Wednesday, 02 October 2013 11:05

Bambeco Embraces Carbonfree® Shipping

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Sustainable home décor e-retailer bambeco has launched their CarbonFree® Shipping program in partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation as part of the company’s goal to reduce its carbon impact.

“Bambeco was built from its inception as a sustainable company and brand focused on carbon reductions in all of our business practices. We continually evaluate our company and processes to make further carbon reductions. I am excited about our recent carbon reduction initiative to eliminate our carbon impact in 100% of our customer shipments. Working with Carbonfund.org to achieve Carbonfree® Shipping allows us to offset unavoidable shipping emissions and support renewable energy and reforestation,” explains Susan Aplin, bambeco CEO and co-founder.

Through the CarbonFree® Shipping program, bambeco calculates the carbon footprint of product shipments based on actual shipping, then offsets the environmental impact to create a carbon-neutral shipping process. “Shipping carbon-free to our customer’s door is one more step that bambeco is taking to allow consumers to live their sustainable values and help improve our environment. Together, we are changing the world, one room at a time,” says CEO Aplin.

“We welcome bambeco to our Carbonfree® Shipping program and applaud their decision to neutralize carbon emissions from product shipments to customers right from the start,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “This is an easy and affordable sustainability initiative that companies of any size can implement. It makes a difference to customers, and it makes a difference to the environment.”

The United Nations’ (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their climate change report on Friday that they produce about every five to six years.  The IPCC’s last report was published in 2007.  The UN created the IPCC to assess the science, risks and impacts of global warming, and the IPCC is considered the world's leading authority on climate change.

A press release from the IPCC says, “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.”

Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850, reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by member governments of the IPCC in Stockholm, Sweden.”

Extremely likely is an upgrade from a previous report that said it was very likely that human intervention was spurring climate change.  The IPCC defines extremely likely as 95–100% probability of an outcome or a result, and very likely as 90–100% probability.

The report's authors do not conduct original research for the assessments, so the IPCC reports are primarily summaries of the state of the field.  The findings are based on the aggregated results of the most recent published and peer-reviewed climate change research with more than 600 researchers from 32 countries reviewing more than 9,000 peer-reviewed studies for this report.  They produced 2,000 pages of scientific analysis and worked through 56,000 comments.

Friday’s report represents the first of four sections that ultimately make up the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, or AR5.  Other parts of the report examine socioeconomic impacts and potential ways to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry responded to the UN report with this statement:

"Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire. Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate."

The bottom line is alarm bells should be going off as you read about this disturbing report.  Each of us influences climate change and it should frighten you that some of its impacts are happening faster than originally expected.  We need to do more to correct the problem.  This massive and critical report points to long term implications if we do not embrace a sustainable, cleaner energy future posthaste.

CarbonFree® Business Partner Eagle Wing Tours and its co-owner and captain Brett Soberg received two environmental awards last week, confirming the Vancouver-based whale watching tourism company's leadership in environmental sustainability.

Brett has worked to ‘create a new model for what a responsible whale watching company should look like on and off the water.’ Soberg received the Community Environmental Leader category Capital Regional District (CRD) EcoStar Award, which honors the work of an individual who has continually gone the extra mile to help steward our environment and engage in conservation.  Eagle Wing Tours received the Tourism Sustainability Award at the Tourism Vancouver Island's 50th Annual Conference, which recognizes a tourism business in the Vancouver Island Region that has set out to minimize their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, respect local cultures and benefit local communities. 

Eagle Wing Tours is Canada’s first 100% carbon neutral whale watching company and the only one to support 1% For the Planet.  Eagle Wing Tours achieves its carbon neutral status by calculating its annual operational emissions with assistance from Synergy Enterprises & Synergy Sustainability Institute and submitting the analysis to Carbonfund.org for review.  Eagle Wing Tours then offsets its verified annual operational emissions through Carbonfund.org by supporting renewable energy projects.  The 100% carbon neutral program also satisfies Eagle Wing Tours' 1% For the Planet commitment.

