Thursday, 06 August 2009 19:05 Written by Amy Givler
Kimberly-Clark has set a goal to source all of its paper goods from sustainably-forested or recycled wood. That means the next time you buy any paper product from them—even their flagship brand Kleenex—you’ll know that even trees can get victories these days. Here are the details:
- By the end of 2011, Kimberly-Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American tissue fiber – representing an estimated 600,000 tones – is either recycled or FSC certified.
- Also by the end of 2011, Kimberly-Clark will eliminate the purchase of any fiber from the Canadian Boreal Forest that is not FSC certified.
Thursday, 06 August 2009 14:27 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
This month, millions of beach-goers will hit the sand and waves to enjoy the summer weather. After all, what better way to celebrate summer than spending a day (or week!) at the beach? While you're enjoying yourself, keep in mind that protection from the sun's damaging UV rays is important while you're at the beach (and don't forget to offset your travel to the shore!). This summer, team up with CarbonFree® Partner EcoStinger to provide you and your family the best protection. EcoStinger offers high quality sun protective clothing for both children and adults. Since most skin damage occurs before the age of 15, protecting you and your children at a young age is vital to ensuring lasting skin health. With over seven years in the sun protection clothing industry, EcoStinger fabric is tested by the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency and given the highest rating of UPF50+ (their clothes block over 97.5% of the sun's rays!). Chlorine resistant, water repellent, breathable, and quick-drying are the features you will enjoy in your new EcoStinger outfit. If you're swimming, skiing, surfing, boating, cycling, or running, sun protective clothing from EcoStinger can help guard your skin from the sun's harmful radiation. To learn more about their products visit www.ecostinger.com. For 10% off, use coupon code ECOWIM at checkout. Remember, there's free shipping on orders over $59 in the US and you get a free swimsuit if your order is over $59.
Friday, 31 July 2009 17:31 Written by Chris Driver
This week, a new report from Miller Zell and the National Research Institute was released that examines how consumers respond to eco-friendly products. The Green Scene report is a fascinating look at how consumers are responding to green product offerings and provides insight into who is buying green products and what is motivating them. The findings reflect a fact that our partners have discovered over the past several years – consumers are highly interested in sustainability and green products. In fact, 62% of the consumers surveyed claimed that the availability to green items impacted their unplanned, “impulse” purchases. Shoppers are, however, still experiencing some confusion when it comes to determining which products are green when they are in-store, due to a general lack of labeling and information. This is where Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Certified Label can be beneficial. The label is a meaningful and environmentally beneficial way for manufacturers to let their customers know that their product is carbon neutral & can be found on products or labeling such as for the Motorola Renew cell phone and Florida Crystals sugar. It is great to see that consumer demand for green products has been continually on the rise, and we hope we can do our part in helping consumers to find the most eco-friendly options possible.
Friday, 31 July 2009 13:25 Written by Emily Pugliese
One of the best aspects of working here at Carbonfund.org is interacting with our partners and learning about all of the amazing things they are doing. NIKA, whose water received our CarbonFree® Product Certification earlier this year, is no exception. They are a company dedicated to creating positive social and environmental change. NIKA was founded with sole purpose of using the power of water to help bring clean water to those in need. By directing 100% of its profits to alleviate water and sanitation needs in impoverished countries,NIKA hopes to solve the water needs of thousands of families throughout the world. Although they’ve only been in existence a few months, NIKA, together with Free the Children, has already been able to finance the construction of a complete academic village in Kenya that will educate and provide clean water to over 500 children each day. One of the other difficulties facing many of these communities is that young girls are unable to go to school because they have to do the daily water walks to gather the family water for the day. Without education, the cycle of poverty may truly never end. Through the “Adopt a Village” program, Free the Children has developed a creative solution that gets the girls to school but still allows them to take water home after school. They do this through water catchment systems whereby rain water is captured on building roofs and piped over to a rainwater storage tank. The girls are then provided with clean water before going home for the day. NIKA is also committed to maintaining the environment. In addition to the CarbonFree® Certification they are helping to ensure that 100% of what you drink gets recycled through their “One-for-One” recycling program. They believe this program is critical so that we are not increasing the amount of plastic waste that is cluttering our landfills. We congratulate NIKA on their impressive achievements and look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future. To learn more about NIKA and its mission, please visit www.nikawater.org.
Spirit Beauty Lounge is a CarbonFree® Small Business partner that is taking a lead role in helping to create a better planet. In addition to taking part in our CarbonFree® program, Spirit Beauty Lounge is also a member of 1% For The Planet, donating 1% of their total sales to a network of nearly 1,500 different environmental organizations and Spirit Beauty Lounge web site is powered and hosted by facilities using Green-E certified RECs. Spirit Beauty Lounge has also been given the Seal of Approval by Co-Op America. This required that they meet a strict set of criteria proving that they operate according to principles of social justice and environmental sustainability, are socially and environmentally responsible in the way they source and market their products, and are committed to developing and employing extraordinary practices that benefit workers, customers, communities, and the environment. Small businesses are the heart of the American economy and it’s extremely encouraging to see a small business take such a strong stand in favor of sustainability and working for the social good.
