passion. In its Environment and Sustainability grantmaking, the Compton Foundation seeks a balanced and healthy relationship between humans, other life, and the planet. The Foundation believes it is possible to pursue a holistic and sustainable vision that blends concern for environmental conservation and economic viability, links urban and rural priorities, supports land and water health, and views humans as one part of the natural world. The Foundation has chosen three focus areas in which to make a meaningful contribution to realizing this vision in the United States: I. Advancing ecologically healthy, economically sustainable, and socially just visions for the care and use of fresh water; II. Promoting community-based strategies to support healthy ecosystems and thriving rural communities; III. Reducing the US contribution to global climate change. The Compton Foundation’s internal Environmental and Social Sustainability Policies address many areas that ensure that the Foundation, its work and its staff are living the same mission as the Foundation espouses. Public transit costs for commuting staff are subsidized, flexible work hours are encouraged so that staff can avoid traffic congestion, and the Foundation applies carbon offsets to all Foundation related air travel by staff, Board members, guest speakers and Compton Fellows. The Carbonfund.org Foundation is proud to partner with the Compton Foundation to help them reach their goal of achieving no net emissions related to the Foundation’s travel. The Foundation actively votes its proxies for environmentally and socially responsible corporate policies, and it maintains at least 85% of the Compton Foundation endowment in environmentally and socially screened investments. As shareholders, the Foundation co-signs letters to corporate management requesting more environmentally sustainable practices. And in their offices, Compton Foundation staff use 100% post-consumer recycled paper, re-use paper whenever possible, buy local, organic (or pesticide-free), and fair-trade foods, buy sustainably-produced office supplies, and purchase 100% biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning supplies. The Foundation subsidizes up to five days of paid volunteer activity at a nonprofit organization for each staff member every year, matches on a 2:1 basis charitable contributions of $100 or more made by staff and Board members, up to a total of $9,000 per person per year. The Foundation will continue to be a partner with all working for a positive future. Over the next three years, The Compton Foundation will maintain or increase the level of grant dollars that support policy, advocacy, and organizing and underserved communities. The Foundation takes its role as private trustee of the public benefit very seriously and as such will do its part to support people working for democratic, positive social change.
bikeandrollThe Union Station Bike Transit Center, dubbed the first commuter bike station on the East Coast, in D.C. is having its grand opening and accepting memberships online. To learn about the offerings and memberships at the 100+ bike facility, visit the Bikestation site. Bike and Roll, a leading bicycle rental and tours company, is handling the day-to-day operation of the Center, located adjacent to Union Station.
Today, Carbonfund.org announced the opening of the public comment period for Version 3 of the CarbonFree® Product Certification Carbon Footprint Protocol. The public comment period on this document will be open from Friday, Nov. 20 until Close of Business, Monday, Dec. 21. Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification label is aimed at increasing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the products we buy, as well as providing companies the opportunity to reduce and offset their product’s carbon footprint. Currently, you can find the CarbonFree® certified label on select Motorola phones, Florida Crystals Sugar, Anvil T-shirts, and Grounds for Change coffee. For a complete listing of all the CarbonFree® certified products, click here. Carbonfund.org has worked with international bodies to develop a rigorous protocol that provides the guidelines and boundaries for determining the carbon footprint of CarbonFree® certified products. Click here to download the latest version of the protocol for comment. Please submit all comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by close of business, Monday, Dec. 21.