The New Year is a great time for individuals and businesses to reevaluate their recycling efforts and overall carbon footprint and seek to reduce their impact every day. Currently less than 35% of US households recycle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides great information about how to increase recycling efforts in your everyday living, and how your efforts will help your community.
Paper Culture, a Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past seven years, and online retailer of personalized cards, gifts and wall décor, evaluates and optimizes reductions in their carbon footprint on a regular basis. Through its seven-year participation in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, Paper Culture has neutralized operational emissions equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 12,615 tree seedlings, then growing those trees for ten years.
They make sure that all of their business practices fall under their four pillars for sustainable operations (aka T.R.E.E):
1. Trees – Plant a tree with every order
2. Responsibility – Offer only eco-friendly products
3. Ethos – Operate sustainable business practices
4. Education – Help through community outreach and teaching
After evaluating the packaging in which products were sent to customers, the folks at Paper Culture felt there was an opportunity to engage and reinforce the importance of recycling and the power of planting one single tree. With most of their customers being parents with young kids, they also wanted it to find an interactive approach.
As a result, they came up with the ReversibleBox. The outside of the box is printed with eco-friendly water-based inks and is much more than just pretty typography; it's a reminder of the true impact of trees, from the air we breathe to the natural habitat they provide. On the reverse side of the box is a tree pattern with the recommendation that customers reuse the box the next time they need to send a package, store old photos or any other use they can imagine. In addition, the box contains tree seed packets with planting instructions.
Since the company plants a tree with every order, Paper Culture wanted their customers to be able to plant a tree of their own so they could enjoy and teach the benefits to the next generation.
Paper Culture CEO & Co-founder Christopher Wu says, "We are in a fortunate position to be able to connect to the future generations through our customers. We loved the idea of parents and their kids planting trees together, which creates both a teaching moment and the appreciation for one of earth's finest gifts."
Since the inception in 2009, Paper Culture has been providing modern and eco-friendly products, including personalized holiday cards, birth announcements, birthday invitations, gifts and wall decor. Carbonfund.org appreciates Paper Culture's ongoing commitment to reducing and neutralizing its operational emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world.
The year is off to a strong start for Pleasanton, California’s Hacienda Owners Association. After a year of community, green business and environmental awards and recognitions, Hacienda Owners Association has renewed its Carbonfree® Business Partnership program for 2015. With this year’s renewal, Hacienda Owners Association has neutralized almost 770,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the program’s nine years. That’s equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions sequestered by almost 9000 tree seedlings planted and grown for ten years.
Hacienda is the largest development of its kind in Northern California. Over 11 million square feet of existing, mixed-use, transit-oriented space is occupied by some 650 companies that locally employ approximately 18,000 people. The project provides a home to everything from small offices to regional centers to large campuses for company headquarters. In addition, Hacienda also features homes to some 4,000 residents, featuring a full spectrum of living choices from stylish rental units to single family detached homes.
Operationally, Hacienda has advanced several initiatives to promote a sustainable workplace. These efforts start in the park's management office, which has been recognized as a green business under the Alameda County Green Business Program. Hacienda's management office went through a rigorous analysis to be certified as a business in good standing under the program and has worked with the county and other Hacienda businesses to help them to achieve the same certification.
“In addition to managing our business using a number of best practices required for this designation, we felt it was important to further demonstrate our commitment to these efforts by supporting Carbonfund.org,” explains James Paxson, General Manager at Hacienda. “We believe that Carbonfund.org’s mission clearly aligns with our objectives and we have encouraged other businesses within our development to likewise consider Carbonfund.org as a component of their own sustainability strategy.”
Many Hacienda programs advance activities that help accomplish a number of sustainability goals. Last year, Hacienda was recognized by the Best Workplaces for CommutersSM, a program designed to encourage sustainable transportation innovation, as one of twenty-eight organizations nationwide offering excellence in commuter benefits. Hacienda was also presented with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce's Green Business Award as part of their 51st Annual Community Service Awards presentation in 2014. Carbonfund.org is proud to continue its partnership with Hacienda Owners Association in promoting a long-term commitment to environmentally responsible operations.
For many businesses, a commitment to environmentally-responsible operations is an easy decision and a natural extension of their overall mission. This continues to be the case for Carbonfree® Business Partner Tenfold Fair Trade Collection, which seeks to achieve its goals in part through our simple and affordable annual carbon emissions mitigation program.
Tenfold Fair Trade Collection offers a unique collection of creative, fairly traded, eco-friendly products from all over the world, through its retail store located at 181A Potomac Street in Harper’s Ferry, WV, or via its online site, and is dedicated to the principles of the fair trade system of exchange that guarantee prompt and fair wages to artisans for their work. Joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program two years ago, after making various operational emissions offset donations to Carbonfund.org since 2010, was the easiest and most affordable way for Tenfold Fair Trade to improve the sustainability of its operations.
