First Airline to Allow Flyers to Offset Carbon Emissions In-Flight To Match Donations Made Onboard * to Environmental Causes
Teammate Volunteers Across U.S. Participate in Restoration Projects
San Francisco – April 22, 2015 – Virgin America, the only California-based airline and the first domestic carrier to offer flyers the ability to offset the environmental impact of their flights while at 35,000 feet, will match all onboard donations made by guests today through April 30, 2015, via the airline’s “Make a Difference” platform* on its seatback entertainment system. For every traveler who offsets the carbon footprint of their flight via the airline’s Red seatback entertainment platform, Virgin America will make a matching donation to both the nation’s leading nonprofit carbon offset provider: Carbonfund.org Foundation and the airline’s nonprofit environmental science education provider: NatureBridge. Since 2008, Virgin America flyers have offset over 15 million pounds of carbon emission through the airline’s simple onboard offset option housed on its touch-screen seatback entertainment platform. The airline is also teaming up with NatureBridge to support restoration projects focused on shoreline clean-up and preservation projects at sites like Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. Across the country, Virgin America teammates in other cities also are participating in local environmental clean-up events in support of Earth Day throughout April.
“As both a Virgin-branded company and the country’s only California-based airline, it’s in our DNA to make environmentally sustainable practices a priority,” said Frances Fiorillo, Senior Vice President of People and InFlight at Virgin America. “California is known the world over for its spectacular natural beauty and for being the birthplace of the environmental movement, so it is only fitting that we do our part and provide opportunities to our teammates and flyers to help protect our state’s most beautiful and scenic natural resources.”
“Our partnership with Virgin America means support for important and innovative projects in the fight against global warming,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “We value our long-standing partnership with Virgin America, an airline that has been committed to sustainability practices since day one. Providing travelers a way to get involved in the sustainability effort, by offsetting their flight emissions fits well with our goal of making it easy and affordable to offset one’s carbon footprint and support emissions reductions.”
Launched in 2007 and headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Virgin America has built sustainable practices into its operations from day one. The airline operates one of the youngest fleets in the U.S. and with investment in new aircraft and engines, the latest navigational systems, and consistent use of best practices on the ground and in the air, its fleet is up to 20% more fuel efficient than the U.S. industry average. The airline’s home base at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2) is LEED® Gold-certified. With additional investments from the airline, Virgin America’s own office spaces within T2 achieved the highest possible LEED® Platinum-certification. Virgin America was also the first airline to offer guests the opportunity to offset their emissions while in-flight. The proceeds from the carbon offset program have supported independently verified offset projects within California including The Hilarides Dairy Project in Lindsay, California that helps to reduce heat-trapping methane emissions which in turn, lessens the impact of global climate change and each year reduces approximately 18,500 metric tons of CO₂ emissions. The project also encourages the development of new technologies, reduces local water pollution and also provides an alternative source of income for local farmers. Since 2010, the airline has also offset its annual carbon footprint for its Burlingame, Calif. based headquarters through Carbonfund.org.
Virgin America has also expanded its partnership with NatureBridge this year to include a $30,000 cash and in-kind donation as well as participation in restoration efforts for teammate volunteers in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Coastal Cleanup Day later this year. Virgin America teammates’ efforts at Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands will help to preserve the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is known for its tide pools, wildflowers and unique rock formations. NatureBridge educators will lead the airline’s teammates this weekend as they help to improve the coastline by removing non-native, invasive plant species along the beach.
“We are so pleased to continue and expand our partnership with Virgin America, an airline that has demonstrated its commitment to the environment and sustainability,” said Jason Morris, NatureBridge Interim President and CEO. “Together, NatureBridge and Virgin America are addressing the urgent need to provide the next generation with a hands-on environmental science education. Partnerships like this are key to our ability to achieve our mission to foster environmental literacy for a more sustainable planet.”
Virgin America’s Earth Day efforts will once again stretch across the nation, with teammate participation in clean-up and restoration projects in each of the airline’s destination cities. Virgin America teammates are supporting clean-up efforts in locations including Long Beach, the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., Independence Park in Newark, Columbus Park in New York, Secret Woods Nature Center in Fort Lauderdale, Desert Bloom Park in Las Vegas, Collins Beach in Portland, Ocean Beach in San Diego and Des Moines Beach Park in Seattle. Volunteers include members of Virgin America’s Green Team – a teammate-led group focused on finding innovative ways across the airline’s operations to reduce the company’s footprint.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has made environmentally sustainable practices part of its training and operations:
- The carrier operates a fleet of 53 new Airbus A320-family aircraft that is up to 20 percent more CO2 efficient than the average U.S. fleet.
