Ten years ago, American Greg Findley founded Detour – the Local Travel Marketplace – to connect travelers seeking unique adventure tours with top-quality, sustainable, local tour operators. After 20+ years as a guide and operations manager in the US and in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, Africa, the Philippines, and Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Costa Rica in Latin America, Greg learned first-hand how to craft great travel experiences for travelers, and he came to understand fully what makes a great adventure tour. He also learned that international tourism must benefit the local people and it must help to protect the local environment in the travel destination. Detour is committed to tourism that is both great fun, but also that helps to make the world a better place.
As an important part of its sustainable tour operations mission, Detour minimizes its own operational carbon emissions then mitigates what it cannot eliminate in partnership with Carbonfund.org. As a virtual company, Detour maintains only a small wind-powered office with some employees working from home. Detour handles all tour information and customer communications online, replacing paper and printing with electronic documents. And for the past ten years, Detour has neutralized all remaining operational emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program. To date, Detour has neutralized almost 740,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 8600 tree seedlings planted then grown over a ten-year period.
“As a company based on promoting small-scale tourism directly through socially and environmentally responsible local tour operators and outfitters, Detour is committed to protecting the environment and minimizing global climate change,” said Greg Findley, Detour’s CEO.
Working only with sustainable local travel companies ensures that the tours support the local economies. Detour selects tour operations that employ local people and provide economic incentives for local people to protect their natural and cultural resources. Traveling with local companies also gives travelers a window into the lives of the communities they visit. This inside knowledge can make the difference between being a tourist and thoroughly experiencing and learning about a destination.
Taking a trip, even the most sustainably-planned tour, has some negative environmental impacts, including the carbon emissions of airplane travel and on-site ground transportation. Detour advises its customers to become environmentally-responsible travelers by choosing a sustainable trip, taking fewer and longer trips, and trying to get direct air flights when possible. Detour also encourages tour customers to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from their flights through Carbonfund.org, in order to take responsibility to neutralize vacation travel emissions. Carbonfund.org congratulates Detour on its tenth anniversary as a Carbonfree® Business Partner and in maintaining its ongoing commitment to environmentally sustainable tour operations.
Non-profit organization LightHawk's mission is to accelerate conservation success through the powerful perspective of flight. Or put another way, they are pilots flying to save the earth.
By mobilizing a team of dedicated volunteer pilots, LightHawk empowers photographers, environmental experts, and storytellers to make images, collect data, inform the public and share their flight perspectives. LightHawk’s flight campaigns - donated free of charge to its partners - start conversations and find common ground, enable smarter decision-making, and let conservation partners work faster and more efficiently from the air than on the ground.
LightHawk values the earth and the life that depends upon it. That’s why before any conservation flight leaves the ground, they ensure it is a good use of the flight resource and will pay off in many ways. For ten years, LightHawk has partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset their carbon footprint.
With their focus on environmental conservation, LightHawk recognizes that their flight activities and operations create carbon dioxide emissions that are harmful to the environment. As a result, LightHawk became a Carbonfree® Partner ten years ago, calculating and neutralizing flight and business operations each year by supporting Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world. To date, LightHawk has neutralized almost 4.7 million pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to planting 54,600 tree seedlings and growing those trees for ten years.
LightHawk works with big conservation groups like The Nature Conservancy and Sonoran Institute, as well as smaller local land trust and independent groups dedicated to preserving land, water and wildlife. By making the aerial perspective of flight freely available, LightHawk provides a broader perspective of widespread activities across landscapes and bodies of water, and how those activities, both positive and negative, are affecting the earth.
The unique view of the earth and the transformative experiences provided by flight help inform, inspire and educate all those who are helping to save and preserve our planet. Carbonfund.org commends LightHawk on its continuing role in aiding these efforts and in maintaining Carbonfree® flight operations as an important part of its overall mission.
For ten years, ONNO t-shirts have improved product sustainability by participating in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing a portion of their product shipping and transportation emissions. Because ONNO t-shirt company moves raw materials and finished product all over the globe, producing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels (from boats, trains, and trucks), the company has chosen to balance the environmental impact of those transportation emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s forest preservation, carbon emissions reduction and renewable energy projects around the world.
Producing environmentally-conscious clothing is a complicated process. Conventionally-grown cotton has been clearly identified as one of the world’s “dirtiest” crops, accounting for 16% of global insecticide releases – more than any other single crop, according to the nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation. Synthetic fabrics are, well, just that – synthetics, made from petro-chemicals, releasing large quantities of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, and producing toxic waste water, in their manufacturing processes, and are not biodegradable.
ONNO t-shirt company produces its socially-responsible t-shirts using sustainable fibers from bamboo, hemp and organic cotton. Their website provides great information about the fabrics used to make their more sustainably produced shirts. And their long-term commitment to carbon emissions mitigation through investment in Carbonfund.org’s clean air projects makes the partnership between ONNO t-shirt company and Carbonfund.org a great example of true operational sustainability.
