Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A), an architectural, interior design and planning practice headquartered in Cambridge, MA with over three decades of service to its clients and community, attributes much of its success and cultural alignment with the green building movement. In 2000, TK&A joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to enhance and expand the firm’s expertise and became an early adopter of pursuing Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their clients’ projects, including the first LEED certified buildings on the campuses of Washington University, Boston College and a LEED Core & Shell (CS) Pilot Project. In 2009, TK&A joined “A Better City,” a consortium of Boston-area businesses whose goal is to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through their “Challenge for Sustainability” program. TK&A engaged in the program and has taken the steps to initiate annual reporting of its own business operations through a Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility Report, including a detailed accounting and neutralization of the firm’s annual operational carbon emissions, in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Since 2011, TK&A’s firm-wide carbon emissions offset program has resulted in a balancing of 1,877 metric tonnes (MTs) – over 4 million pounds - of CO2 emissions from its operations (504 MTs in 2014). The emissions neutralization program has had the same positive environmental impact as planting 48,000 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.
TK&A plans to continue tracking and offsetting operational emissions while simultaneously engaging staff to help reduce the firm’s impacts on the planet, engaging staff in daily mindfulness of sustainable behaviors that benefit the business and their practice. These efforts culminated in The City of Cambridge awarding TK&A two “Go-Green” awards in 2012 in the Large Business Category for “Transportation” and “Climate Change.”
Carbonfund.org congratulates Tsoi/Kobus & Associates on its progressive positions on operational sustainability and reporting, and for continuing to achieve Carbonfree® business operations.
Spring is here – weekend warriors are out in droves, trying to create a special oasis in their back yards. Homeowners in the greater Boston area with a yen for natural and easy-care landscaping have an advantage – they can have their own "everyday getaway" with the help of Land Escapes Design Inc.
Land Escapes brings a passion for the natural world to environmentally friendly, low-maintenance landscape designs and custom cutting edge floral inspirations. They’ll help create an "everyday getaway" in your outdoor living space, a sanctuary where you can unwind, relax, entertain and enjoy your natural surroundings.
Land Escapes is serious about its commitment to the environment, for client landscaping designs and for its own business operations. A Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past five years, Land Escapes makes an annual donation to Carbonfund.org each year to neutralize the carbon footprint from its operations. Over those five years, Land Escapes has mitigated the impact of almost 350,000 pounds of carbon emissions, the amount of greenhouse gases sequestered by 4000 tree seedlings planted and grown over a ten-year period.
“Carbonfund.org has helped us achieve our sustainability goals in two ways. The first is by ensuring that our donation goes toward worthy necessary causes to heal our planet and help offset our portion of the damage done,” explains Trevor Smith, Principal of Land Escapes Design. “The other is by helping us assure our clients that we mean what we say and practice what we preach. By having the Carbonfund.org logo on our site and literature clients and potential clients alike can be sure they are making a wise choice and choosing a company with a conscience, concerned with the role they play in the world. Having the Carbonfund.org logo also helps us set the bar for our peers and competition as well causing them to rethink their roles.”
Land Escapes specializes in landscape design, water features, rain harvesting systems and rain gardens, living wall and living roof systems, as well as complete event design for all occasions and seasonal decorating.
Land Escapes Design partners with its landscaping clients to design unique “everyday getaways” and partners with Carbonfund.org to ensure that its own operations do no harm to the natural environment it seeks to enhance.
Professor David Dornfeld is the Will C. Hall Family Chair in Engineering and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC-Berkeley, where he has taught for over 30 years. Professor Dornfeld has been working in and teaching sustainable manufacturing for over a decade and writes a green manufacturing blog. His interest in hands-on experiences in sustainability encouraged the establishment of a student-led carbon emissions footprinting project for the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at UC-Berkeley.
In 2008, Professor Dornfeld and his students launched the program to assess, estimate and attempt to reduce LMAS’ annual carbon footprint. The students were tasked to come up with the carbon footprinting methodology, set the project boundaries, and calibrate the emission source calculations.
As part of the project’s development, students surveyed carbon offset providers and selected to work with Carbonfund.org, due to competitive pricing for offsets, name recognition, transparency of operations, and ease of working with Carbonfund.org staff.
The project’s goal to reduce the lab’s carbon footprint is challenged as the lab is part of a larger university facility. Neither Professor Dornfeld nor any of the mechanical engineering students can directly control the lab’s energy consumption, although the lab benefits from broader University sustainability measures such as energy efficient lighting installations. One of largest components of the department’s annual carbon footprint is emissions related to travel for conferences and meetings, so efforts are made to use video conferencing versus in-person event attendance. This illustrates one of the benefits of the project -- to make students more aware of personal choices and resulting carbon emissions.
After five years of assessing and neutralizing the lab’s annual carbon emissions, the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley has mitigated the same quantity of carbon dioxide as is sequestered by 6 acres of preserved US forestland.
