There’s a battle over battery recycling and materials recovery processes brewing in Ontario, Canada.  A proposed new battery recycling program could threaten the local industry and jobs, and impact the US environment as well. 

Expanding its commitment to environmental sustainability, LEI Products’ Certified Carbonfree® Eco Alkalines Batteries recently partnered with Raw Materials Company (RMC) to support 100% recycling of its batteries.  In addition to assessing the batteries’ full life cycle carbon emissions and neutralizing those emissions through Carbonfund.org, Eco Alkalines wanted to ensure that their battery was truly sustainable through the end-of-use and disposal portion of its life cycle. 

RMC uses an innovative mechanical process that crushes the batteries to separate all of the component materials.  100% of each battery is reused and up to 92% is up-cycled. The paper and plastic from alkaline batteries, which makes up approximately 8% to 15% of the battery depending on type, is used to produce energy. RMC’s process to recycle alkaline batteries creates negligible greenhouse gas emissions and produces zero secondary waste -- none of the component materials are sent to the landfill. Additionally, all of the recovered materials are consumed locally within 300 miles of RMC. 

By partnering with RMC, Eco Alkalines is confident that the end-of-life processing of the batteries achieves the greatest possible recycling and environmental outcomes. 

But the recent revelation that Waste Diversion Ontario is actively considering a proposal by a company called Call2Recycle, which could potentially wipe out Raw Materials Company, is causing concerns ranging from potential job losses to compromised environmental standards. 

Eco Alkalines Batteries does not support the proposal put forth by Call2Recycle to process old batteries, as they view this alternative for battery recycling as a return to more wasteful and environmentally harmful methods. 

 It’s also worth noting that Call2Recycle’s proposal likely would result in exporting the battery recycling, and its attendant waste and carbon dioxide emissions, to the US.  

So why would Waste Diversion Ontario, be considering another option for battery recycling, especially since the Canadian government currently is considering a proposed Waste Reduction Act, Bill 91, with progressive new recycling standards? 

Call2Recycle, who represents major battery players Duracell and Energizer, has historically used Pennsylvania-based smelter company INMETCO to process old batteries.  Not only would a move to Care2Recycle’s proposal likely put RMC out of business, eliminating the employment of close to 50 Ontario residents in a period marked by economic instability, but also it likely would prove to be a much less environmentally sound option.  The smelting process is cheap; however, the environmental performance is extremely poor because a steel smelter was not designed to recycle alkaline batteries. The burning process creates unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions as well as a secondary waste called slag, which contains high concentrations of heavy metals. This slag is often used as filler for asphalt roads and considered by most to be a waste as it cannot be re-used.  

Call2Recycle may be able to quote a lower bid, but the costs to the local Ontario economy and the impact on the environment may well outweigh the perceived benefit of a reduction in Canada’s government spending.  Carbonfund.org joins Eco Alkalines Batteries in supporting innovative product recycling, reclamation and reuse developed by companies like Raw Materials Company. 

It’s a lot easier to follow your mantra and lead by example when helping businesses transform their IT services and their operational sustainability.  This is exactly what Carbonfree® Business Partner Mantra Computing is accomplishing. 

Mantra Computing provides business in the Boston and Providence areas with business technology consulting and support services, using a high-tech, high-touch approach to business technology services, and working closely with business owners and managers to understand their businesses and financial needs.  Mantra’s TotalCare Managed Services, various hosted solutions and on-call support solutions help clients stay productive and ahead of their competition. 

In order to lead the way, Mantra Computing has instituted a variety of sustainability initiatives for their own business, many of which they then recommend to their clients. 

For the past five years, Mantra Computing has neutralized its own annual operational emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program by supporting clean energy technology and carbon reduction projects around the world. 

“One of Mantra Computing's tenets is a responsibility to its surrounding community,” explains Garrett Brown, President of Mantra Computing.  “We also believe that we have a responsibility to do something about global warming, which is why we’ve chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org.” 

In addition, Mantra Computing assists clients with technological solutions to conserve energy by implementing automated processes to power down idle equipment during non-business hours.  Mantra uses remote support and remote access technology tools to minimize unnecessary travel for service support, and they help clients recycle old electronic equipment responsibly through partnership with ACT Secured Recycling.  Leading by example and maintaining a commitment to operational sustainability is part of the proven formula for success at Mantra Computing.    

DermaMed Solutions announced that it has joined the Carbonfree® Partnership program. Operated by Carbonfund.org Foundation, the program helps individuals and businesses understand climate change and develop practical and cost-effective solutions to slow, stop and reduce the climate crisis.

DermaMed Solutions explains that is has joined the Carbonfree® Partnership program to neutralize their carbon footprint by supporting clean air technology and carbon reduction projects in the US.

“It’s an important step towards ensuring a healthier earth,” says DermaMed president Mark Pinsley, in a press release. “DermaMed Solutions chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because we wish we could do more. In our daily operations, we strive to find new ways of packaging and promoting products that are ecologically friendly, and we recycle whenever possible. However, finding alternative ways to accomplish sustainably is not always logistically and financially feasible. Carbonfund.org is a great way to make a difference. We are happy Carbonfund.org is here to help!”

“The first step in the path to sustainability is recognizing that you can make a difference,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “We encourage everyone to continually strive to reduce their carbon footprint through sensible energy reductions combined with cost-effective carbon offsets to eliminate their overall carbon footprint.”

