How does a progressive building design firm demonstrate its commitment to sustainable architecture beyond its client projects? One way is to incorporate a commitment to environmentally responsible operations into the company’s core mission, as The Tower Companies has achieved.
The Tower Companies strives to develop eco-progressive real estate and sustainable building projects that surpass traditional approaches to the built environment, teach people how to engage with their surroundings, promote the balance of body and mind, optimize human achievement, and respect our planet.
As a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Partner and Green Power Partner, The Tower Companies consistently works to reduce its impact on the global environment by completing a corporate-wide inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The company sets long-term reduction goals and annually reports progress to the EPA, The Climate Registry and to stakeholders through the Tower Companies Sustainability Report.
In 2008, The Tower Companies met their stated goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, officially becoming “carbon neutral.” The Tower Companies has continued to maintain this status, working with The Climate Registry, to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings by further reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as electricity and water usage. In 2013, Carbonfund.org assisted The Tower Companies in neutralizing its annual Scope 1 and 3 emissions that could not be reduced any further. The Tower Companies chose to support a renewable energy landfill gas project that measurably reduces its operational emissions by capturing methane gas produced by the landfill and using it to produce electricity. For its ongoing commitment to sustainability, The Tower Companies have been recognized with National Leadership Awards by both the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.
Green building starts with efficient use of resources. It moves to how the site selection, construction and ultimate operation affect the environment - today and for generations to come. The Tower Companies’ own commitment to measuring, reducing and neutralizing is operational emissions demonstrates this commitment to green building strategies, and Carbonfund.org is proud to assist in these efforts.
How does a beautifully restored bed and breakfast with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, located on the pristine Oregon Coast, overcome practical issues of its operation to achieve its sustainability goals?
One solution is to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program to neutralize all necessary, unavoidable operational emissions in a simple and affordable way. This solution has worked for The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast for the past six years.
"We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they have made alliances with companies we like doing business with," explains Michael Rech, Innkeeper. “They cooperate with businesses large and small on reforestation and renewable energy projects to meet the goals of companies offsetting their carbon footprint."
The Craftsman B&B maintains a strong “green philosophy” with a laundry list of environmental preservation initiatives, and energy and resource conservation measures. Lodging rates are discounted for guests that use public transportation, bike or drive an alternative fueled vehicle to the B&B. In addition, The Craftsman B&B is a certified green lodging property rated “3 leaves” by i stay green.com, and is listed in the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild's “Green Inspection Program” developed with Sustainable Travel International.
The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast offers its guests the chance to experience the beautiful Oregon Coast in style, grace and comfort, and to “park your car, relax and unplug.” Environmentally responsible travelers have the added assurance that their stay supports strong sustainability practices and Carbonfree® operations.
An approved 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner, Carbonfund.org Foundation is leading the fight against global warming, making it easy and affordable for any individual, business or organization to reduce & offset their climate impact and hasten the transition to a clean energy future.
Since 2007, Carbonfund.org has enjoyed support of almost two dozen 1% for the Planet member businesses. Collectively, these 1% FTP members have neutralized almost 31 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by donating all or part of their annual 1% donations to this organization. In some cases, these businesses have gone above and beyond their 1% commitment, making additional donations to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, and forestry projects around the world. That 31 million pounds of emissions is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 11,500 acres of US forestland each year.
Several of these companies first discovered Carbonfund.org through their 1% FTP membership, and they have benefited from the programs that Carbonfund.org offers to donating businesses.
Here are some key examples of how this partnership has worked to benefit 1% businesses, Carbonfund.org, and most importantly, the Planet!
Moxie Bookkeeping of New York, NY, a full-charge accounting services firm, discovered Carbonfund.org through its 1% for the Planet relationship six years ago and decided to join the CarbonFree® Partner program for small businesses. A portion of Moxie Bookkeeping’s 1% FTP pledge funds the annual CarbonFree® Partnership program, and in return, Moxie Bookkeeping enjoys the benefits of the program including use of the CarbonFree® Partner logo, a Partner Page on Carbonfund.org’s website, and blogs about Moxie Bookkeeping’s sustainability commitments.
“Carbonfund.org was an easy pick for me,” explains Ean Murphy, founder of Moxie Bookkeeping. “While living in NYC lets us make the most of public transportation, wind powered energy and recycled office supplies, there is always more we can do to help offset our carbon footprint, and Carbonfund.org has a great reputation. I'm proud to have been a partner for the past seven years.”