The UC-Berkeley Mechanical Engineering Department’s experiential learning project to assess, reduce and offset its annual carbon footprint has had a real and measurable impact, and Carbonfund.org is proud to be a partner in these efforts.
Even the greenest IT services firm recognizes that it has a carbon footprint. After renewable energy sources, paperless processes, recycling and energy conservation measures, there remains some energy use, business travel, mailings and supplies that create carbon dioxide emissions.
Forward-thinking companies like Carbonfree® Business Partner EMWeb Design are neutralizing their current carbon footprint while continually seeking ways to reduce it.
EMWeb Design provides comprehensive Internet design and marketing for small businesses, professionals, creative artists and civic organizations. Services include branding, logo design, web design, search engine optimization, social Internet marketing and print media.
"Environmental responsibility starts with each one of us," explains Elizabeth Mullen Matteson. "EMWeb is striving to cut our carbon impact continually. For now, we are offering more "green" options to clients, and for the sixth consecutive year, are purchasing carbon offsets through Carbonfund.org, so that our overall carbon footprint remains zero."
This six-year commitment of carbon emissions neutrality has mitigated the same quantity of carbon dioxide emissions as 6000 trees planted and grown over a ten-year period. That's meaningful impact for a business focused on sustainability.
EMWeb Design offers solar and wind-powered web hosting, and can also provide environmentally friendly printing options using recycled and sustainably-produced papers and soy and vegetable-based inks. As EMWeb Design makes progress in operational emissions reductions, the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program will continue to provide a way to "reduce what you can, offset what you can't™".
Leadership requires action, and that action often starts with the leader’s own decisions and choices. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Arcolution took a leadership step in hastening the evolution of architectural firms towards more sustainable and environmentally-sensitive practices.
Arcolution is a full-service architecture firm, representing architecture in evolution. The firm aspires to conceive, design and build a future based on the premise of supporting life and natural systems.
“The building industry has a hugely significant environmental footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, disruption of natural systems and profligate waste stream. As an architecture firm, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to rethink how we will inhabit this earth,” says Eve Reynolds, Principal Architect at Arcolution. “One by one, we can move a stone, but when we work together we can move mountains. That is why we choose to partner with Carbonfund.org - to make our impact that much more effective.”
By neutralizing 36 metric tonnes of annual operational emissions and supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air technology projects, Arcolution will achieve CarbonFree® operations.
Arcolution is committed to leading toward the change they envision in the built environment in three ways: first, by setting an example in the choices they make in their work environment; second, by encouraging environmental awareness, conservation and reduction of personal carbon footprints; and third, by becoming educators to their clients and promoting the most energy efficient solutions for each project.
Arcolution has committed as a firm to offset its annual carbon footprint through Carbonfund.org and encourages all of its clients to offset the carbon footprint of their projects managed by Arcolution.
When looking for collision repair services, most drivers will seek shops with reputations for honesty and dependability. Bay area residents can add CarbonFree® and environmentally responsible to their criteria, thanks to the steps taken by Selecta Auto Body.
Earlier this year, Selecta Auto Body made the decision to become a CarbonFree® Business Partner, neutralizing annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects. This step followed careful decisions to reduce operational emissions and eliminate as much waste as possible in delivering auto body and detailing services.
"Our goal is to be the most reputable, dependable, honest, socially and environmentally conscious collision repair service in the United States and teaming up with Carbonfund.org is one way we can achieve it," states JR Hubbard, Owner of Selecta Auto Body.
Selecta is a Certified B Corporation and a member of San Francisco’s Clean and Green Program, meeting the high environmental standards that the community expects. The company places great emphasis on selecting the most environmentally-responsible products it can find, emphasizes proper handling, storage and removal of any toxic substances, and uses energy efficient equipment in its processes.
And Selecta Auto Body seized a unique opportunity to build their new shop from the ground up. As an earth-conscious body shop, Selecta set out to examine every aspect of its operations when relocating to their new facility. They maximized natural lighting, installed high energy efficiency lighting where needed, and installed a new spray painting booth that is one of the more high-end and high-efficient models on the market. The building’s electrical circuitry was updated to ensure safe and efficient operation, and the air circulation systems exceed building requirements to ensure employee and customer safety and comfort. In addition, the facility features many plants to boost the oxygen levels in the workplace and help offset the carbon dioxide and chemical air pollutants that a typical repair shop produces.
The cumulative impact of these environmentally-conscious decisions and processes enhance Selecta Auto Body’s “green” operations and position the shop as a clear eco-leader in automotive services in the San Francisco area.
Yes, even your dentist can make a difference in the fight against the negative effects of climate change. Green dentistry is “a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices and encompasses a service model for dentistry that supports and maintains wellness.” Green dentistry helps dental professionals protect the health of patients and the planet by implementing energy saving technologies that improve dental care efficiency and effectiveness, as well as improving the financial health of dental practices.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner Robinson Smile Center recognizes the opportunities to improve the sustainability of its dental practice, but also acknowledges the limitations.