"It is extremely important to us to do our part to protect our environment. Unfortunately we are not located in an area that allows retail electricity competition, so we are presently unable to purchase green power,” explains Martha Ehlman, President of Tenfold Fair Trade Collection. “Partnering with Carbonfund.org allows us to fulfill our commitment to support the continued growth and use of renewable energy sources. We are delighted to partner with a fellow Green America member. We are as committed to the care of our planet as we are to the care of our global neighbors."
Tenfold Fair Trade Collection is committed to issues of social justice and environmental responsibility. The artisans they promote reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible, as does the Tenfold Fair Trade Collection in its own operations. As a Green America Certified organization and a regular contributor to the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, Tenfold Fair Trade continues to work to elect officials that share a commitment to the protection of our environment and the growth of renewable energy.
And their environmental activism does not stop there. On July 29th of this year, Martha Ehlman of Tenfold Fair Trade Collection joined almost three dozen WV Eastern Panhandle Sierra Club members on a journey to Washington, D.C. Eleven of their group, including Martha, elected to testify at the EPA hearing regarding the Clean Power Plan, and another dozen spoke to an aid from WV’s Senator Manchin's office for at least a half an hour, pressing for a commitment to the Clean Power Plan.
Tenfold Fair Trade Collection seeks to offer current generations of artisans and consumers the ability to meet their needs without compromising the sustainability of future generations, by actively considering the implications of their decisions on the environment and promoting responsible stewardship of resources. The Carbonfree® Business Partnership program is one way the organization meets its goal to “reduce what it can, offset what it can’t™.”
Want more proof that businesses of any size can make a difference in our environment, our communities and our overall well-being? Consider Rubber Soul Yoga Studio in Athens, Georgia, as they renew their commitment to maintaining a Carbonfree® studio for the fifth consecutive year.
In addition to soothing and healing mind and body, Rubber Soul works to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change by showing documentaries, discussing lifestyle choices, and encouraging personal and political transformation at their studios.
"Rubber Soul encourages non-violence in every aspect of one's life. We can reduce our impact and offset the rest,” asserts Cal Clements, Director of Rubber Soul & Adventure Club. “Carbonfund.org has offset projects in India, the birthplace of yoga.”
To augment their Carbonfree® studio, the folks at Rubber Soul have replaced the paper towels in the bathroom with red automotive towels, which Cal washes each week. They quietly encourage a vegan/vegetarian diet, since industrial food processes are a big contributor to greenhouse gases. Rubber Soul is also a donation studio, where class participants pay what they can. Cal believes that making less money and therefore spending less money creates a lighter load on the planet. These actions and beliefs, coupled with the Carbonfree® commitment, help Rubber Soul achieve the differences they seek to make in the lives of their class participants and their greater community.
Corporate Risk Systems Limited (CRS), a UK-based Risk Management Consultancy, provides consultancy and training solutions across Health, Safety and Environmental sectors and supports many international clients in insurance markets, the public sector, and commercial organizations.
As a responsible organization offering environmental and health and safety support to its clients, CRS recognizes the need for all organizations to reduce their environmental impact through implementation of effective carbon emissions and waste reduction policies. To address its own operational emissions, CRS developed a Carbon Reduction and Offset Policy, using Carbonfund.org to offset its entire annual corporate emissions and make Corporate Risk Systems Carbonfree®.
"It’s down to each individual and organization to accept its environmental impact, if sustainable development is to turn from a concept into reality,” says Richard Ball, Head of Environment for CRS. “Climate Change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today, and it is all our responsibility to reduce carbon emissions at source where possible, and offset our residual carbon footprint."
Over the past eight years, CRS has neutralized almost 1.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions produced by combusting almost 80,000 gallons of gasoline.
Corporate Risk Systems Limited is a forward-thinking and innovative HSE training and consultancy group, ISO 9001 certified and Carbonfree®. Their auditing, training and consulting services have benefitted clients in over 60 countries on six continents, and their commitment to neutralizing their own operational emissions establishes CRS as a clear leader in corporate risk consultancy and sustainability leadership.
Care To Click is an online community where people's small actions can make a big impact. The organization’s goal is to make the world a better place for everyone, which includes protecting our environment for future generations.
By joining the Carbonfree® Small Business Partnership program with Carbonfund.org, Care To Click has neutralized almost 80,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This reduces the company’s operational emissions and makes it a more sustainable organization.
“We owe it to future generations to leave the world a better place than we found it,” explains Tracilyn Scala, Founder of Care To Click. “Carbonfund.org has made doing so their mission and deserve everyone's support.”
Care To Click helps raise money for environmentally conscious groups, including Carbonfund.org. By taking a few simple actions on the Care To Click website, like donating free clicks and tweets, printing useful coupons and shopping online using Care To Click's “Care To Search” browser extension, users prompt donations to charitable organizations.
Care To Click encourages everyone to take action, and recognizes that these actions have an impact. As a Carbonfree® Small Business Partner, Care To Click has taken the lead in neutralizing its own operational emissions.
Our newest Carbonfree® Business Partner, CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss) of Memphis, Tennessee, spends each day helping their client organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices. According to the CRGss website, “Sustainability is about the resources we use every day, and the future that each of us will face. The fate of our earth is up to each of us individually, so every choice we make, we should have tomorrow in mind.”