“We are trying to redefine what a wildlife tour company is. Spotting that whale is the cherry on top of an all ready very comprehensive marine experience,” explains Brett Soberg.  “What we can do to protect these species by supporting education, conservation and responsible business is where we really count.  We selected to support Carbonfund.org due their non-profit designation which supports our 1% For the Planet membership.”

Other environmental efforts underway with Eagle Wing Tours include the Wild for Whales adoption program, the Earth Day Garbage Showdown and the World Oceans day Celebration at Fisherman’s Wharf. With sustainability integrated into the core of how they do business, Eagle Wing Tours will continue to lead the way for responsible eco tourism in Victoria and around the world.  

What does consistent environmental leadership look like?  Over the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Community Capital Management has neutralized over 850,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the emissions created by burning almost 43,500 gallons of gasoline. 

Community Capital Management is a registered investment adviser whose mission is to deliver strong investment performance for its clients in strategies aligned with their organizational purpose.  The firm primarily manages fixed income impact investing portfolios that finance a variety of community initiatives such as affordable homeownership and rental housing, environmental sustainability, job creation and training programs, affordable healthcare facilities, childcare programs, and neighborhood revitalization activities.  As a leader in the impact investing space, Community Capital Management maintains its commitment to operating an environmentally-conscious business practice.

"Community Capital is excited to partner with Carbonfund.org in committing to offset our carbon footprint. We hope that we will help lead the way and encourage others in the investment management industry to do the same," said Jamie Horwitz, Director of Marketing at Community Capital.

The firm is proud to lead by example, offsetting its carbon emissions by supporting the development of renewable energy, forestry projects and increased energy efficiency through its partnership with Carbonfund.org.

In addition, Community Capital Management’s CarbonFree® commitment includes encouraging office recycling programs, minimizing the use of plastic water bottles by offering a water filtration system in their office, using energy-efficient lighting, conducting more marketing online rather than using printed media, living within close proximity to their office to reduce vehicle pollution, and continually seeking other ways to grow their business in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner.  This consistent leadership in operational sustainability sets Community Capital Management in the forefront of its industry as an environmentally responsible fixed income investment management firm. 

Industry leadership is often demonstrated by implementing internally the best practices promoted to customers.  This notion of “getting and keeping one’s own house in order first” is exemplified by the sustainability strategies of CarbonFree® Partner Clarke, a global environmental products and services company with the mission is to make communities around the world more livable, safe and comfortable. 

In 2008 Clarke established a set of aggressive sustainability goals, and put into motion initiatives to achieve them.  Every employee is charged with making everyday decisions, big and small, through a sustainability lens.  In 2009, Clarke completed its first sustainability report, and in 2010, began reporting greenhouse gas emissions according to GRI standards.  For the past three years, Clarke has neutralized its electricity usage and onsite fuel consumption by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon emissions reduction projects around the world.      

”We are committed to creating policies and procedures that reduce our carbon footprint,” states J. Lyell Clarke III, President & CEO of Clarke.  “Our commitment is a journey and we cannot continue on our journey without the partnerships of our stakeholders, customers and employees, and Carbonfund.org, which has demonstrated its transparency and helps us to further mitigate our impact today.” 

Clarke helps its customers improve the health and safety of communities by developing and delivering environmentally responsible mosquito control and aquatic services to help prevent disease, control nuisances and create healthy waterways.  Clarke’s product innovations include EarthRight™, a groundbreaking municipal public health service that uses only products made from naturally-derived active ingredients, and employs earth-friendly application methods including bicycles and all-electric sprayers. EarthRight™includes a unique pairing of two Environmental Protection Agency-registered and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Listed® products to give communities a highly sustainable choice for effective mosquito control. 

