Two of the key benefits of the Carbonfree® Partnership Program are its affordability for businesses of all sizes and its applicability to businesses of all industries. Despite best efforts, no business can identify and neutralize all of its operational emissions without the help of carbon offsets.
Veteran travel tours operator Toto Tours recognized this reality and took an important step towards improved sustainability by joining the Carbonfree® Partnership Program for 2014. Through their annual program donation, Toto Tours is supporting carbon reduction and clean energy projects around the world, while neutralizing a portion of their operational emissions.
Toto Tours provides worldwide adventure travel opportunities for the gay and lesbian community. Founded in 1990, Toto Tours hosts small groups of 10 – 20 participants to exciting global destinations. Their tour offerings change from year to year, and their customer tour satisfaction has yielded a repeat rate of 70% or higher on almost every tour.
The activity of travel and touring includes the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with airline flights, ground travel, hotel stays and dining, not to mention regular business operations like office space energy usage, IT services and mailings, and business travel.
"Toto Tours is pleased to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset the emissions generated as a result of our travel program business,” expressed Daniel Ware, President of Toto Tours. “We appreciate the tools you provide on your website to help our clients make environmentally conscious decisions regarding ways to offset their travel footprint. The carbon reduction projects you support are excellent!"
Airplane travel is one of the contributors to Toto Tours’ carbon emissions, so tour participants are encouraged to be aware of and actively participate in flight emissions offsetting for every tour.
Toto Tours also is committed to giving back to the communities they visit during travels around the world. Toto Tours staff have visited schools and made donations to charitable causes in Nicaragua, Bhutan, Honduras, and Kenya. These included the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where Toto Tours contributed to the elephant orphanage in Nairobi, a Masaai village in the Masaai Mara, and a giraffe sanctuary in the outskirts of Nairobi.
There were two special causes in Kenya that especially moved the staff of Toto Tours. The first is "The Brethren Concern," a group dedicated to serving homosexual men in Nairobi, and the second cause is a the Matanya Primary School, a remote school where 250 children depend for their early education and even their basic necessities on the generosity of those who happen to visit. Toto Tours will continue to support both of these causes into the indefinite future, and will continue to pursue ways to improve tour sustainability in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
The world of social media has opened new channels for all businesses and organizations to reach their customers and supporters, but for many, it’s a strange new world requiring new skills and expertise.
Enter CarbonFree® Business Partner Salsa Labs. Salsa helps nonprofits and political campaigns “ignite action and fuel change” around the world by growing and engaging their base of support online. With Salsa’s technology tools and training, groups of all sizes can easily organize their supporters and chapters then improve efforts to fundraise, advocate, communicate through email and social media, host events and measure their results. And despite the fossil fuel references in Salsa’s tagline, Salsa Labs has been a CarbonFree® Business for the past three years, partnering with Carbonfund.org to neutralize its own annual operating emissions. By supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction projects, Salsa Labs has mitigated almost 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions created by using almost 25,000 gallons of gasoline.
“Carbonfund.org shares our core values of making the world a better place,” says Christine Schaefer, Vice President, Community & Marketing. “Their commitment to the environment and fighting climate change is inspiring and we look forward to this partnership.”
Salsa is proud to help their nonprofit clients fight for a healthier environment coast to coast and around the world, and Carbonfund.org is equally proud to help Salsa Labs meet its own sustainability initiatives through the CarbonFree® Partnership program.
There have been a variety of studies published in recent years showing that vegan and vegetarian diets produce a lower carbon footprint than omnivore or carnivore diets. Raw vegans further reduce their dietary footprint by greatly reducing the energy used to prepare foods. But what about the locavore movement and efforts to source food as close to home as possible?
Live Superfoods, a purveyor of raw, organic, vegan foods and nutritional supplements, recognized that their healthy diet options often came from distant lands, thus increasing the carbon footprint due to packaging materials and shipping emissions. In order to reduce these emissions, Live Superfoods took several steps to reuse and recycle shipping cartons and packing materials wherever possible, use recycled paper tape for sealing shipments and recyclable fill materials instead of bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts. Then, to neutralize the remaining shipping emissions, Live Superfoods joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program four years ago. The CarbonFree® Partner program makes it simple and affordable for Live Superfoods to mitigate its remaining operational emissions, including all shipping emissions and all employee commuting emissions, on an annual basis.
Live Superfoods purchases enough carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org to offset the shipment of products not only from their warehouse to their customers, but also from their global suppliers to the distribution warehouse. Consequently, their products have a lower carbon footprint than what most locavores consider local.
"As individuals, we're extremely excited about the locavore movement. But since Live Superfoods specializes in superfoods that are typically grown in exotic places, our company hasn't been able to participate,” explains Tom Burke, CEO of Live Superfoods. “Now, by purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org, we're able to import and deliver our foods to the ultimate consumer carbon-free. Our products now have a smaller carbon footprint than foods delivered by farmers to the local farmers' market!"
Live Superfoods also participates in their power company’s Blue SkySM Renewable Energy program, which supports a blend of 100% Pacific Northwest renewable resources from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This initiative further neutralizes Live Superfoods’ annual operational emissions, and together with the CarbonFree® Business Partnership, underscores Live Superfoods’ leadership position as a truly sustainable provider of healthy raw vegan foods, supplements and personal care products.
Among our long-term CarbonFree® Business Partners are many that choose to support our renewable energy projects, in part because their own business operations provide essential services to green energy resources.
Concord, NH-based FiberNext does just this, maintaining its CarbonFree® operations for the past five years while providing fiber optics communication solutions to the green energy industry.
FiberNext, a versatile turnkey fiber optics solutions provider, has been involved with the design and implementation of fiber optic networks for commercial scale wind farm sites. An industry leader in this area, FiberNext has established a commitment to green energy initiatives by supplying developers of clean wind energy with next generation communication systems. This focus on renewable energy made it a compatible choice to support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy projects with annual donations as a CarbonFree® Business Partner.
"Carbonfund.org seemed like an effective way to make a direct contribution to clean energy initiatives, which is at the heart of our business and corporate culture," explains Craig Bowden, Sales and Marketing Manager for FiberNext. "The media recognition that Carbonfund.org had already generated for itself as an innovator in the area of carbon offsets helped us realize it was a legitimate and reputed vehicle in this emerging market."
Over the past five years, FiberNext has neutralized its annual operational emissions by an amount equivalent to the emissions from the annual electricity consumed by twenty-five households. The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program has helped FiberNext to lead by example in the renewable energy field, and we commend their ongoing commitment to a cleaner energy future.