Like many of us who’ve had the opportunity to travel to other countries, Scott Leonard was profoundly affected by his trip to South America back in 1993 where he encountered the priceless beauty of clothes produced by local artisans. The richness of the culture and the amazing knitting techniques prompted him to bring back more than a souvenir to his Northern California home. He returned with a vision to pioneer a new business model. He would invite customers to wear ethically made clothing—fashion that demonstrates a commitment to those who created the designs, as well as to the environment that supports us all.
Together, Scott and co-founder Matt Reynolds have helped form a scalable artisan network through the INDIGENOUS clothing line that reflects a commitment to sustainability, social entrepreneurship and responsible actions by consumers and business alike.
By designing clothes made with organic cotton and natural fibers, Scott and Matt hadn’t just made a smart move for the planet; they were making a savvy business decision as well. After all, organic clothes will never go out of fashion. That’s because organic clothing supports people and planet, keeping toxins off our bodies and out of our environment.
This year, INDIGENOUS expanded its environmental stewardship by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program. Through Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects, INDIGENOUS is able to neutralize its operational emissions while supporting innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry preservation projects.
Earlier this spring, INDIGENOUS was recognized for its positive overall social and environmental impact, receiving a “best for the world” scoring in the top 10% among Certified B Corporations.
Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds, along with their passionate tribe of “style ambassadors” and fair trade artisan partners, strive to transform the often opaque fashion industry into one respected for producing beautiful and trendy clothes through transparent, ethical and eco-friendly methods. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with INDIGENOUS in its effort to lead the fashion industry towards sustainable business practices.
ClimateStore Inc., located in Boston, MA, officially became a Carbonfree® Partner with CarbonFund.org. The newly launched retail brand has a mission to make it fun and easy for people to reduce their carbon footprint, and launched its on-line brand, climatestore.com, this past Earth Day. The company seeks to close a gap in the retail space, namely, the lack of an easily recognizable retail brand focused entirely on climate change.
ClimateStore hopes to tap into a growing market of climate conscious consumers, and carbon offsets play an important role in its sustainability strategy. To help realize its mission, ClimateStore purchased offsets from a portfolio of reforestation and forest conservation projects to offset emissions from its operations including energy use at its offices, freight and parcel shipping, employee commutes, and business travel. The company also relies on partnerships with like-minded organizations, like Carbonfund.org and 1% for the Planet, to support climate change awareness programs and forest conservation initiatives.
“With the recent release of the latest UN IPCC report and U.S. National Climate Assessment, there can be no doubt this is a critical issue current for future generations. More people are asking what they can do to reduce their carbon impact” says Steven E. Bushnell, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of ClimateStore Inc. “There is a false perception that moving to a lower carbon economy will require giving things up or need extra effort. We take the opposite view; lowering one’s carbon footprint should be fun, easy and rewarding as we collectively secure the stable climate we all hope to live in.”
The ClimateStore.com website provides summaries of climate science, issues an urgent call for action, suggests plans to reduce personal carbon emissions, and provides products to help people achieve a lower carbon footprint. The company launched with about 250 carbon saving products, including: energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear and accessories. Each product is evaluated by ClimateStore staff to identify exact how it saves carbon - including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle - and communicate their findings with a simple icon system and detailed product descriptions.
For Colorado residential and commercial property owners faced with construction defect issues, there’s a leading law firm that specializes in effective case verdicts and settlements, and that’s also a leader in managing its own environmental responsibilities.
Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. is one of the leading construction defect litigation law firms in Colorado, representing property owners with construction defect claims against builders, subcontractors, and their insurance companies. The firm takes a unique approach to construction defect cases, developing and implementing several alternative approaches to construction defect claims that often resolve claims without their clients ever stepping foot in a courthouse.
This leadership in creative and effective construction defect case settlement parallels the firm’s leadership in its ongoing commitment to maintaining environmentally sustainable business operations.
Six years ago, Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. committed to offset 100% of its carbon footprint created by office activities, including electric usage and business car travel, in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Each year, the firm makes a donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize its annual estimated operational emissions by supporting third-party verified renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation projects.
To date, the firm’s carbon footprint offsets have neutralized almost 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gases, the same quantity as is sequestered in a year by five acres of US forest lands preserved from conversion to cropland.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Carbonfund.org,” states Doug Benson, Founding Partner. “We hope that our commitment to offset our carbon footprint will serve as an example to other law firms, community associations and their vendors.”
Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson in their ongoing efforts to maintain environmentally responsible business operations.
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.
For over 28 years, Hornblower Cruises & Events has been the premier yacht charter and public dining cruise company in Southern California. With the largest fleet of luxury entertainment yachts in Los Angeles and Orange County, Hornblower prides itself on exceeding expectations with uncompromising quality and exceptional service.
Hornblower joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program in 2008 by calculating and offsetting the emissions from their office and charter boat operations at their Newport Beach facilities, which serves the greater Los Angeles region. Through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, Hornblower supports carbon emission reductions achieved through energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry projects around the world. In addition, Hornblower has taken the unique step of offering a path for their own customers to join their efforts to “Respect Our Planet”, by giving them an opportunity to offset their own carbon footprint related to cruising with Hornblower, as part of the ticket price.
“Hornblower Cruises & Events is dedicated to find ways to provide our guests with a unique dining experience while doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint. Our partnership with Carbonfund.org makes this possible.” Explains Rebecca Milkey, Director of Marketing for Hornblower Cruises & Events Southern California.
Maintaining their Carbonfree® Partnership program is part of Hornblower’s corporate environmental outreach program, Respect Our Planet, which guides the company’s principles and programs. Through Respect Our Planet, Hornblower is committed to conducting operations in the most environmentally friendly methods possible, educating along with motivating tour guests to make positive changes in their lives and creating outreach and education around the preservation of the habitats in the communities they serve.
Are your graduation robes made of recycled plastic bottles? Did you find your dress shoes at the secondhand shop? Take the next step in greening your graduation with National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program and Carbonfund.org!
Achieve a carbon-neutral graduation ceremony by investing in verified and validated carbon offsets that support renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects, at a special rate for Campus Ecology program campus partners. Honor each graduate with the gift of carbon offsets to send them out into the world a little bit greener.
The NWF Campus Ecology Program provides tools and resources to help students, staff, campus greening committees and sustainability officers “take a big step to make a smaller footprint” when it comes to campus greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the campus’s overall environmental footprint.
In addition to graduation greening programs, NWF Campus Ecology and Carbonfund.org can assist colleges and universities with various sustainability initiatives, including plans to reduce or neutralize emissions from facility energy consumption, grounds maintenance and operations, travel and events year-round.
Last month there was a question as to whether or not Ford lobbied Congress on the Keystone XL Pipeline. However, publically the automakers’ sustainability marketing promises to help achieve "climate stabilization". In the US, companies have to disclose the subject of their lobbying, but do not have to disclose the position for which they are lobbying. This incomplete reporting raises consumer and investor concerns. Smart businesses are beginning to embrace transparency on climate change policies.
Take Ikea Group, for example. The company recently released this infographic to transparently share their position on climate change. In it, IKEA explained why climate change is relevant to its business interests. And they not only made it clear where they stand on the issue and which policy actions they support, they also communicated the message directly to European policymakers. IKEA is lobbying for ambitious, legally-binding 2030 targets for carbon dioxide emissions, renewable power and energy efficiency.
Not all companies take a black or white stance on global warming. Some are merely silent on the issue. There are a multitude of reasons including fear of publically taking a position on a political topic that might push away customers. Some businesses are grappling internally with climate change’s risks and opportunities, putting out consistent messaging, and trying to find the capacity to publically engage on the issue. Whatever the reason, it is certainly delaying much needed political breakthroughs on climate change.
Although businesses fall different places on the continuum of how to publically address climate change, there are resources available to help them engage responsibly with the issue. Take this guide that is a baseline for action and transparent reporting from the World Resources Institute, which was informed by the United Nations and business leaders, policymakers, and investors.
With the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, companies can expect more scrutiny from customers, shareholders and stakeholders regarding their position on global warming. Businesses can make a positive impact on the issue and the time to start acting is now.
One cup of premium loose leaf tea inspired Beth Johnston to get into the tea business, and environmental responsibility drives the company’s commitment to organic teas, sustainability practices and Carbonfree® business operations.
“Conserving our planet’s precious resources has always been a personal concern for me. With our continued expansion, both importing and shipping customer orders, I felt a further responsibility to take it on corporately,” says Beth Johnston, Founder and CEO. “We had been looking for an effective way to offset the impact Teas Etc. has on the environment but also wanted to give our customers the choice to offset theirs. We did our homework, looked at a couple of different options and decided that Carbonfund.org was the right partner to help us meet our goals.”
