Wednesday, 12 January 2011 15:14 Written by Jordana Fyne
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="384" caption="Image courtesy of Solar Thermal Magazine"][/caption] A record-breaking $243 billion was spent globally on clean energy investment in 2010, which represents a 30% increase from 2009 and double the amount spent in 2006, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report released yesterday. Wind and solar power, as well as energy-smart technologies like electric vehicles and power storage, all saw a boost in investment dollars, which Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, lauds as a huge achievement. "It flies in the face of scepticism about the clean energy sector among public market investors, who have been concerned about the sustainability of subsidy programs in Europe, the failure of the Obama administration to deliver a climate or an energy deal, and the crescendo of ill?informed doubts about climate change," Liebreich said. China and Europe were the main drivers in last year's clean energy push with investment in China up 30% to $51.1 billion, by far the largest figure for any country. Small-scale generation projects like rooftop solar panels surged by 91% in 2010 to $59.6 billion, largely in Germany but also in the U.S., Czech Republic, Italy and elsewhere. “We have been saying for some time that the world needs to reach a figure of $500 billion per annum investment in clean energy if we are to see carbon emissions peak by 2020," Liebreich said. "What we are seeing in these figures for the first time is that we are half?way there, and it is very good news." While this surge in clean energy investment is positive, Liebreich does point out that 2010's growth was spurred by government intervention, particularly in China and Europe. He suggests that the industry needs to continue to drive down costs to reduce reliance on this type of support so that the global community can eventually thrive on these alternative energy solutions. Find out how you can hasten the transition to a clean energy future by learning more about Carbonfund.org's renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 10:34 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
James Turner of Wilmington, NC has won the opportunity to be the newest franchisee of a Clean Air Lawn Care business. Only the second Clean Air Lawn Care in North Carolina, Mr. Turner is excited to bring an eco-friendly business to the area and spread the word about environmental issues. Clean Air Lawn Care is a partner of Carbonfund.org. After he completes corporate training and paperwork, Mr. Turner says the business will be ready to launch by summer. Clean Air Lawn Care franchisees use biodiesel-powered and electric landscaping equipment powered by wind energy overnight and solar energy on-the-go. Each truck has a solar system mounted on the back of the vehicle that charges the equipment. They also offer organic fertilization and treatment, and reduce their emissions with Carbonfund.org in support of our third-party validated carbon reduction projects. To see locations near you, visit Clean Air Lawn Care today.
Our new partner, Clean Air Cab, is a carbon neutral taxi company serving the Phoenix metro area. In addition to purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org, they go above and beyond and also plant ten trees per month for each cab they have on the road. For October, Clean Air Cab has planted 260 trees! They plan to reach 200 cabs in the next 3 years and plant over 23,000 trees. Rather than your usual Ford Crown Victoria, their entire fleet is made up of Toyota Priuses getting an estimated 50 miles per gallon. They also prove that going green doesn't have to be expensive. They have prices that are cheaper than the top three cab companies in Phoenix. “We believe that going green isn’t something you do – it is something you are,” said Steve Lopez, Founder of Clean Air Cab. In addition to taking care of the environment, Clean Air Cab has programs that protect their local community. Arizona State University students can call Clean Air Cab’s Free Ride Back program to get a cab to take them home if they have been drinking and can't drive themselves. In the morning, they call back and a cab will pick them up and take them back to their car for free. People in the Phoenix, AZ metro area can book a Clean Air Cab taxi online at www.CleanAirCab.com or by calling 480-777-9777. Check out Carbonfund.org's CarbonFree® logo on the back of each Clean Air Cab!
