New Carbonfree®Business Partner Maison Zahara is a lifestyle brand and online boutique offering ethically sourced products for the home and personal wear, made in non-mechanized ways using high quality local ingredients. The company’s work reflects its philosophy that aesthetic beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; environmental mindfulness is truly luxurious.
“Our future depends on community, preservation, protection of peoples, cultures and traditions,” explains Marisela Feldman, Founder and CEO of Maison Zahara. “Maison Zahara is committed to providing conscious consumers with a sustainable alternative to ubiquitous mass production. Developing strong partnerships with organizations such as Carbonfund.org is less of a choice and more of a responsibility of any scalable business in today's world.”
Maison Zahara’s business is structured to bridge the gap between social and environmental sustainability, as they are of equal importance, yet the former is often overlooked. Sourcing products directly from specific peoples and cultures with a mastery in their particular craft allows Maison Zahara the opportunity to add authenticity to its overall mission. The careful curation of its artist/partner network is an important aspect of the company’s responsibility as a sustainable business. Extending this environmental responsibility to carbon neutral operations further demonstrates Maison Zahara’s commitment to a philosophy and practice of environmental mindfulness and stewardship.
Toronto-based Counting Opinions takes seriously its responsibilities to its customers and to its own operational sustainability. Since 2011, the company has participated in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing over 470,000 pounds of greenhouse gases by supporting clean air technology and carbon emissions reduction projects around the world. These emissions reductions have the same environmental impact as avoiding the use of over 24,000 gallons of gasoline.
“We live in an ever-increasingly complex, global macrocosm. Evidence clearly indicates that humanity is negatively impacting global climate,” states Frank Biss, VP Sales and Operations at Counting Opinions. “As such, each and every one of us has a responsibility to minimize our negative impacts and find ways to more effectively co-exist with nature. The consequences of not doing so are catastrophic. Carbonfund.org in our view exemplifies these most urgent efforts.”
Counting Opinions provides organizations in the libraries community with innovative, comprehensive, cost-effective ways to capture, manage and measure performance data, including open-ended customer feedback, qualitative and quantitative data, trends, benchmarks, outcomes and peer comparisons. Its applications work across all browsers and platforms; are fully hosted in a secure professionally managed IT facility; and require minimal or no customer IT involvement.
Counting Opinions is a true "virtual" company - all staff members work from their respective homes, thus eliminating the carbon dioxide produced and time consumed by daily trips to and from the office. The staff utilizes only electronic communications, minimizing the need for printed documents and conduct sales and support calls by either telephone or electronically, thereby minimizing the company’s "travel footprint." Each year, Counting Opinions makes a donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize remaining operational emissions that it cannot eliminate. In our opinion, these actions count, and Counting Opinions is leading the performance data and customer feedback technology field with its continued commitment to sustainability.
Tampa, FL – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) recently announced the selection of Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) to develop a Zero Waste Principles and Practices course and certification program for North America.
KCI, best known for their innovative approaches to solving complex solid waste management issues for governments, businesses, and industry has assembled a team of zero waste professionals that include Richard Gertman, Laurie Batchelder Adams, Matthew Cotton, and Cascadia Consulting.
David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO, said “Kessler Consulting is an industry thought leader that brings a wealth of professional commitment and experience with zero waste and waste diversion to this project. We are looking forward to providing a course and certification program that sets the standard for zero waste and moves the private and public sector forward in implementing zero waste practices across North America.”
For 27 years, KCI has served more than 200 government and numerous business and private clients with their expertise in solid waste management options and innovative, state-of-the-art collection, processing, and disposal solutions. Mitch Kessler, President of KCI, announced “KCI is honored and excited to have been selected as the team that will forge the future training and certification for solid waste professionals across North America.”
Since 2010, Kessler Consulting has partnered with Carbonfund.org to calculate and neutralize the estimated carbon emissions associated with its annual business operations. This important sustainability program further demonstrates the firm’s commitment to environmental responsibility, and Carbonfund.org commends Kessler Consulting for its sustainability leadership.
The Tower Companies is pleased to announce that the Millennium Building at 1909 K Street in Washington D.C. has won the prestigious TOBY Earth award from the DC chapter of BOMA (the Building Owners and Managers Association). BOMA's Earth award is part of its TOBY (the Office Buildings of the Year) awards program.
TOBY is recognized as the most prestigious, annual award program in the commercial real estate industry. Established by BOMA International in 1984, the TOBY awards process includes a rigorous review of all facets of the building’s operation and management.
The Tower Companies envisions a world where buildings inspire and enrich the lives of their occupants, and create a positive social change. In this world, people seek out buildings that better their health and well-being, connect them to thriving communities and help to sustain the environment.
In order to win this award, the property management and engineering team was required to demonstrate excellence in categories that included environmental regulation and sustainability, energy and water conservation, client relations, emergency preparedness, community impact, as well as staff training and education.
The Tower Companies neutralizes its own Scope I and III annual operating emissions by supporting landfill methane gas-to-energy projects through Carbonfund.org.