GoodLight Natural Candles of Ridgway, CO also found Carbonfund.org through its 1% FTP pledge. Owner David Callicott began by joining the CarbonFree® Small Business Partnership program but took the relationship to the next stage by working with Carbonfund.org to calculate its total annual operational carbon footprint, including all office energy usage, business travel and product shipping emissions. GoodLight Natural Candles now makes a larger donation to Carbonfund.org, still within its 1% FTP pledge, to ensure that the company is truly CarbonFree® in all areas of its operations.
With the motto of “Live Give Run,” Charm City Run, a Maryland-based athletic shoes retailer with five store locations, an online store, and a running race events organizer, places a high priority on its charitable giving. Involved in almost a million dollars of charitable donations to Maryland-area and national organizations, Charm City Run donates a portion of its 1% FTP pledge to Bethesda, MD-based Carbonfund.org.
"Making a difference has never been this easy,” says Tom Mansfield of Charm City Run. “Carbonfund.org encourages individuals and businesses to control what they can. There are basic steps that we should all be following to be as responsible as we can. Carbonfund.org helps to make this possible and they will continue to receive support from us because of this."
Another 1% FTP member, Eagle Wing Tours, recognizes that its whale-watching tours are dependent on healthy oceans and marine life. To mitigate the effects of any tour-related emissions, Eagle Wing Tours undertook a complete analysis of their tour operation’s carbon footprint, from office operations through all fuel used by their tour vessels, in order to become the first carbon neutral whale-watching tour operator in Canada. Eagle Wing Tours makes an annual carbon emissions offsetting donation to Carbonfund.org that exceeds their 1% FTP pledge, but the commitment to environmental responsibility is worth the additional costs. This year, Eagle Wing Tours and Co-owner Brett Soberg received two industry awards for its environmental stewardship.
“We are trying to redefine what we think a model wildlife tour company is,” explains Brett Soberg, Co-owner and Captain at Eagle Wing Tours. “Spotting that whale is the cherry on top of an already very comprehensive marine experience. What we can do to protect these species by supporting education, conservation and responsible business is where we really count.”
Carbonfund.org offers a range of programs to all businesses and encourages 1% for the Planet members to complete a complimentary analysis of their annual carbon footprint. This is part of the educational mission of Carbonfund.org and will help 1% FTP members determine the best ways to neutralize a portion or all of their annual carbon emissions.
The collective efforts of these 1% FTP members are making a measurable difference in supporting carbon emissions reduction and clean air projects around the world, while returning valuable marketing advantages and leadership status in environmental stewardship to the member companies. If assessing, reducing and neutralizing all or a portion of the carbon footprint of your business is an important initiative, contact Carbonfund.org to discuss how your 1% for the Planet pledge can help you achieve your goals.
Carbonfund.org is pleased to announce the addition of a new Certified Carbonfree® Product that no only neutralizes its product’s cradle-to-grave production emissions but also produces a source of renewable energy from reclaimed coffee grounds waste.
Kofcan Inc.’s biomass fuel pellets, which are made from spent coffee grounds, have earned Carbonfree® certification from Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. Carbonfree® product certification for its 15 kg, 25 kg and 1.5 kg bags of coffee pellets is a credible, transparent way for Kofcan to provide a carbon-neutral fuel source to home owners and environmentally-conscious companies.
Kofcan’s biomass fuel pellets were designed to recycle waste into energy and provide a more efficient and lower environmental impact alternative to wood pellets. Instead of contributing to landfills, the spent coffee from which the pellets are made is collected from restaurants and institutions in a 200 km radius of the micro pellets plant in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The resulting pellets have a higher energy output, generating 27.5 percent more BTUs (British Thermal Units) than wood pellets.
“Kofcan and its founders Michel Cordeau and Sylvain Laroche have developed a truly waste-free and efficient energy source. With the addition of Carbonfree® certification through NSF Sustainability, Kofcan is able to demonstrate the carbon neutrality of its coffee pellets and communicate to home owners as well as industrial companies its commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division.
“Kofcan is proud to have the first energy pellet to be certified Carbonfree® as well as the first energy pellet that creates viable energy from a waste product instead of the harvesting and processing of trees,” said Michel Cordeau, CEO and founder of Kofcan, Inc.
