It takes a special company to carry through a long-term commitment to monitor and manage its social, environmental and financial impacts of conducting business. Grounds for Change is a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. Grounds for Change roasts 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible, while remaining committed to social justice and environmental stewardship.
In 2008, Grounds for Change helped Carbonfund.org pioneer the Certified Carbonfree® Products program by completing a thorough “cradle-to-grave” Life Cycle Assessment and Greenhouse Gases inventory report for its roasted coffees. It is a program that fits with Grounds for Change’s overall mission to achieve the highest possible standards in quality, fairness and responsibility throughout its operation and in each product it produces.
"It's simply the right thing to do," says Kelsey Marshall, Co-Founder of Grounds for Change. "We want to provide our customers with the highest quality coffee available. To us, that means Organic Certified, Fair Trade Certified and Certified Carbonfree® - caring for ecosystems, workers and the climate."
By measuring the carbon footprint associated with each pound of roasted coffee, then neutralizing those carbon emissions through quarterly donations to Carbonfund.org, supporting reforestation and avoided deforestation projects around the world, Grounds for Change offers a truly carbon neutral roasted coffee to environmentally conscious consumers.
The company’s commitment to carbon offsetting goes far beyond its coffee roasting operations. Every step in the coffee chain has been scrutinized, from a coffee plant in Peru all the way to a bag of roasted coffee in the customer’s hands. The details of harvest, transportation, roasting, packaging and shipping to customers have all been included in the rigorous carbon footprint analysis.
Grounds for Change focuses on operating as a green business and has received a Washington award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Grounds for Change donates well over 1% of total annual sales to various environmental organizations, including Carbonfund.org. In addition to offering 100% Fair Trade and Organic Certified coffee, most Grounds for Change coffees are shade grown, which means the possibility of a real livelihood for coffee growers, a breath of fresh air for the planet, zero net carbon emissions from crop to cup and healthy forests for migratory songbirds.
This holiday season, Grounds for Change is offering sales on coffee gift baskets, special winter seasonal coffee blends, and their Coffee of the Month club. With their commitments to Fair Trade, Organic and Carbonfree® Certified coffees, Grounds for Change offers premier choices for environmentally-savvy coffee connoisseurs.
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.
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.