A good wealth management firm helps its clients get their financial house in order - a great one makes sure its own house is in order, and is accountable to clients and to operational sustainability as well. New Carbonfree® Business Partner Waymark Wealth Management, located in Westborough, MA, does just this. The firm made the commitment to neutralize its estimated annual operating emissions by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program earlier this year and supporting Carbonfund.org’s forest preservation projects around the world.
The values based independent wealth management firm helps individuals and families align their personal values with their investments and financial decisions. The firm also works to minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible. Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sean Fair participated in the NYC People’s Climate March in 2014 with many other investment companies to show the need for the investment community to take the lead on investing in a sustainable manner. The staff strives to operate as paperless as possible, and use recycled and 100% wind powered generated paper products when required. The company car is electric, and this year, the firm is starting an annual golf tournament to support the local land trust.
“We are all a part of a very delicate and often times misunderstood ecosystem,” expresses Sean Fair, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Waymark Wealth Management. “Environmental and social stewardship must be a priority for everyone if this world is to become the place we all want for our children and future generations. Simply shirking ownership or kicking the proverbial can down the road is no longer an option. We want to help people understand that with every dollar you spend whether it is at the grocery store, buying clothes, the car you drive or money invested in the stock market, you are essentially giving those companies “votes of approval” for how they do business.”
“If we all want sustainability then we need to make sure that we are investing and spending our money with companies that are helping the world achieve that goal. To that end, we are proud to partner with a great non-profit like Carbonfund.org to make sure our company is helping do its part.”
Carbonfree® Business Partner AArete, an international management consulting firm with specialties in supply chain optimization, performance improvement practices and strategic cost reduction, has renewed its annual operational emissions neutralization program with Carbonfund.org for the sixth year. In that time, AArete has neutralized over 2,300,000 pounds of carbon emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and carbon reduction technologies projects. That’s equivalent to removing from the atmosphere the carbon emissions produced by an average passenger car that drives almost 2.5 million miles.
Sustainability is one of the guiding principles of AArete’s corporate culture. The firm is consistently committed to safeguarding our environment and conserving natural resources – not only through day to day actions but through their recommendations to clients.
“AArete is committed to creating a culture that makes the environment a top priority,” explains Skip Behm, CFO & Managing Director of AArete. “Partnering with Carbonfund.org just reinforces our promise to promote sustainability within our company and to our clients.”
AArete provides consulting within various industries to attain bottom line improvement. AArete offers proven methodology that will provide stellar solutions to three primary business concerns:
AArete leads its industry in exceptional client services and in continuous commitments to maintaining environmentally responsible operations. Carbonfund.org appreciates the partnership with AArete and congratulates the firm and its staff for their ongoing efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
Interview with Mr. Dave Drake, Executive Vice President at ASI / Mac-Gray Campus Laundry Solutions
ASI / Mac-Gray Campus Laundry Solutions’ Lighten the Load™ initiative is reducing college carbon footprints while educating students on the benefits of making sustainable choices in the laundry room. By encouraging campuses to reduce the environmental impact of their properties and facilities, and offering them environmentally responsible solutions to accomplish this objective, ASI / Mac-Gray is serving an important role to help campuses further their efforts to promote on campus sustainability. Since the start of the partnership seven years ago, we are proud to report that ASI / Mac-Gray has mitigated over 107 million pounds of CO2 through external carbon reduction projects chosen to meet the voluntary guidelines set forth by the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
ASI / Mac-Gray has supported our exceptional projects located in the “lungs of the Earth” - the Brazilian Amazon. In the world's largest rainforest, the Purus and Russas REDD + (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) Projects will protect over 180,000 acres from slash-and-burn forest clearing and prevent millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.The Projects are located in the State of Acre, Brazil and, have achieved dual-validation to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction.
Carbonfund.org Foundation is a proud partner of ASI-Mac-Gray’s Lighten the Load program and we look forward to building on the great work that has been done over the past seven years. We had the opportunity to speak with Dave Drake, Executive Vice President at ASI / Mac-Gray Campus Laundry Solutions:
1. Please describe your current role as the Executive Vice President at ASI / Mac-Gray in respect to your work in Sustainability and what led you to that position?
ASI / Mac-Gray is a major partner to over 1000 College and University student housing locations. We have a responsibility to provide the most efficient and reliable equipment available for student use, as well to partner with our customers schools objectives to reduce carbon footprints by also providing funding to offset programs to meet the needs of the schools and the challenge of the ACUPCC. I have focused on doing just that for over a decade since high-efficiency machines and programs have been available.
2. How did you get started in sustainability work? How do you see sustainability improving systems in campus laundry solutions?
In the mid-nineties, our industry faced new government requirements to meet utility savings and opportunities for new manufactured washers and dryers from manufacturers that would make a significant impact on water usage and energy savings. It started by educating ourselves to help educate student users on how to be more responsible and how to minimize water and maximize energy savings.
3. What personal accomplishments in the sustainability realm are you most proud of?
We are very proud of developing our carbon-neutral programs to bring awareness to our participating schools. Additionally we have led the industry in setting new standards for installing and operating high-efficiency laundry equipment. We mitigated over 107,000,000 lbs. of CO2 through some great projects. I am also happy to report we are saving hundreds of millions of gallons of water each year with our high-efficiency machines.