In addition to maintaining a low carbon footprint by sourcing spent coffee from local businesses, Kofcan also assessed the environmental impacts of its coffee pellets by undergoing a detailed life cycle assessment to measure its carbon emissions in North America. Kofcan then offset its carbon emissions through investment in third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects provided by Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit and developer of the Carbonfree® Product Certification program, the first carbon neutral product label in North America.
“Increasingly, companies are recognizing the importance and value of offering carbon-neutral products and carbon content labeling,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Undergoing a comprehensive process to achieve carbon neutrality and Carbonfree® Product certification for their coffee pellets, which are a unique renewable energy source from a waste material, marks Kofcan as a leader in the solution to global warming.”
The Carbonfree® Product Certification program uses life cycle assessments (LCAs) to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a product’s entire life cycle. GHG emissions (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) that cannot be reduced or eliminated from the product’s life cycle are offset or neutralized with third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry carbon offset projects.
Carbonfree® certified products earn the use of the Carbonfree® mark along with being listed in the Carbonfund.org online product certification database. The Carbonfree® mark can be found on a variety of products today, including food, beverage, electronics and apparel.
Forever Cheese is already renowned for their commitment to sourcing the finest cheeses and specialty foods from Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Croatia and it has now been seven years since they have begun a commitment with Carbonfund to actively help the planet and further renewable energy.
“We are focused on wind and solar energy not just as a way for the future, but for now.” states Michele Buster, President and Co-Founder of Forever Cheese. “We hope to be a role model for other companies, catalyzing them to support the development of renewable energy resources.”
Since 1998, Michele and her business partner, Pierluigi Sini have been finding unique artisan cheeses and specialty foods to introduce into the US. They hand-select each item directly from the producers.
Some of their more famous products include Genuine Fulvi® Pecorino Romano, Rustico®, Drunken Goat®, Naked Goat®, Mitica® Marcona Almonds & Fig Almond Cake. Look for the brands Fulvi®, Sini® or Mitica® to find Forever Cheese products.
Carbonfund.org is very proud to have this great partnership with Forever Cheese to provide significant benefit to renewable energy projects around the United States along with additional support toward national reforestation projects.
"We greatly appreciate our partnership with Forever Cheese," said, Executive Director, Eric Carlson, "they are true industry leaders in their commitment to supporting renewable energy."
For more information, please visit www.forevercheese.com.
Seven years into its long-term commitment to environmental leadership, MWW is achieving great things towards its goal to do its part to make the world a better place. MWW, one of the nation's top mid-sized public relations firms and one of the ten largest independent agencies, is recognized for its work in consumer lifestyle marketing, digital marketing and social media, corporate communications, and visual branding.
MWW is also dedicated to reducing its global warming impact, improving quality of life and US energy security. Since 2007, MWW has led by example, committing to being CarbonFree® in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Over the past seven years, MWW has reduced the carbon impact from its business operations, totaling over 19 million pounds of CO2 mitigation, which is equivalent to the electricity use of 1,291 homes for one year through support of Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and forestry projects. That's also equivalent to the emissions from over 20,058 barrels of oil consumed or taking 1,797 cars off the road for one year.
“Our work in corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship is some of the most important we do,” emphasizes Michael Kempner, MWW President and CEO. “MWW remains firmly committed to doing our part to protect and preserve the environment, and we are pleased to continue our seven-year partnership with Carbonfund.org, a leader in carbon reduction and offset solutions. We challenge our peers in the industry, as well as our clients and partners, to join with us in this important work, or to adopt their own programs to help bring about a clean energy economy.”
Employees at MWW give back through Good Matters, a company-wide Corporate Social Responsibility program, which enables employees to support local charities and other causes that are close to their hearts. Each year, team members can take advantage of eight hours of paid time off to volunteer for an organization of their choice. These collective efforts have defined MWW’s commitment to corporate citizenship, for the environment, community, employees, and their clients. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with MWW in helping to make the world a better, cleaner place to live.
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.
So, you're having a baby...Congratulations! What better gift to give your new bundle of joy than fresh clean air! Whether you’re a brand-new parent, busy raising kids or playing with your grandkids, caring for our environment to ensure its health for future generations should be a top concern.
