To inaugurate the New Year, CarbonFree® Business Partner Inner Ecology™ is proud to become one of the very first Benefit Corporations in the state of Illinois. Founding Director Amanda Kreiss joined thirteen pioneering business leaders to join this newly-established corporate structure to help forge a more sustainable and inclusive economy.
Inner Ecology facilitates the responsible sourcing, assessing, and dispensing of East Asian traditional medicinals of whole plant, mineral and animal origin for the benefit of its customers’ environmental and economic health. Inner Ecology seeks to provide consistent leadership in forging a fresh approach to social entrepreneurship within the field of East Asian Medicine.
Three years ago, Inner Ecology augmented its environmental sustainability commitment by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its annual operational carbon emissions and support carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world.
“We relish this singular opportunity to demonstrate publicly the level of our commitment to good stewardship and to be held accountable for the high standards we set”, asserted Amanda Kreiss, the Founding Director of Inner Ecology. “In the longer term, a central aim of our business is to do our part to "green" the profession of East Asian Medicine and support domestic cultivation of our medicinals.”
Benefit Incorporation revives the tradition of corporate charters from an era when states expected and demanded that corporations serve the public good. In Illinois, Benefit Corporations are now legally required to include this material positive impact on society and the environment in their articles of incorporation, and to publicly report annually on overall social and environmental performance in compliance with comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standards. This offers businesses more freedom in defining success and provides legal protection for those looking to pursue a corporate purpose other than simply maximizing profits.
Carbonfund.org recognizes Inner Ecology’s leadership, both in its ongoing pursuit of environmentally-responsible operations and its new focus on a broader social commitment to fully accountable reporting on all social and environmental performances.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was launched in 2007 with the goal of helping businesses of all sizes – start-ups through global Fortune 1000s – to make a commitment to environmentally-sustainable operations and to keep that commitment for the long haul.
Six years later, we’re honoring over 100 small businesses that have been consistent CarbonFree® Business Partners for the past five and six years. One of these businesses is Moxie Bookkeeping of Brooklyn, New York, started in 2004 by Ean Murphy, with the purpose to serve small operations and to make bookkeeping a valuable tool for making smart decisions instead of one more hassle at the end of a long week.
While Moxie Bookkeeping does not sell ‘green’ products, they’ve made the conscious decision to provide services in the most environmentally-responsible way possible. This included joining our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in 2008. Moxie Bookkeeping makes an annual donation to Carbonfund.org in order to support our carbon reduction and clean energy innovation projects around the world. In addition, Moxie Bookkeeping focuses their service on electronic delivery wherever possible, to avoid printed statements and checks. Their office products are purchased through green product providers and recycling is mandatory in their offices.
“I can’t run my business without using electricity and natural resources,” says Ean Murphy. “I want to make sure I am an active part of the solution.” Through her long-term partnership with Carbonfund.org, Ean is able to provide her holistic bookkeeping services in a CarbonFree® work environment.
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.
The “Leave No Trace Behind” ethic is supported by the four major US federal land management agencies and by most eco-travel organizations trying to uphold high standards of environmentally-responsible tour operations. These principles can be followed in eco-tourism planning and observed onsite during tours, but eco-travel operations still generate other sources of harmful environmental emissions through transportation and onsite energy consumption during tour operations.
Carbonfund.org works with several eco-tour operators who take their environmental commitment beyond the tenets of “Leave No Trace Behind” by measuring, reducing where possible and mitigating all carbon emissions from their operations, and CarbonFree® partner Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures is a great example.
Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures maintains carbon neutral operations for the transportation and energy consumption they cannot eliminate by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air and carbon reduction projects around the world.
"It's so important to do what we can to leave the smallest impact possible here on planet earth. This is why we partner with the Carbonfund.org," states Taylor Phillips, Owner and Lead Guide for Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures.
Eco Tour Adventures was created with the idea of helping people connect with and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world through wildlife observation and natural history interpretation. Their premise is that their tour guests develop a stronger bond with the natural world and will make more environmentally sound choices in their daily lives. TripAdvisor recently named Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures as one of ten great wildlife tours. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Eco Tour Adventures in their carbon emissions mitigation efforts, helping their organization serve as a positive role model for its tour guests and for other eco-tourism businesses.
Part of an effectively designed corporate social responsibility program is to address the interests and concerns of the clients, customers and employees of the company. The fitness industry has recognized that its customers and employees seek out businesses that share their commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability, but not all have addressed these concerns.
Carbonfund.org partner HealthCare International (HCI), a leading supplier and distributor of innovative products for health, wellness, fitness and active aging, took action by implementing a program to assess and neutralize the environmental impact of its annual operations. Since 2008, HCI has measured and offset all carbon emissions associated with the energy used in its manufacturing, packaging, transportation and operational aspects of their business through their CarbonFree® Partnership program. This commitment places HCI as an environmental leader in the fitness industry and demonstrates proactive steps in the fight against global climate change.
In order to neutralize its annual operational emissions, HCI has made itself carbon neutral by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction projects which are helping to build renewable energy sources, develop reforestation projects and invest in energy efficiency technology worldwide. Considering the implications of climate change, maintaining a carbon emissions mitigation program through Carbonfund.org is a natural extension of the work HCI does in improving the health and wellness of its customers and employees.
Glenn Safadago president of HealthCare International comments, “Collectively, the fitness industry has not made an effort to reduce its impact on the environment. Our goal is to be the first company in the fitness industry to be considered a “green” manufacturer.” We commend HCI for their leadership position in fitness industry sustainability and are proud to partner with them in these ongoing efforts.