- The airline employs environmentally friendly practices, such as minimizing use of auxiliary power units, single-engine taxiing, electronic flight bags, idle reverse landings, utilizing advanced avionics to fly more efficiently and cost index flying – the practice of regulating speed to reduce fuel burn.
- In 2014, Virgin America became the first airline in North America certified to the Federal Aviation Administration to fly 0.1 Required Navigational Performance approaches, enhancing the efficiency of landings in reduced visibility and further minimizing fuel burn.
- Virgin America participates in LSG Sky Chefs’ Zero Waste to Landfill (ZLF) program, which aims to divert available waste from landfills. 100 percent of kitchens serving Virgin America recycle materials, including three kitchens which provide biocomposting, with more to come.
- In 2013 the airline took deliverey of its first Airbus A320 family aircraft with sharklets, wingtip devices with the potential to help the airline realize to 4% additional fuel efficiency across the network. Future deliveries in 2015 and 2016 will also be equipped with the fuel-efficient sharklets.
- In 2011, the airline became the anchor tenant at San Francisco International Airport’s beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2 (T2) – the first major LEED® Gold-certified airport terminal in the U.S. Virgin America made additional investments within its T2 spaces in 2012 to achieve the highest possible LEED® Platinum-certification. Both the Gold and Platinum levels are the first such certifications for a major commercial airport in the U.S.
Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft and broadcast quality b-roll can be found at: https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/about-our-airline/photos.html.
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Editor’s Note:Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline. It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
About Virgin America: Known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past seven consecutive years. For more: www.virginamerica.com.
About NatureBridge: Founded in 1971, NatureBridge provides environmental science education for students in the world’s best classrooms—our national parks. Through residential education programs, NatureBridge connects students to the wonder and science of nature and inspires the stewards of tomorrow. As the largest residential education partner of the National Park Service, the organization serves more than 30,000 students each year and offers programs in six national parks: Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and Prince William Forest Park. NatureBridge also offers professional development opportunities for teachers and family and youth programs. NatureBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit: naturebridge.org
About Carbonfund.org Foundation: Carbonfund.org is the nation’s leading nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact by supporting third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects. Carbonfund.org has over 750,000 individual supporters and works with over 2,000 business partners.
*Donation Match: Virgin America will match donations made to NatureBridge and Carbonfund.org via the airline’s “Make a Difference” donation platform onboard its in-flight entertainment system, Red, from April 22, 2015 through April 30, 2015 up to $10,000.
Spring is here, snow is melting in the northern regions… and lawn care season is just around the corner! For homeowners in the Fairport/Rochester, NY, area, there’s a new choice for mowing and lawn care service that’s committed to Carbonfree® operations.
Carbon Cutters is a multifaceted lawn care service provider offering environmentally responsible and organic lawn care services. The company’s pledge to sustainability can be seen in all aspects of its business practices, including a recent decision to join Carbonfund.org’s Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.
“At Carbon Cutters, we take the environment into consideration with every aspect of our business, from the tools we use to the shirts we wear,” explains Steve Popp, Owner. “We use all electric equipment that will be charged by solar power. We use only environmentally friendly and organic techniques for lawn fertilization. We have partnered with Carbonfund.org to help us offset whatever carbon we generate from our daily business.”
Carbon Cutters was created after recognizing the negative impact of conventional lawn care industry on the environment and seeking to provide a carbon neutral alternative. As Steve puts it, “At Carbon Cutters, we cut the carbon and the chemicals, but never the quality!” Carbonfund.org applauds Carbon Cutters’ commitment to environmental sustainability and creating a clean alternative to traditional lawn care practices.
David and Victoria Byrnes have worked with organic and fair trade producers for over 12 years, helping other brands launch their products nationally. After seeing there were so few organic snack options on grocery shelves for their own family, they decided to launch their very own brand. With hard work and perseverance, and a focus on organic and Non-GMO Verified products, they launched Good Boy Organics in 2012, featuring BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks), Organicasaurus corn puffs, and Yellow Barn Biodynamic® sauces.