One of the ways you can help support a healthy environment is to carefully select the products you purchase and the businesses you choose to support. Looking for strong sustainability programs and commitments to environmentally-responsible operations will enable you to support those companies that are doing their part to protect the environment.
For the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Baby Rain, a leading online baby products retailer operating both www.pamperedtot.com and www.babychecklist.com, has neutralized all carbon emissions from its annual business operations and product shipping.
"Our business is booming! With our success comes a need for more packaging materials, marketing collateral, and fuel to power the vehicles used to deliver our products to thousands of customers across the USA and around the world,” explains Greg Charlap, Owner of Baby Rain. “As a business, we not only want to offset our growing footprint, but would also like to educate our customers about this worthy and necessary cause. Carbonfund.org helps us do both!"
Through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership, Baby Rain makes investments in carbon-offsetting projects, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation. Each project plays an important role in the fight against global warming.
In addition, Baby Rain plants a tree through Carbonfund.org for every stroller order they receive - a great way to give back and replace resources they use. These ongoing commitments to environmental responsibility make Baby Rain a great choice for baby care products from a company that’s helping to protect the planet’s future.
One and a half million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – it’s a large number with huge environmental impact – the equivalent of the carbon dioxide sequestered by 17,500 tree seedlings if planted and allowed to grow for ten years.
It’s also the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions that the Paper Mill Store has neutralized over the past six years through its CarbonFree® Shipping Program. Beginning in 2008, the Paper Mill Store partnered with Carbonfund.org to calculate all greenhouse gas emissions from their outbound product shipments each quarter, then neutralize those emissions by supporting renewable energy projects like 100% wind-generated electricity.
“We began using 100% wind power for our electricity needs through the purchase of renewable energy credits back in 2006,” says Brian J. Cowie, C.E.O. and founder of The Paper Mill Store. “We believe that wind power is a smart choice and a significant part of the solution towards cleaner air, water and a step in the direction of energy independence. The carbon offset initiative for outbound shipments is a natural extension of that commitment.”
The CarbonFree® Shipping program is one in a number of important steps that the Paper Mill Store is taking to run their company in a more sustainable and responsible manner. The company also is certified through both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Chain of Custody protocols.When purchasing their FSC and SFI certified paper and envelopes, customers can be certain that the fiber used to manufacture certified paper and envelopes came from well managed forests where people, wildlife and the environment benefit from the forestry practices.
This commitment echoes the Paper Mill Store’s nature-focused location. Their five-acre campus includes a pond clustered with over 100 tree varieties. Employees enjoy watching a mix of wildlife on the property including fox, coyote, hawks, deer, great blue heron, kingfishers, rabbits and more. The natural setting inspires the company’s continued dedication to providing eco-conscious products with CarbonFree® shipping to customers and underscores the company’s industry leadership in sustainability.
Businesses that use ingredients directly from nature ought to have a heightened sensibility to giving back to the environment and preserving the Earth’s resources. Five-Year CarbonFree® Business Partner Alima Pure does just that.
Alima Pure creates mineral-based makeup using only the purest cosmetic-grade mineral pigments. There are no additives, fillers or fragrances that can irritate skin or clog pores. Their mineral pigments are beneficial to the skin, offering sun protection and anti-inflammatory properties.
Alima Pure was founded on the premise of minimal ingredients for maximum impact. They follow the theory that a few simple, natural ingredients crafted in just the right way can give every woman the power to present her best self to the world with confidence and beauty at its most beautiful.
And Alima Pure is committed to reducing their operational carbon footprint by maintaining energy-efficiency manufacturing processes, using wind-powered electricity and recycled materials for printing. To counterbalance the remaining impact, Alima Pure has been a CarbonFree® Business Partner for the past five years, offsetting 100% of their net corporate carbon emissions through contributions to Carbonfund.org that support energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry projects around the globe.
Alima Pure is also a proud member of 1% for the Planet, since their first year in business, donating 1% of annual gross revenue (sales, not profit) to grassroots environmental organizations dedicated to protecting the planet.
All Alima Pure cosmetics are cruelty-free, and most products are vegan (the only exception is a bit of beeswax in lipbalms). This dedication to product purity and operational sustainability sets Alima Pure apart as a leader in the natural cosmetics industry and a committed CarbonFree® Business Partner.