4. What are you currently working on in the sustainability realm?
Our current work involves new and advanced machines that are significantly more efficient, new support programs, and new training ideas for users. We continue to push the envelope well in advance of regularly accepted equipment and procedures. We would soon like to include more efficient drying of clothes by sensing the clothes are dry, like home use models do, as this would help Colleges and Universities reduce their use of electricity and natural gas.
5. What is your personal biggest sustainability challenge?
Our biggest challenge is that every year we have hundreds of thousands of freshmen use our facilities for the first time. We must educate and train the new users to properly operate the equipment in the most efficient and manner.
6. What is going to be the biggest challenge for sustainability in the next 20 years?
I hope that government requirements do not exceed the realistic needs to meet the requirements of cleaning today’s clothing. It would be great if someday the garments themselves may require less to clean and help set a new level of sustainability when it comes to laundry.
7. For the next generation of environmental professionals, what advice would you give?
Be open-minded and think out of the box, but look at all results and demands so you can set realistic and meaningful standards that are achievable.
8. How did Carbonfund.org help you achieve your sustainability goals?
We have supported their high quality offset projects that allow us to create carbon-neutral laundry operations for our partner schools. These projects also meet the requirements of the ACUPCC.
This year will mark Dolphin Blue’s 5th anniversary as a Carbonfree® Business Partner. The staff at Dolphin Blue is proud and honored to continue offsetting operational emissions with Carbonfund.org and has decided to take it a step further by purchasing an additional 36 metric tonnes of carbon offsets to neutralize projected annual operating emissions. Including these latest offsets purchased, Dolphin Blue has neutralized almost 718,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 8350 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years.
Dolphin Blue has come a long way these past 5 years, by expanding their business offerings to include all-green, no harm products for household cleaning, lawn and garden care, pet care, children’s toys and body care that are produced with a minimal carbon emissions. Every product that Dolphin Blue carries is made from post-consumer recycled content, requiring less energy to produce, and is made in the USA, which means fewer emissions, compared to products made from virgin materials and imported from other countries.
Dolphin Blue supports initiatives that foster education and awareness in issues of sustainability, energy alternatives, organic agriculture and reducing waste. Dolphin Blue wants everyone who visits their website to be educated on why they are purchasing these items and the difference buying one eco-friendly product can make.
Dolphin Blue also is honored to be associated with organizations such as B Corporation, Green Chamber of Commerce, EPA Green Power Partner, Chlorine Free Products Association, North Texas Clean Air Coalition, Green Source DFW, and the Voluntary Renewable Energy Coalition.
For over 20 years, Dolphin Blue has continued to conduct business always respecting the natural world in which we live, and they ask their customers and other businesses to do the same. That’s why Dolphin Blue is encouraging other B Corps to go above and beyond by offsetting their companies’ annual operational emissions and educating their customers on the importance of reducing their individual carbon footprint.
Snuggled in a residential neighborhood in Lower Nob Hill near Union Square in San Francisco, Hotel Carlton offers its guests an eclectic atmosphere, international ambience, outstanding service and an eco-friendly attitude. As a certified green business, Hotel Carlton strives to incorporate sustainability into all core business operations.
The hotel’s makes every effort to conserve energy, water and natural resources through measures like installing low-flow water fixtures and energy efficient light bulbs throughout the hotel and using Energy Star rated appliances and office equipment. The hotel also has solar panels on the roof that provide 8-10% of the total electrical load for the building.
Beginning in 2007, Hotel Carlton took the additional step to offset its remaining annual operational carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. Each year, Hotel Carlton calculates its annual electricity and heating fuel usage, its employee commuting and business travel emissions, then makes a donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize those emissions by purchasing a corresponding quantity of carbon credits produced by one of our third-party verified and validated carbon offsetting projects. To date, Hotel Carlton has neutralized over 4 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to the emissions produced by driving over 4.3 million miles in a typical passenger car.
Hotel Carlton also strives to increase waste diversion by using paper products with recycled content, and by recycling all paper, bottles, and cans and composting all food and landscape waste. The hotel purchases environmentally friendly products to minimize the use of toxic materials to protect employee and guest health as well as the environment.
Hotel Carlton was constructed on the tip of one of San Francisco’s few chunks of bedrock. The hotel was designed as one of the nation’s very first buildings specifically constructed to withstand earthquakes. This proved to be beneficial in 1989 immediately after the big 7.1 earthquake. Hotel Carlton ended up with just one broken window along with some very superficial plaster cracks.
Hotel Carlton’s décor is inspired by travels from around the world, in particular Nepal, India and Morocco. The lobby is reminiscent of a cozy living room with a roaring fireplace, beautiful Indian accent rugs, and comfortable sofas and armchairs. These elegant and cozy touches underscore the hotel’s commitment to superior guest experiences, and the environmental commitment ensures that the hotel remains a leader in the sustainable hospitality industry.
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.