“Dentistry is inherently wasteful due to the requirements for patient and employee safety. This makes it challenging but even more necessary to excel in other ways to be more environmentally conscious and active,” explains Jason Luchtefeld, DMD. “Carbonfund.org allowed us an avenue to offset emissions from some of the areas that are not currently available for us to change any other way.”
Robinson Smile Center offers general dentistry for the entire family and centers its practice on establishing patient relationships based on trust and respect. The practice utilizes energy efficient lighting throughout its offices. Next month, they will be installing a new DryVac system to reduce power and water consumption dramatically. The office maintains a strong recycling program for cardboard, plastic and paper, and uses recycled or biodegradable products when possible. These initiatives, along with CarbonFree® operations, place Robinson Smile Center in the forefront of green dentistry practices.
The first step in the path to sustainability is recognizing that you can make a difference. Each of us can reduce our emissions, whether in our personal or business life, and be part of the environmental solution. Leaders take additional steps to neutralize the emissions they cannot eliminate.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner DermaMed Solutions has done just this. DermaMed Solutions manufactures and distributes equipment designed for skincare professionals, including their flagship microdermabrasion product MegaPeel® and other natural skin care products and protocols, nutritional supplements and home care regimens. In their daily operations, they strive to find new ways of packaging or promoting products that are ecologically friendly, and they recycle whenever possible.
To address the remaining operational emissions, DermaMed Solutions has joined the CarbonFree® Partnership program to neutralize their carbon footprint by supporting clean air technology and carbon reduction projects in the US. It’s an important step towards ensuring a healthier earth.
“DermaMed Solutions chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because we wish we could do more,” says DermaMed co-owner Mark Pinsley. “Finding alternative ways to accomplish sustainably is not always logistically and financially feasible. Carbonfund.org is a great way to make a difference. We are happy Carbonfund.org is here to help!”
Even in the world of high fashion, social responsibility and environmental commitments make a difference. Witness the example of Master & Muse, a fashion-forward lifestyle brand created by fashion icon and actress Amber Valletta to bridge the gap between high fashion and mindful manufacturing. The mission at Master & Muse by Amber Valletta is to offer customers socially responsible fashion that is stylish, exciting, desirable and accessible. To help achieve this mission, Master & Muse turned to Carbonfund.org to neutralize annual operating emissions by supporting clean air and carbon reduction projects.
“I have always believed that substance and style do not have to be mutually exclusive,” states Amber Valletta. “The partnership between Master & Muse and carbonfund.org illustrates that we can have both at the same time.”
Today, Master & Muse by Amber Valletta exists as an online store on Yooxygen.com, which offers a selection of curated stylish clothes and accessories that are designed, sourced and produced responsibly. The criteria used to vet the brands that are sold on www.masterandmuse.com ascribe to the core values of Awareness, Innovation, Collaboration, Integrity and Creativity.
The themes of environmental and social sustainability run through all of these core values. Each brand in the shop is taking steps to improve how fashion is designed, sourced and produced. Ultimately, Master & Muse by Amber Valletta promotes that “It’s Fashion Forward to Buy Better.” Buying better means buying more consciously, which in turn is better for our planet.
Is it possible to be stylish while remaining environmentally responsible? This is one of the key questions that online luxury retailer ETHICA set out to address, and they’ve incorporated many components into their sustainability initiatives in order to achieve it.
Becoming CarbonFree® was an early step along the sustainability path for ETHICA. Through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, ETHICA’s donations neutralize their annual operational emissions while supporting carbon emissions reduction projects around the world. ETHICA also offers eco-friendly packaging and carbon-neutral shipping with every order.
"As a retailer devoted to promoting ethical and sustainable fashion, we are naturally committed to minimizing our environmental impact and remaining a carbon-neutral business,” explains Carolina Cantor, Co-Founder of ETHICA. “SHOPETHICA.COM's corporate values align with Carbonfund.org’s mission and its efforts in the fight against climate change."
The company is based in a LEED-certified green building in New York City and carefully selects the designers it promotes to ensure that they are adhering to ethical and environmentally sustainable practices.
ETHICA’s featured designers focus on manufacturing locally to reduce the environmental impact of transporting materials. Most items are made by hand or in small batches in an effort to decelerate the “fast fashion” cycle, as well as to avoid the environmental impact of machine-driven assembly lines. They select quality materials and pay their producers fairly, which in turn contributes to more realistic prices that challenge the idea that fashion is disposable. Many of the fashion items found on SHOPETHICA.com are made using salvaged, reclaimed, recycled or upcycled materials, as well as natural and organic fibers that can be more easily recycled or that will decompose or biodegrade more quickly than synthetics. ETHICA seeks out designs that are timeless, quality products designed to have long life-cycles, rather than throwaway pieces to be discarded as part of a relentless trend cycle.
ETHICA is helping to drive the trend away from throwaway fashions towards designs with longevity and durability in mind, enabling those who own their products to consume less. Their leadership in sustainable business practices positions ETHICA in the front of fashion-forward and environmentally responsible luxury e-retailing.