Environmentally-conscious product development coupled with a disciplined strategy for internal and operational sustainability make Clarke an industry leader and partner that Carbonfund.org admires.

Clean water - a basic necessity for life and sustainability, yet almost 800 million people in our world still lack access to it.  Carbonfund.org Certified Carbonfree® partner Nika Water not only ensures that their products’ carbon dioxide emissions are fully neutralized, but Nika uses the power of water to help bring clean water to those in need.

Five years ago, Nika took the important step to perform a life cycle assessment of their bottled water, measuring the carbon emissions required to source and transport the water, manufacture the bottles, caps, labels and packaging, deliver the water to distribution outlets, then use and recycle the empty water bottles.  As each bottle of Nika Water is sold, Nika makes a corresponding donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize the carbon emissions attributable to that bottle of water.  Nika’s ongoing donations to Carbonfund.org support reforestation projects around the world that absorb carbon dioxide emissions while providing additional environmental benefits to the wildlife, habitat and communities in and around the projects.     

“After extensive research, we determined that Carbonfund.org was the superior provider of carbon footprint solutions due to their professionalism, pragmatic and business friendly solutions, list of available projects and complete operational transparency ensuring that Nika was devoting its resources in a truly meaningful way,” explains Jordan Mellul, General Manager for Nika. 

Now Nika has launched another project to bring a safe, clean source of water to a community in need.  In the West Sumatra region of Indonesia, the community of Muntei Kecil uses the river as their primary water source, even though the unsanitary condition and poor quality of the water threatens their health.  As part of Nika’s ongoing mission to use the power of water to make a positive impact, Nika is partnering with Surfaid to build a solar powered water pump with water source protection to serve the community in Muntei Kecil. 

With access to clean water, the community will be able to grow and become sustainable.  All Nika Water purchases participate in this project and others that Nika supports in addressing the growing need for clean, safe drinking water around the world. By directing 100% of its profits from the sale of its bottled water to alleviate water and sanitation needs in impoverished countries, Nika hopes to solve the water needs of thousands of families throughout the world.  Carbonfund.org values our partnership with Nika Water and supports their efforts to reduce the global water crisis.  

The Channel Islands National Park, off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, is one of the most astounding and best-kept-secret wilderness attractions in the U.S.  It is the only National Park that isn't open for vehicle traffic and does not charge an entrance fee.  New CarbonFree® Business Partner Channel Islands Outfitters (CIO) offers tours to experience this natural amusement park, as well as other guided kayaking, sea cave exploration, hiking, backpacking expeditions and multi-sport adventures.  

CIO is an employee owned and operated company of adventure enthusiasts who share a passion for the Channel Islands, Santa Ynez Mountains, and other amazing outdoor experiences.   But the company recognized that its tour operations create unavoidable carbon emissions.  By joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and supporting clean air and carbon reduction projects, CIO has neutralized its annual operational emissions.

"Traveling to an island on a regular basis requires fossil fuels to be burned, which contributes to CO2 emissions, “says Garrett Kababik, CEO and Co-Founder of CIO.   “We can’t avoid this and stay in business, so we are doing our part to offset this carbon in other ways, which is why we partnered with Carbonfund.org."

The guides and advisory board of CIO have been serving Santa Barbara Community and the Channel Islands National Park for over 20 years.  CIO also educates the public about ocean related issues and volunteers in restoration and preservation efforts in the Santa Barbara Channel watersheds.

This level of environmental leadership is evident in CIO’s overall operational commitments.  In 2013, CIO officially became a certified For-Benefit Corporation.  By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves by offering a more positive and transparent way to do business. In addition, CIO established an Adventure Co-op that gives local community members and regular adventure travel guests to join the co-op and lower the ongoing costs of CIO services while enjoying access to the Paddle Sports Center facilities, equipment and fitness plans.   

Carbonfund.org welcomes CIO to the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and supports their efforts to run a more sustainable and responsible adventure tourism business.   

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. 

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