As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Good Boy Organics focuses exclusively on certified organic products. Organic agriculture helps capture and retain carbon in the soil through the use of cover-cropping, green manure and compost. The use of petroleum-based fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming systems. Organic agriculture’s focus on soil-building improves soil moisture, so less energy is expended to water crops. Good Boy Organics’ Yellow Barn pasta sauce products are also certified Biodynamic®, an agricultural practice in which all inputs and outputs must be grown and re-used on the farm. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and fosters self-sufficiency.
Despite all of these benefits of certified organic products and Biodynamic® agriculture, Good Boy Organics recognized that its own business operations produced harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including office space energy consumption, product shipping and business-related travel emissions. To enhance their environmental commitment, Good Boy Organics joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership to neutralize those annual operational emissions they could not eliminate.
“I chose to partner with Carbonfund.org and their Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, because their values to environmental sustainability most closely match our own. They are well-known for their efforts helping companies like mine reduce and offset carbon emissions.” David Byrnes, Founder, Good Boy Organics
At Good Boy Organics headquarters, they maintain a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and cans. All materials are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Their office uses energy-efficient lighting and low-heat strategies in order to save energy. These measure help to reduce the carbon footprint from their operations, and the Carbonfree® Business Partnership ensures that remaining emissions are mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.
Over the years, Carbonfund.org has been honored to work with some of the most innovative and environmentally responsible organizations in the world. One of these partners is CREDO, a social change company that offers top-notch products and services, including mobile services and credit cards.
CREDO Mobile is the first mobile phone company in the U.S. to join Carbonfund.org’s Carbonfree® Partner Program, which estimates and offsets the carbon emissions produced from the company’s electricity usage, as well as the shipping of its mobile phones. CREDO Mobile also offsets the carbon footprint of its San Francisco headquarters.
“Carbonfund.org is a breath of fresh air, a cost-effective solution that’s easy for anyone,” states Michael Kieschnick, CEO and President of CREDO.
CREDO and Carbonfund.org currently are partnering on a unique credit card offering with an environmental component. A group of pre-approved CREDO customers will have the opportunity to apply for a CREDO credit card, and after the customer receives and uses the card, CREDO and Carbonfund.org will plant 25 trees on behalf of the customer and send them a $50 Restaurant.com dining reward.
As part of CREDO’s ongoing social and environmental commitments, a portion of all CREDO revenue is donated to progressive nonprofits working for women’s rights, the environment, equality, peace and social justice. Since 1985, CREDO has raised over $76 million for these groups, and their customers and activists help pick the groups and vote on how to distribute the donations.
The CREDO community also comprises a strong political force with more than 3 million activists who are passionate about making a difference in our world. CREDO makes it easier for them to have an impact by giving them simple ways to speak out on issues they believe in. As CREDO puts it, being green isn't just a fad – it’s part of CREDO’s identity, fighting the green fight with dollars, deeds and voices for the past 28 years. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with CREDO to ensure the company’s environmental commitments are realized.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., USA and TROIS-RIVIERES, QUE.,CANADA – Kofcan Inc.’s biomass fuel pellets, which are made from spent coffee grounds, have earned CarbonFree® certification from Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. CarbonFree® product certification for its 15 kg, 25 kg and 1.5 kg bags of coffee pellets is a credible, transparent way for Kofcan to provide a carbon-neutral fuel source to home owners and environmentally-conscious companies.
Kofcan’s biomass fuel pellets were designed to recycle waste into energy and provide a more efficient and lower environmental impact alternative to wood pellets. Instead of contributing to landfills, the spent coffee from which the pellets are made is collected from restaurants and institutions in a 200 km radius of the micro pellets plant in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The resulting pellets have a higher energy output, generating 27.5 percent more BTUs (British Thermal Units) than wood pellets.
In addition to maintaining a low carbon footprint by sourcing spent coffee from local businesses, Kofcan also assessed the environmental impacts of its coffee pellets by undergoing a detailed life cycle assessment to measure its carbon emissions in North America. Kofcan then offset its carbon emissions through investment in third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects provided by Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit and developer of the CarbonFree® Product Certification program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America.