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 13:57 Written by Ivan Chan
Over 2,000 more products than last year are being sold with some kind of green attribute. It's critical to avoid greenwashing. Labeling helps, but labels should themselves be clear and credible. Credibility means being backed by transparent, accepted standards each step of the way. So that companies can relate their product's climate impact clearly and credibly, Carbonfund.org in 2007 established the CarbonFree® Certified product label. The label means what it says, that a product is carbon neutral, and is backed by a publicly available protocol based on accepted standards on how a product's carbon footprint is determined. The rigorous program requires a third-party conducted product life-cycle assessment and has an expert technical advisory board. By going carbon neutral, a product's footprint is reduced to zero in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects that are helping fight climate change today. Labeling can be the antidote to greenwashing, if it is clear and credible, which can be important also with regard to the FTC's proposed revisions to its Green Guides. For consumers, labeling also differentiates brands and products that have valid environmental benefits. This makes choosing and buying products that are better for the environment easier and encourages more companies to make better products. To learn more about how you can avoid greenwashing, view this user-friendly guide. You can also learn more about product certification here.
Monday, 30 August 2010 17:21 Written by Greg Taylor
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 10:48 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
CauseWorld is a mobile application that allows you to donate to charities of your choice, free of cost to you, while you shop. As you visit various stores, you accumulate "karmas" which can then be used for donations to charitable organizations. CauseWorld just got another contribution from corporate sponsor Citi which put its total contribution to the application at $700,000. It seems pleased with the app's performance - it has been downloaded over 300,000 times and large companies like Citi and Kraft are turning those karmas into real dollars. Some of the many actions that can be supported on the CauseWorld application include donating to classrooms in need, offsetting carbon dioxide emissions (that's us!), providing a meal for the hungry, or helping an injured animal. No purchase is required and it is available for the iPhone and Android phones. Let's continue the success of CauseWorld and its generous sponsors: download the application today and start reducing your carbon emissions!
In Cameroon, the amount of timber harvested since 1996 has increased by a factor of 10, making logging a significant economic player in this African country. However, nearly 75% of that timber is harvested illegally, a practice that threatens the very resource the nation depends on. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is shedding light and knowledge on what they’re calling “Cameroon’s Hidden Harvest,” highlighting the degradation of the local environment while also pointing out that over 45,000 people in the local community depend on such practices to support their families. CIFOR’s research draws attention to the fact that while moving toward stronger deforestation laws is critical to our environment and combating climate change, the human element at economic risk cannot be ignored and must be part of the story in the path to more sustainable development techniques. The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity, and Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with CIFOR for another year to support the research facility in a different capacity – helping mitigate the carbon footprint of the organization’s corporate emissions. CIFOR’s work is particularly critical for many of the forest projects that Carbonfund.org supports, and we are pleased to support their mission. Operating around the world, and primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, CIFOR provides important analysis to help policy makers improve forest management techniques from the viewpoint of the people whose livelihoods depend on forests for agriculture, infrastructure, and trade. A real eye-opener is “deforestation counter” on CIFOR’s homepage, which showed me that during the short time I spent on their site learning about their programs, 3,600 hectares of forest were lost. This is staggering, to say the least. We encourage everyone to follow the important work of CIFOR, which is now easier than ever with three new Facebook pages: one in English that is focused internationally, one in Spanish focused on Latin America and another in French focused on Africa. Likewise, they have launched three new Twitter feeds in English, French and Spanish. To learn more about the important forestry issues affecting our world today, check out the thoughtful and informative articles on the CIFOR blog.
Soylar Candles is an online marketplace offering eco-friendly soy candles and gifts made in a solar powered home. Every candle is housed in reused and reclaimed jars that have been collected from local families and day-cares and then cleaned with non-toxic cleaners. All of their product packaging is plant-based, biodegradable and renewable. Soylar uses 100% sugar cane box containers and natural plant cellophane rolls, bags and tape. For all of the emissions that they can not reduce, Soylar Candles has joined our partner program to offset their shipping and other carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to these amazing sustainability and offset programs, Soylar Candles is a 1% For the Planet member and donates 1% of its annual profits to environmental programs. Being a family-run business, Soylar is run from the home of Irene Guoz who has installed a 3.3 kw solar system for her house. Irene also does tours through her home to teach people about the benefits of solar power and sustainability. Just this past May, her home was featured in the 2nd annual Long Beach Sustainability and Solar Conference & Tour. To learn more about Soylar Candles and to browse their amazing selection of candles, gift baskets, and reusable bags, please visit their website.