Bethesda, MD and Dalton, GA (December 3, 2012) – Tandus Flooring, a leading manufacturer of commercial floorcoverings, headquartered in Dalton, GA, has renewed its commitment to offer customers the option to offset the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of its hybrid resilient and modular product lines. This program, offered jointly by Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF International ensures Tandus Flooring has taken a very measured approach to make certain its CarbonFree® Certified product offerings are conducted responsibly through a third-party certification process, producing meaningful results in decreasing the overall level of its GHG emissions.
Tandus Flooring renewed its CarbonFree® product certification, by conducting extensive product Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to determine its products’ per unit carbon footprint. Now in its fourth year, Tandus Flooring’s Carbonfree Flooring program allows customers the option to purchase their products as carbon neutral.
Working in conjunction with Carbonfund.org and NSF International, third party validated carbon offset credits are purchased to neutralize the greenhouse gases associated with the product’s life cycle. Carbon offset credits purchased in the program are ‘retired‘ so that the carbon is essentially eliminated from use. Through the program, Tandus Flooring has provided CarbonFree products to customers, such as, Google, Bank of America, National Life Group, NV Energy, Stanford University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Vermont.
“Many companies are looking for ways to reduce the climate impact of their products and operations,” said Lynn Preston, Technical Environmental Manager, Tandus Flooring. “Tandus Flooring’s Carbonfree Flooring program demonstrates our commitment to take action against global warming and provides customers with a convenient, credible means to decrease the environmental impact of their purchase.”
Carbonfund.org President Eric Carlson commented, “Providing products that are certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org reflects Tandus Flooring’s leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing. We are proud to be partners with Tandus Flooring and applaud their environmental leadership.”
The CarbonFree® certification label lets companies demonstrate that their products have been carbon offset as well as helps consumers identify carbon neutral products. “The CarbonFree label on Tandus Flooring’s products exemplifies the company’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their products,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
For nearly half a century, Tandus Flooring has been a pioneer in the research and development of sustainable flooring processes and products while continually advancing business practices to meet the critical environmental challenges facing our industry. Tandus Flooring has employed a multi-faceted approach to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations and products including the reduction of energy, water and solid waste, the increased use of recycled material and renewable energy, along with a continued emphasis on closed loop recycling and post consumer reclamation of its products.
Products included in the Tandus Carbonfree Flooring Program include ethos® Modular, Powerbond® ethos® Cushion, ER3® Modular, Powerbond® ER3® Cushion, Powerbond® Cushion, Medfloor®, Flex-Aire® Cushion Modular, Conserv® Modular.
About Tandus Flooring
Tandus Flooring (www.tandus.com) creates innovative floorcovering solutions through our unique product line of hybrid resilient, modular, broadloom and woven products that work in tandem to enhance spaces for learning, working, healing and living. Through inspired design and leading-edge technology, Tandus Flooring offers its customers a single-source for innovative product design and technology, comprehensive services, and environmental leadership. For more than 40 years,Tandus Flooring has been examining all the ways to be a better corporate citizen and environmental steward — and then taking actions that lead to demonstrable, meaningful, quantifiable results.
About Carbonfund.org Foundation:
Carbonfund.org is a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact and hasten our transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbonfund.org supports innovative renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects globally that reduce carbon emissions and help people. Carbonfund.org has worked with over 2,000 corporate and nonprofit partners. More at www.carbonfund.org.
About NSF International:
NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, services, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability assessment standards for products, services and service providers.
To be fair, this is not a question we commonly receive from donors or those interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but when people do ask about the different between carbon offsets and carbon credits, and sometimes carbon dioxide equivalents, it shows an intense interest in the subject and usually a strong commitment to fighting climate change.
Let’s start with a carbon credit. A carbon credit is an instrument that represents ownership of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that can be traded, sold, retired, etc. If a company is regulated under a cap-and-trade system, they most likely have an allowance of credits they can use toward their cap. If they use fewer emissions (credits) than they are allocated, they can trade, sell, hold, or do whatever they like with the credit. If it is sold, it is their allowance of emissions being sold to someone else. (Likewise, if they use more than they have allocated, they must purchase a credit to be in compliance). So a credit becomes tradable, like an offset, because of a very real reduction in emissions, but often times the reduction is from an activity you may not have thought of, like changing a business practice, flying less, turning off equipment at night, and so on.
A carbon offset, on the other hand, is also a very real reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and results in the generation of a carbon credit, but from a project with clear boundaries, title, project documents and a verification plan. Carbon offsets generate reductions outside the ‘four walls’ of a company in most cases. Projects like building a wind farm, supporting truck stop electrification projects, planting trees or preserving forests are very common carbon offset projects. These reductions occur outside the companies’ four walls but more importantly, outside any regulatory requirement. They are in addition to what is being mandated.
So a carbon offset derived from a third-party certified project usually generates a carbon credit. But a carbon credit need not be from a carbon offset project. Because carbon dioxide is a global impact gas, meaning it does not affect us locally through increased smog or acid rain, both offsets and credits have the exact same reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and have the exact same benefit to the planet in terms of climate change.
We get excited about carbon offsets because they have the opportunity to reduce global climate change at a fraction of the cost than if every entity were forced to reduce their emissions only internally. Imagine how expensive it is for an already state-of-the-art factory to reduce its emissions by 30% versus a dirty coal plant in the Ukraine to reduce a similar amount of emissions by installing upgraded, new equipment. Carbon offsets enable capital to reduce emissions in the most efficient manner possible. Carbon offsets support technology transfer, international development, jobs and exports for developed countries and so forth.
And this is why we ask people to [cue shameless plug] ‘reduce what you can and offset what you can’t’.