“Kofcan and its founders Michel Cordeau and Sylvain Laroche have developed a truly waste-free and efficient energy source. With the addition of CarbonFree® certification through NSF Sustainability, Kofcan is able to demonstrate the carbon neutrality of its coffee pellets and communicate to home owners as well as industrial companies its commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division.
“Kofcan is proud to have the first energy pellet to be certified CarbonFree® as well as the first energy pellet that creates viable energy from a waste product instead of the harvesting and processing of trees,” said Michel Cordeau, CEO and founder of Kofcan, Inc.
“Joining the ranks of CarbonFree® Business Partners and taking action to neutralize annual carbon emissions through supporting carbon reduction projects marks Kofcan as a leader in the global warming solution,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org.
How the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program Works
The CarbonFree® Product Certification program uses life cycle assessments (LCAs) to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a product’s entire life cycle. GHG emissions (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) that cannot be reduced or eliminated from the product’s life cycle are offset or neutralized with third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects.
A carbon offset is a verifiable reduction in carbon emissions somewhere in the world other than where the emission is generated. These external reductions offer clean energy transformation (e.g. wind, solar), sequestration (e.g. forestry) and clean technology (e.g. energy efficiency). The projects also offer a range of benefits including conservation, clean water, job creation and innovation. Credits are generated when a project is verified and registered – allowing companies to purchase these credits and offset the emissions produced in the manufacturing and use of their products. These credits are then permanently retired on behalf of the product/company.
CarbonFree® certified products earn the use of the CarbonFree® mark along with being listed in the Carbonfund.org online product certification database. The CarbonFree® mark can be found on a variety of products today, including food, beverage, electronics and apparel.
About Kofcan: Kofcan is a young company playing in a big industry and plans to make a global impact by reinventing the meaning of "renewable energy" and the way it is used in the pellet industry. Producing low carbon products such as pellets from used coffee and other recycled raw materials is its primary focus. Kofcan is creating energy through sustainable projects, protecting the planet, and helping people become socially responsible through renewable sources.
About Carbonfund.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 a global independent organization that writes standards, and 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 International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.
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 more sustainable consumer and commercial 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 safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems certifications delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 environmental management systems, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and chain of custody (COC) certifications.
Luggage Shipping Company’s Carbon Offset Program Marks Fifth Anniversary
BOSTON, April 26, 2013 – Luggage Forward, the leading provider of doorstep to destination luggage delivery, marks the fifth anniversary of offering carbon-neutral door-to-door luggage shipments for travelers worldwide. Luggage Forward’s Carbon Offset Program began in 2008 in partnership with Carbonfund.org, the leading nonprofit provider of carbon offset and climate solutions.
Since the program’s inception, thousands of clients have chosen to offset the carbon emissions generated shipping luggage from their home directly to their destination. The amount of carbon offset during the life of this program is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from more than 41,000 gallons of gasoline consumed, or the equivalent of taking 76 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
“Many of our clients appreciate having the option to offset the carbon impact of their travel, so that the spectacular places they visit can be preserved for generations to come,” said Zeke Adkins, Co-Founder of Luggage Forward, “we’re pleased to have given our clients this choice since 2008.”
Luggage Forward was the first, and remains the only, door-to-door luggage delivery service to offer such a program. However, many major shipping providers have since joined this effort and now offer carbon neutral shipping. To mark the fifth consecutive year of participation in the CarbonFree® Shipping Program, Carbonfund.org will be planting 50 trees in recognition of Luggage Forward at the end of the year.
About Luggage Forward
Since 2004, Luggage Forward has set the standard in door-to-door delivery of luggage and sports equipment. The smart alternative to carrying and checking bags, Luggage Forward’s service is transforming today’s travel experience for those who demand the utmost in convenience, reliability and predictability. By leveraging a worldwide network of shipping partners, innovative technology and honest, unparalleled customer care Luggage Forward guarantees that bags will be delivered safely and on-time.
In addition to being a Virtuoso® Preferred Supplier, the company is the exclusive luggage delivery provider for many of the world’s leading travel brands including Abercrombie & Kent, American Express Vacations, Exclusive Resorts, Holland America Line and Seabourn Cruise Line. Luggage Forward has been twice named to the Inc 500|5000 list, ranked as the #9 fastest growing privately held travel company in the United States in 2012. For more information, visit www.luggageforward.com or call 866-416-7447.
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.