For the seventh consecutive year, Teas Etc. is offsetting its own carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. In an effort to generate greater awareness about sources of carbon emissions, Teas Etc. offers customers the option of offsetting the carbon footprint created by shipping their orders. To date, Teas Etc. and its customers have neutralized the same quantity of emissions as would be sequestered by almost 11,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
Teas Etc is has provided premium quality award winning teas and modern accessories to wholesale and retail customers for over 15 years. The company is USDA certified to package and to distribute organic products, and has a complete line of organic teas. In addition to their tea line, the company manufactures the innovative, award winning Tea Traveler® that allows tea drinkers to enjoy loose leaf teas on-the-go. The company opened in 1998 with its headquarters in Palm Beach, FL has an office in Nanjing, China and a permanent show room at AmericasMart in Atlanta, GA.
In addition toCarbonfree® operations,Teas Etc. supports a local recycling program, utilizes recycled paper goods, biodegradable packing materials and chemical-free cleaning products. Their ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, high quality products and excellent customer services confirms Teas Etc. as a leader in responsible online premium loose leaf tea retailing and wholesaling.
When Carbonfund.org Foundation was created ten years ago with the motto “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, we knew we were positioning ourselves as the last-in-line solution in sustainability plans. The climate change education component to our mission is a very important one, and a significant portion of our website is dedicated to providing ways that businesses and individuals can reduce their carbon footprint before considering carbon offsetting strategies.
This approach has attracted businesses that take seriously their responsibility to seek out recycling, reuse, energy efficiency and emissions reduction opportunities. Fireclay Tile, a California-based sustainable tile manufacturer, is a great example.
“We are scavengers at heart and scrappy when it comes to saving resources; therefore we are committed to finding new and innovative ways to reuse cast off materials, and to incorporate sustainability into all levels of our manufacturing process, explains Eric Edelson, CEO of Fireclay Tile. “We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org simply because tile is heavy, and we wanted to offset the carbon footprint created by shipping our tile all over the world.”
Fireclay Tile’s Carbonfree® Business and Shipping program is a final step in the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Fireclay uses Carbonfund.org’s online business calculator to compute annual carbon emissions from office energy usage, business travel, and product shipping and delivery. The resulting offset donation supports forestry initiatives around the world that sequester carbon dioxide in formal third-party validated, verified and audited projects.
Fireclay’s unique process includes made-to-order tile using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices in their California operations. Their recycled clay body boasts of over 70% recycled materials, which include post-consumer glass, granite dust, and porcelain from toilets collected to back water conservation efforts in the Bay Area. Fireclay’s glass tiles line is composed of 100% recycled glass from local window and solar panel production industries.
Fireclay maintains onsite recycling practices that include water reclamation at cutting and mixing stations, along with rainwater capture at their Aromas, CA factory. Glaze overspray is captured at each glazing station and is included with all scrap material and anything considered defective, then crushed into an aggregate for making the recycled clay. All orders are packaged for shipment using 100% recycled boxes, reused shipping crates, and sawdust from a local furniture manufacturer used to cushion shipments.
A fine example of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Fireclay Tile is walking the walk, and Carbonfund.org is proud to assist in that last step.
Among the benefits of our Carbonfree® Business Partnership for small companies are program affordability, applicability to businesses in all industries, and ease of utilizing the program benefits. The program simplifies the process of neutralizing operational emissions and creates the opportunity for any business to become carbon neutral.
A great example of a small business that recognized these benefits is Brynmorgen Press, a small publisher located in Brunswick, Maine that specializes in books and videos about jewelrymaking, metalsmithing, and design. Tim McCreight started Brynmorgen Press in 1985 to provide practical, high quality textbooks on metalworking and design.
“We are committed to creating books, but recognize the need to replenish the trees required for our products,” explains Tim. “By supporting reforestation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects through Carbonfund.org, we have become Carbonfree®.”
To augment its environmental commitments, Brynmorgen Press recycles office waste and prints on recycled paper with soy inks. To conserve energy, Tim and his team wear jackets in the office on cold days and go barefoot in the summer!
Tim McCreight started Brynmorgen Press after he'd published two books with commercial publishers. He thought he might enjoy getting involved in the design and production aspects of publishing, and apparently he was right. Three decades later, he's still writing, designing, and illustrating books, and he’s able to maintain a Carbonfree® operation easily and affordably through Carbonfund.org.