The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) - a project of the Center for a New American Dream - has released its purchasing guide for carbon offsets. RPN had contacted Carbonfund.org as a nonprofit provider who has worked with over 1,200 businesses & organizations. The guide is a comprehensive source of information that is particularly useful for businesses and institutions that are looking into offsetting their carbon footprint. The guide empowers readers by outlining the framework for what makes a quality carbon offset, the standards, third-party verification and auditing. Carbon offset standards like the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Climate Acton Reserve, the Gold Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards ensure that projects meet the most stringent additionality and permanence requirements - thus making the projects real and reliable. Unlike other offset guides out there today this guide makes no attempt to rank providers. Many carbon offset provider rankings are based on subjective and/or arbitrary criteria that may or may not have anything to do with whether an offset is real or of high quality. Click here to view the guide.
Friday, 24 July 2009 16:00
Press Release: Guide Rejects Internationally Accepted Third-Party Standards in Favor of Subjective, Non-CO2 Related CriteriaWritten by Paul Burman
SILVER SPRING, Md., July 24 -- In a guide purporting to rate and rank carbon offset providers in Canada and abroad, the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) and Pembina Institute have rejected internationally accepted carbon reduction standards in favor of subjective criteria that have no bearing on whether or not carbon dioxide is reduced from the atmosphere. The guide rejects forest-based carbon reductions even when certified to the strict standards adopted by the United Nations, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), California's Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also allows forest-based carbon reductions, as does the Kyoto Protocol. "Any guide that ranks organizations based on subjective, non-CO2 related criteria on the same level or higher as international, government-backed standards is not a credible source for consumers," said Eric Carlson, president of Carbonfund.org. "For example, the guide allows for important criteria such as additionality to be self-defined and administered - a process that must be performed by third-parties to accepted standards." "It is inconceivable the David Suzuki Foundation, or any reputable environmental organization, would support national or international carbon reduction laws based on the criteria used in this guide," said Carlson. "Internationally accepted standards along with third-party verification and auditing are the only guarantees of carbon reductions - the goal of climate legislation - and are thus hallmarks of quality." The Guide: -- Rejects or Does Not Require Internationally Accepted Standards - The guide sets no requirement, such as in the criteria used, that projects be validated or verified to any internationally accepted standard, such as the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Gold Standard, ISO, VCS or CAR, enabling any organization to create their own standard. -- Rejects Forest-Based Carbon Offsets - Claiming an issue with the permanence of forest-based carbon reductions, the only project type that actually reduces carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the DSF rejects the protocols, standards and methodologies adopted and accepted by the UN, American Carbon Registry (ACR), Climate Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, ISO, CAR and VCS, all of which address and account for project permanence. However, even the David Suzuki Foundation's own science program director, Dr. Faisal Moola, appears to disagree with the guide's view on forest-based reductions and permanence, as this excerpt from the March 16, 2009 issue of Canadian Business indicates: "I'm not opposed to forest-derived offsets," Suzuki scientific director Faisal Moola told Canadian Business. "Trees are the only practical way we have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere." Moola agreed that technology-based offsets like those his foundation favors suffer "common limitations" with biological carbon capture, including leakage and imprecision about how much carbon reduction is truly "additional" to a business-as-usual case. Forest-carbon vendors, he noted, have found ways around the problem of "reversal" by setting aside some of the carbon a forest captures as an unsold buffer against future losses. -- Bungles Concept of Additionality - Additionality attempts to define whether the carbon reduction would have occurred in the absence of the carbon reduction project. It can only credibly be applied by an independent third-party and every standard requires this. A major flaw in the guide is that it allows for the self-definition and application of this important criterion, placing a higher value on self-application of additionality over many offsets certified to international standards. No internationally accepted standard allows for the self-application of additionality. -- Implies Non-Fungibility of Carbon Credits within the Same Standard - Standards such as California's Climate Action Reserve issue Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) for each tonne of carbon reduction they approve to their standards. Once issued, the tonne is fungible with any other CRT, meaning the standards body believes they are of equal quality. The acceptance of standards and their fungibility is an essential component of any international carbon reduction program, such as cap-and-trade. The guide implies the UN, VCS, CAR, ACR and others certify tonnes of unequal quality, and thus are not fungible. "The big story is that the David Suzuki Foundation appears to believe that the leading international standards certify low and differing quality carbon reductions. If this is their belief, why don't they say so and why isn't their guide focused on ranking carbon standards organizations, the bodies behind carbon credits and the claims," asked Carlson. -- Uses Subjective and Non-Carbon Related Criteria - The guide promotes subjective and non-carbon related criteria, such as education by the provider or project developer, which accounts for 10% of the score, when trying to determine the quality of the carbon reduced, despite having no impact on whether a carbon reduction actually occurred. "Climate change is a deadly serious issue affecting our planet and we all need to work together to measurably and certifiably reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Carlson. "This guide is a disservice to Canadian consumers and the dedicated experts developing and implementing robust international standards to ensure projects actually reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. The guide does not meet the normally high standards of the David Suzuki Foundation." The internationally accepted standards mentioned in this release have been developed by hundreds of climate experts, government officials and nonprofit leaders through numerous stakeholder groups and are widely accepted around the world. Conversely, there is not a single piece of national or international legislation that allows for the self-verification of additionality, use of a self-defined standard or that bases carbon quality on how well a company educates the public. About Carbonfund.org Carbonfund.org is a leading international nonprofit climate solutions organization based in the United States. Carbonfund.org works with over 450,000 individuals and 1,200 businesses around the world to calculate, reduce and offset their climate impact. Carbonfund.org is a Founding Member of the American Carbon Registry. www.carbonfund.org.