According to a study by the American Bus Association, motor coaches are the most fuel-efficient transportation mode in North America, in terms of passenger miles per gallon of fuel. As a result, motor coaches are on average seven times more fuel-efficient than single occupancy automobiles, making motor coaches the most environmentally-friendly option for group transportation needs.
Carbonfund.org makes it simple for environmentally-conscious transportation companies, such as CarbonFree® partner The Convention Store (TCS), to further enhance their fuel-efficient coaches by offsetting fuel-related emissions. TCS specializes in providing ground transportation services to large-scale meeting planners, conferences and events throughout the United States and Canada.
TCS monitors, designs and implements the most efficient travel routes for their clients to decrease the distance of each trip; then they augment their large-capacity fuel-efficient transportation services by offsetting all carbon emissions from their motor coach services. This in turn supports Carbonfund.org’s clean air and carbon reduction technology projects.
“We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they not only offer ways to offset our carbon footprint but are building a network of other companies that care about our environment as much as we do,” says TCS CEO Sean Higgins. “It is amazing to watch the list of partners grow and know the amount of change that we will all bring by partnering with Carbonfund.org.”
In what is easily the best environmental action in a generation, this week, the Obama Administration announced new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards for cars and light trucks (think minivans and sport utility vehicles). By 2025, these vehicles will be required to average 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulates CAFE standards and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures vehicle fuel efficiency. An agreement in support of acceptable standards was made between the government, automakers and their unions, and environmental organizations.
The stage for these historic fuel economy standards was set by an energy law enacted in 2007 under President George W. Bush. Additionally, the 2009 federal bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler were tied to better fuel efficiency.
Fuel-efficient cars and trucks were the U.S. auto industry’s saving grace. It makes good sense on multiple levels to continue these efforts. For one, 570,000 new jobs can be created by 2030. Not to mention saving consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reducing U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels. This also translates to strengthening national security by lessening the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
What about fighting man-made global warming? The new standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025. This reduces emissions by 6 billion metric tons, which is more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States in 2010. We thank President Obama for his leadership on combating climate change, pollution prevention and national security.
Starting in 2017, the standards will be phased in over the course of eight years. New fuel-saving technology is projected to increase the cost of new car or light truck by $3,000 on average. This means consumers will pay a little more when they buy the vehicle, about $50 more a month over a five-year loan, but they’ll more than make up for it at the pump with expected gas savings per vehicle between $7,000 - $8,000. And that is good for the environment and our wallets.
Undeniably, the vehicle fuel-efficiency standards represent an unbeatable combination of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. They’re also the nation's single largest effort to combat climate-altering greenhouse gases, but we can’t stop building our carbon-reduction portfolios now. Wonderful news like this should push us to continuing to find more ways to reduce our carbon footprint, as individuals and a nation. Now let’s go invest in some renewable energy projects!
Carbonfund.org supports several carbon reduction and energy efficiency projects such as the Truck Stop Electrification system, a project that is supported in part by Clean Air Cab’s fleet emissions neutralization program.
Clean Air Cab is central Arizona’s first carbon-neutral taxicab fleet; they partner with Carbonfund.org to calculate and neutralize the carbon emissions generated by its fleet of Toyota Priuses.
"We chose Carbonfund.org because unlike most companies selling offsets, Carbonfund.org is a non-profit. Clean Air Cab believes in giving back and we are happy to support a non-profit organization," affirms Clean Air Cab founder, Steve Lopez.
The company started by selecting the Toyota Prius, a fuel efficient vehicle for its taxicab fleet. A Ford Crown Victoria, the “traditional” taxicab vehicle, produces two and half times the amount of CO2 per year compared to the 2010 Toyota Prius. But the Prius still creates carbon emissions, so each quarter Clean Air Cab checks its total fleet mileage with Carbonfund.org to ensure that it has secured a sufficient quantity of carbon credits to completely neutralize fleet emissions.
Clean Air Cab’s mission “to make it affordable and convenient for everyone to go green” is in lockstep with Carbonfund.org. We are happy to partner with an environmentally conscientious company that provides a carbon neutral transportation alternative to central Arizona communities.
It seems only fitting that a business that depends entirely on organic and natural herbs, flowers, and medicinal plants would maintain a strong commitment to environmentally responsible business practices. Carbonfree® Business Partner Mountain Rose Herbs sets a high standard in this regard and has made significant steps in following Carbonfund.org’s motto of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” by lessening its energy consumption prior to neutralizing their remaining annual operational emissions with Carbonfund.org.
Mountain Rose Herbs’ primary facility was constructed with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and relies heavily on natural lighting. Energy demand was further reduced by making a complete lighting upgrade to energy-efficient bulbs in their principal facilities and installing Energy-Star rated heating and cooling systems. In addition, Mountain Rose Herbs upgraded all their computers to those with Gold Star ratings for energy conservation, minimal shipment packaging and elimination of environmentally-harmful materials as well as more energy-efficient flat screen monitors. Mountain Rose Herbs converted all electrical usage to their local Greenpower program to ensure that a significant portion of their electricity comes from wind and solar sources.
Despite all of these energy-saving measures and efficiency enhancements, Mountain Rose Herbs still generates a measurable annual carbon emissions footprint from its business operations. In order to neutralize these annual operational emissions, Mountain Rose Herbs has partnered with Carbonfund.org for the past four years to measure and offset these unavoidable emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean energy and carbon reduction projects.
"If we are to move past coal and look forward to a greener future that is full of alternative energy, then we must support the endeavors of Carbonfund.org, who are creating the infrastructure necessary to make it happen," states Shawn Donnille, Vice President of Mountain Rose Herbs.
We applaud Carbonfree® Partner Mountain Rose Herbs for pursuing a meaningful commitment to environmentally-conscious business operations, measuring and neutralizing their annual carbon emissions, and supporting our clean air technology projects.