The New Year is here, and progressive businesses are already launching their sustainability initiatives.  New Carbonfree® Business Partner evolveEA is out of the blocks early with their Green Vision for Living Buildings in 2014.                

evolveEA is a multidisciplinary architectural design practice committed to sustainability in the built environment, and ready to help individuals, communities, and organizations take strategic action towards sustainable practices.  evolveEA looks through three lenses of sustainability: People, Process, and Place. 

evolveEA is a carbon neutral, B-Corp certified company and won first place among small businesses in Southwest Pennsylvania in a 2012 competition judged on all aspects of a company’s sustainability footprint.  After reducing emissions wherever possible, evolveEA chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to completely neutralize emissions from four years’ worth of annual business operations.  Through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, evolveEA is supporting energy efficiency projects in order to mitigate its own operational emissions.  

“evolve’s mission to advance sustainable systems and solutions for people, processes, and places has driven us to achieve and maintain carbon neutral operations since 2011,” explains Steve Hockley, Sustainability Process Manager.  “While we have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint, Carbonfund.org has enabled us to reach net zero emissions by purchasing offsets for four years worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our office operations and travel.” 

The impact of building sustainability can be seen in recent evolveEA projects, including the US Steel Tower’s LEED certification process begun in 2007.  With the recent changes to LEED certification, businesses have additional opportunities and incentives to neutralize building emissions by supporting carbon emissions offsetting projects.  evolveEA and Carbonfund.org look forward to partnering on future projects to help advance sustainable systems and solutions across the country through the design of green buildings and facilitation of carbon-neutral 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.

To learn more about the Carbonfree® certification, contact Dennis Gillan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Carbonfund.org and NSF International’s website.

Eco Alkalines Batteries are pleased to announce their upcoming product launch with Best Buy Canada, the nation’s fastest growing retailer of consumer electronics.  Best Buy Canada, a specialty retailer and e-tailer of consumer electronics, personal computers and entertainment, shares Eco Alkalines vision for creating and supplying sustainable businesses and communities. 

Best Buy is strongly committed to doing it share in protecting the planet and conserving the earth’s resources. As an electronics retailer company, Best Buy feels a responsibility to prevent old and unwanted electronics from making their way to Canadian landfills. In the spring of 2013, select Best Buys stores across Canada teamed up and collected more than 37,000 pounds of e-waste of local residents. Additionally, every Best Buy location in Canada offers in-store recycling where customers can recycle everything from batteries and cell phones to printers and TVs. Best Buy is also committed to offering a wide range of sustainable products such as Eco Alkalines batteries. 

Like Best Buy Canada, Eco Alkalines batteries are a Canadian company committed to environmental sustainability and green innovation. Eco-Alkalines batteries are environmentally friendly and landfill safe. They are manufactured with earth friendly derivatives and contain 0% trace amounts of harmful metals such as Mercury, Cadmium and Lead. They have been certified as Carbonfree® by Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability and can be used to count towards prerequisites and credits in LEED certified building projects and building operation. 

"Certification sets us apart from our competitors," says Lalonde. "We are currently the world's only disposable alkaline battery with this certification. We have found that certification has helped to increase our market share and create customer and brand loyalty among consumers who are seeking to purchase and use eco-friendly products."

Carbonfree® certification also lends credibility to Eco Alkalines, a relatively newer brand, in a marketplace of well-known battery products. "Although many products claim to be ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly,’ these terms are often used loosely or without a clear description of what that means. We wanted third-party verification from two trusted and recognizable organizations – Carbonfund.org and NSF International - so that consumers would understand and have faith in our green claims," added Lalonde.

In addition to their innovative and unique green credentials and applications, Eco Alkalines batteries have excelled in performance and longevity tests, consistently demonstrating that Eco Alkalines perform equal to or better than the leading national brands. Eco Alkalines have a guaranteed 5-year shelf life and a unique patented leak resistant seal ensuring that they will not leak into your devices. 

Despite their pioneering eco accolades and novel technology, Eco Alkalines batteries are competitively priced compared to the leading national brands. As eco-friendly technology evolves to a ‘must’ rather than a choice, Eco Alkalines batteries offer consumers and companies a green product at market prices.  Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Eco Alkalines batteries and applauds this expansion of market availability through Best Buy Canada for the Certified Carbonfree® batteries.   

 

 

A good idea is easy to spread, and a great deal really catches on at this holiday gift-giving time of year.

Carbonfund.org’s tree-planting campaigns have always attracted individual and business donors to support these affordable and high-impact environmental initiatives, and the Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free campaign adds the incredible value of two, three, even five times the donation value in Restaurant.com dining rewards.    

Carbonfund.org business partner ITA Group, a leader in events, incentives and recognition programs, recognized the appeal of this program and is now offering the Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free program in its points-based rewards catalog. Top performers of ITA Group clients can redeem points to plant trees through Carbonfund.org’s program and receive the Restaurant.com dining rewards.

“The dining rewards component really adds to the trophy value of Carbonfund.org’s tree-planting program,” said Larisa Mendenhall, Director of Individual Awards. “We’re pleased to offer our program participants this unique opportunity.”

In its 50th year creating and managing events, incentives and recognition programs, ITA Group helps clients engage, retain and reward their workforce.  ITA Group’s programs help to keep employees “checked in” and believing in what they’re doing every day. Alignment of people and mission is crucial in moving companies forward.  It’s also critical to furthering important sustainability initiatives and helping to restore and preserve our environment.  ITA Group makes it possible for their clients to do both by offering the Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free rewards program.

What are you doing to incent, reward and thank your employees, neighbors, friends, teachers, community and family this year?  Check out the Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free program for a high-value high-impact option!  

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