The team at Greenwave Foods, which makes “cruncha ma-me” edamame snacks, is driven by a zealous belief in their core values, which focus on ethical business practices, environmental sustainability, and holistic plant-based nutrition. Their core mission is to provide unique snacks that are truly healthy, not just “healthier” versions of junk food.
Freeze-drying and shipping their cruncha ma-me snacks uses energy, so Greenwave Foods reduces its carbon footprint by partnering with Carbonfund.org to purchase carbon credits that fund reforestation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects around the world.
From inception five years ago, Greenwave Foods has maintained a commitment to neutralizing its estimated annual operating emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated and verified carbon offset projects. As a Carbonfree® Business Partner since 2011, Greenwave Foods has mitigated over 360,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the greenhouse gases emitted by driving a passenger car almost 400,000 miles.
We’re all busy - We are always on the run, so it is often hard to eat fresh vegetables. With cruncha ma-me snacks, we can reach for an all-natural wholesome veggie snack that is nutritious, tastes great and can be eaten anytime, anywhere. Cruncha ma-me edamame snacks provide good sources of protein and fiber and are a tasty alternative to highly-salted chips or sugary candy bars and other unhealthy snacks.
When you reach for cruncha ma-me snacks, you’re supporting a company that supports environmental preservation, too. Carbonfund.org thanks Greenwave Foods for five years of partnership in helping to reduce the negative impact of greenhouse gases on our environment.
Earth Day 2015 is here!
Celebrate with Carbonfund.org by supporting our latest forest preservation and biodiversity conservation project, the Envira Amazonia Project. Located in the far-western state of Acre, Brazil, the Envira Amazonia Project will conserve almost 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of fragile rainforest, protect thousands of plant and animal species, including many that are threatened and endangered, and provide forest conservation education, jobs and training, economic benefits, and health and education enhancements for the local people living on the land.
The Envira Amazonia Project is one of the world’s largest REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries) projects, and the project now is slated to be among only a handful of projects to earn triple Gold certification from the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) for exceptional community, exceptional biodiversity, and exceptional climate change adaptation benefits.
In addition, the Envira Amazonia Project will mitigate the release of more than 12.5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, produce the highest quality, third-party validated carbon credits, and ensure that these lands will not be converted to cattle ranches or suffer the ravages of deforestation.
To celebrate Earth Day 2015, we're offering an Adopt and Acre program in Envira Amazonia. Simply make donations in $50 increments for each acre, with a 10-acre minimum, using our "quick donation" field and you'll receive 5 metric tonnes of carbon credits per acre along with contribution to the biodiversity monitoring program, community education and jobs, and the long-term plans to build schools and health clinics.
We're also continuing to offer our Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free program for Earth Day celebration donations, if you prefer this option.
Please join us in celebrating spring, Earth Day 2015 and the introduction of our Envira Amazonia Project to our expanding forest preservation work in Brazil.
The year is off to a strong start for Pleasanton, California’s Hacienda Owners Association. After a year of community, green business and environmental awards and recognitions, Hacienda Owners Association has renewed its Carbonfree® Business Partnership program for 2015. With this year’s renewal, Hacienda Owners Association has neutralized almost 770,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the program’s nine years. That’s equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions sequestered by almost 9000 tree seedlings planted and grown for ten years.
Hacienda is the largest development of its kind in Northern California. Over 11 million square feet of existing, mixed-use, transit-oriented space is occupied by some 650 companies that locally employ approximately 18,000 people. The project provides a home to everything from small offices to regional centers to large campuses for company headquarters. In addition, Hacienda also features homes to some 4,000 residents, featuring a full spectrum of living choices from stylish rental units to single family detached homes.
Operationally, Hacienda has advanced several initiatives to promote a sustainable workplace. These efforts start in the park's management office, which has been recognized as a green business under the Alameda County Green Business Program. Hacienda's management office went through a rigorous analysis to be certified as a business in good standing under the program and has worked with the county and other Hacienda businesses to help them to achieve the same certification.
“In addition to managing our business using a number of best practices required for this designation, we felt it was important to further demonstrate our commitment to these efforts by supporting Carbonfund.org,” explains James Paxson, General Manager at Hacienda. “We believe that Carbonfund.org’s mission clearly aligns with our objectives and we have encouraged other businesses within our development to likewise consider Carbonfund.org as a component of their own sustainability strategy.”
Many Hacienda programs advance activities that help accomplish a number of sustainability goals. Last year, Hacienda was recognized by the Best Workplaces for CommutersSM, a program designed to encourage sustainable transportation innovation, as one of twenty-eight organizations nationwide offering excellence in commuter benefits. Hacienda was also presented with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce's Green Business Award as part of their 51st Annual Community Service Awards presentation in 2014. Carbonfund.org is proud to continue its partnership with Hacienda Owners Association in promoting a long-term commitment to environmentally responsible operations.
Landfillart is an international effort encompassing 1,041 artists to repurpose a piece of rusted metal and create fine art from reclaimed automobile hub caps from the 1930’s through the 1970’s and turn them into “metal canvases”. Although most “metal canvases” have been transformed by the artist using oil or acrylic paint, some have been weaved on, glued or screwed or welded to, or made into fine sculpture.