CRGss was attracted to the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program as a simple, affordable step they could take as an organization to enhance their own operational sustainability. By neutralizing their estimated annual carbon emissions from general business operations, CRGss is leading in the same area of sustainability on which it advises and guides its clients.
“We believe that we must begin to respect the planet, and live and conduct business in a manner that does not harm the environment,” explains Anthony Gilbreath, Director of Sustainability Solutions at CRGss, about the decision to become a Carbonfree® Business Partner.
CRGss provides a wide range of sustainability consulting services for all types of businesses in many different industries. These include sustainability auditing, materiality assessments, supply chain mapping, CDP / GHG reporting and management, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting, Energy Star Certifications, risk management, supply chain optimization and others.
CRGss uses CarbonCount™, a suite of carbon management consulting services designed to help organizations with the entire range of carbon management and performance activities. Services include carbon management scoping, greenhouse gas and emissions Inventory, and carbon emissions reporting in compliance with all major international reporting standards, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Carbon Disclosure Project.
As businesses and organizations become more conscious of environmental risks, carbon emissions management is gaining a more crucial role in performance management. Carbon management allows companies to improve performance across the entire organization, from lower costs and energy consumption to lower compliance and financial risk. For those companies that have analyzed and reduced emissions across their organization, the move to carbon neutrality is the next step in sustainability. With consultancies like CRGss and programs like the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, businesses have the guidance and the affordable access to achieve these goals.
What’s one way to reduce your carbon footprint? Reduce your waistline and stay fit.
For some, this is easier said than done, but for those in Southern California, there’s a Carbonfree® Business Partner that can help. Southern California-based fitness and nutrition center HDX Fit offers an integrative approach to optimal health through fitness, nutrition and lifestyle guidance with multiple HDX Fit locations around the Orange County and Los Angeles area.
Through their Carbonfree® Business Partnership, HDX Fit neutralizes its annual operational emissions each year by supporting Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world. Over the past five years, HDX Fit has mitigated the negative impact of almost 380,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to growing almost 4500 trees over a ten-year period.
"We chose to partner with Cabonfund.org because we believed that as a company, if we were to lead by example and help offset our carbon footprint, we could encourage our clients and business partners to do the same,” explains Huw Lloyd Davies, owner of HDX Fit. “We believe that we all need to do our part to bring about sustainable change."
HDX Fit also donates 1% of its profits back to the planet through support of various environmental organizations. They recommend environmentally friendly household cleaning products, nutrition supplements and food that are grown organically, and environmentally renewable clothing suppliers. HDX Fit hosts seminars to help clients maintain more energy efficient and environmentally friendly homes and arrange local energy efficiency contractors for clients at a reduced rate. Many HDX Fit events take clients “outdoors” so they can develop and deepen a keen interest in both a more active lifestyle and in protecting the resources they enjoy.
HDX Fit operates on the belief that a healthy body coupled with a nourished, focused mind can achieve anything, and part of what they strive to achieve is a meaningful contribution to protecting our environment. Carbonfund.org is glad to continue our partnership with HDX Fit in these efforts.
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.
Adrian Reif and Matt D’Amour share a love of yummy nut butter and of an idealism to help people eat better while caring for the environment. Their love for fresh, healthy food led to grinding homemade nut butter batches, then expanding their fledgling Yumbutter brand into a company that could have meaningful impact. Yumbutter crafts creative and inventive nut butter “potions” using organic, wholesome nuts, seeds, and superfoods to get more nutrition into each batch. With a mission to “Nourish the World” through what they call “Holistic Responsibility,” Yumbutter seeks to be the best organization it can be – from conception to consumption of food – and beyond.
As part of their commitment to environmental responsibility, Yumbutter recently made the decision to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program and purchase carbon offsets in reforestation projects for over 250% of their annual administrative operation’s carbon footprint.
“Carbonfund.org allows us to do more than we’re able to organizationally. We’ve desired to build a carbon negative business since the beginning and supporting reforestation projects get us closer to that goal,” explains Adrian, the Chief Goodness Warrior for Yumbutter.
Their Holistic Responsibility program is the result of asking the question: “How can a nut butter company improve people’s lives?” They consider the company’s impact on the health and happiness of Yumbutter fans, supply chain partners, Mother Earth, employees, the business ecosystem, and people born into unfortunate circumstances. So when customers spread Yumbutter, they’re actually supporting a shift in the way businesses are run.
Yumbutter is a Certified B Corporation, a new breed of company dedicated to positive social and environmental impact. Certified B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency - a holistic measure of sustainability. Yumbutter also is a certified YouthTrade company for mission-driven companies run by young entrepreneurs.
Through their BuyOne:FeedOne program, Yumbutter and its customers have helped to feed over 14,000 children with malnutrition since mid-2012. Every time a customer buys one jar or pouch of Yumbutter, a small donation is made to help feed a child with malnutrition through a non-profit group in Guatemala providing holistic care to malnourished children and their mothers. And with Carbonfund.org, Yumbutter helps nourish the environment by restoring and preserving forestry projects around the world.