“This project embodies several key components. It is a collective endeavor requesting artists, worldwide, to think green and create great art” explains Ken Marquis, gallery owner at Marquis Art & Frame, and founder of the project. “I’m hopeful, that upon completion, this project will weave a global tapestry which tells a compelling story of humanity; our similarities, our differences, and the common threads that binds us all.”
Since 2008, Landfillart Inc., funded by their partner company Marquis Art & Frame, has maintained a Carbonfree® Small Business Partnership with Carbonfund.org as part of his own operational sustainability commitment. “We are excited to partner with Carbonfund.org! Both organizations share the goal of reuse, albeit our focus is reusing rusty old scraps of metal,” says Ken. “Landfillart's mission is focused on funding reforestation with any future profits. By forming this partnership, Landfillart is one step closer!”
To date, Marquis Art & Frame’s donations to Carbonfund.org’s forestry projects have neutralized almost 450,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, the same quantity of carbon emissions sequestered by 5,000 tree seedlings grown over a ten-year period.
The ultimate goals of the Landfillart Project are to compile a collection of 1,041 completed hubcaps from artists from all of the 50 states and as many countries as possible. To date the collection consists of more than 1,000 works of art from 50 states and 56 countries. The final group of artists are hard at work completing their “hubcap art”.
Although awaiting the final projects, phase two is already underway. The first museum showing of Landfillart will be in September 2014. Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art will include 287 objects from the Landfillart collection, representing every U.S. state and 35 other countries. This exciting premier exhibit will open September 6, 2014 at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester Virginia, details at www.theMSV.org
After the initial museum showing, an abbreviated version of the collection (35 objects) is scheduled to travel, beginning in 2015.
The final phase for the Landfillart collection is to publish a book highlighting all 1,041 completed works of art and their stories. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Ken Marquis and the Landfillart project in its efforts to raise awareness about environmental preservation through artistic repurposing.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly created a National Program of standards for light-duty vehicles that lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel economy. Cars and light trucks' GHG emissions standards in the 2012 model year, the first year of the 14-year program, were 296 grams of GHG/mile. The EPA reports automakers' overall GHG performance was, on average, 286 grams of GHG/mile, which is 9.8 grams of GHG/mile below what the 2012 standards required. The EPA says, the automobile industry is "off to a good start".
GHG emission standards are projected by the EPA to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetimes of vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025. The agency released a Manufacturers Performance Report last week that evaluates how the automobile industry is doing in meeting GHG emissions standards. The report shows that the industry lowered tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 and also used optional flexibilities included in the standards.
Some of the flexibilities include emissions credits transfer among manufacturers on a yearly basis and for improvements in air conditioning systems. The EPA's reasoning in allowing these flexibilities is that they will result in higher emissions reductions, lower compliance costs and more options for consumers.
Speaking of which, the report indicates consumer preference is playing an increasing role. Americans bought lower emission vehicles in the first year of the program than required by the 2012 GHG standard.
The EPA will wait to issue formal compliance determinations for the 2012 model year until 2015 because of the program’s multi-year structure. However, the agency plans to continue tracking compliance and expects to produce annual manufacturers’ performance reports for the program.
In more good news from the EPA, their most recent Fuel Economy Trends Report shows fuel economy improved by 1.2 mpg in 2012 compared to 2011, which is the second biggest improvement in the last 30 years.
Last month there was a question as to whether or not Ford lobbied Congress on the Keystone XL Pipeline. However, publically the automakers’ sustainability marketing promises to help achieve "climate stabilization". In the US, companies have to disclose the subject of their lobbying, but do not have to disclose the position for which they are lobbying. This incomplete reporting raises consumer and investor concerns. Smart businesses are beginning to embrace transparency on climate change policies.
Take Ikea Group, for example. The company recently released this infographic to transparently share their position on climate change. In it, IKEA explained why climate change is relevant to its business interests. And they not only made it clear where they stand on the issue and which policy actions they support, they also communicated the message directly to European policymakers. IKEA is lobbying for ambitious, legally-binding 2030 targets for carbon dioxide emissions, renewable power and energy efficiency.
Not all companies take a black or white stance on global warming. Some are merely silent on the issue. There are a multitude of reasons including fear of publically taking a position on a political topic that might push away customers. Some businesses are grappling internally with climate change’s risks and opportunities, putting out consistent messaging, and trying to find the capacity to publically engage on the issue. Whatever the reason, it is certainly delaying much needed political breakthroughs on climate change.
Although businesses fall different places on the continuum of how to publically address climate change, there are resources available to help them engage responsibly with the issue. Take this guide that is a baseline for action and transparent reporting from the World Resources Institute, which was informed by the United Nations and business leaders, policymakers, and investors.
With the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, companies can expect more scrutiny from customers, shareholders and stakeholders regarding their position on global warming. Businesses can make a positive impact on the issue and the time to start acting is now.
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.