Tampa, FL – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) recently announced the selection of Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) to develop a Zero Waste Principles and Practices course and certification program for North America.
KCI, best known for their innovative approaches to solving complex solid waste management issues for governments, businesses, and industry has assembled a team of zero waste professionals that include Richard Gertman, Laurie Batchelder Adams, Matthew Cotton, and Cascadia Consulting.
David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO, said “Kessler Consulting is an industry thought leader that brings a wealth of professional commitment and experience with zero waste and waste diversion to this project. We are looking forward to providing a course and certification program that sets the standard for zero waste and moves the private and public sector forward in implementing zero waste practices across North America.”
For 27 years, KCI has served more than 200 government and numerous business and private clients with their expertise in solid waste management options and innovative, state-of-the-art collection, processing, and disposal solutions. Mitch Kessler, President of KCI, announced “KCI is honored and excited to have been selected as the team that will forge the future training and certification for solid waste professionals across North America.”
Since 2010, Kessler Consulting has partnered with Carbonfund.org to calculate and neutralize the estimated carbon emissions associated with its annual business operations. This important sustainability program further demonstrates the firm’s commitment to environmental responsibility, and Carbonfund.org commends Kessler Consulting for its sustainability leadership.
It takes continuous effort to manage and reduce carbon emissions associated with running a business. Long-term Carbonfree® Business Partner Mountain Rose Herbs takes this commitment to operational sustainability very seriously and has made great progress to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” year over year.
Mountain Rose Herbs offers high quality organic bulk herbs, gourmet spices, loose leaf teas, essential oils, herbal extracts, and natural body care ingredients, including certified organic, fair trade, ethically wild harvested, and Kosher certified botanical products, through its online store. The company’s primary facility was constructed with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and relies heavily on natural lighting. Energy demand was further reduced by making a complete lighting upgrade to energy-efficient bulbs in principal facilities and installing Energy-Star rated heating and cooling systems.
In addition, Mountain Rose Herbs upgraded all computers to those with Gold Star ratings for energy conservation, minimal shipment packaging, and elimination of environmentally harmful materials, as well as more energy-efficient flat screen monitors. The company converted all electrical usage to a local Green Power program to ensure that a significant portion of electricity comes from wind and solar sources.
Even with all of these efforts, management at Mountain Rose Herbs recognizes that the company still produces carbon emissions. Since 2008, they’ve worked with Carbonfund.org to measure and offset these unavoidable emissions by supporting clean energy and carbon reduction projects such as a wind farm in India, a methane collection plant in New York, and Carbonfund.org’s forest conservation work in Brazil. To date, the company has neutralized over 4 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 400 passenger cars off the road for a year!
Carbonfund.org applauds Mountain Rose Herbs for its long-term and continuous commitment to sustainability and is honored to partner with the company to help achieve its goals.
Celebrating over thirty years, Earth Science Naturals creates products with the goodness of natural ingredients enhanced with plant-based nutrients, vital vitamins, soothing botanicals, hydrating moisturizers and pure essential oils. Committed to providing environmentally safe skin, body, and hair care without parabens, animal testing, animal-derived ingredients or artificial colors, Earth Science Naturals cares about its customers, and about the environment we share.
Earth Science also cares about the impact its business has on our environment. Even with the care taken to choose the most environmentally-safe products and practices, Earth Science knows its own office energy use, product transportation and business travel creates greenhouse gas emissions. To neutralize this impact, Earth Science partners with Carbonfund.org to support carbon emissions reduction and clean air projects. Since joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program seven years ago, Earth Science has neutralized over 600,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, the equivalent to planting almost 7000 trees and growing them for ten years.
“At our core, we believe that having a “healthy” business means striving to do good in the world,” explains Kenneth Grand, Owner and President. “A proud sponsor of Carbonfund.org, Earth Science Naturals is dedicated to supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against climate change by supporting climate-friendly projects."
Earth Science will be launching a new hair care line this fall with all locally sourced packaging and bottles at 80% post-consumer content. They’ve repackaged their Active Age Defense line in more sustainable packaging, use recyclable components manufactured locally, choosing American-made, recycled, and sustainable resources whenever possible. All cartons hold the FSC seal, certified to ensure responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Earth Science is dedicated to support the fight against climate change by encouraging and supporting climate-friendly projects, locally and nationally. By specifically seeking out local vendors and local manufacturing facilities, Earth Science reduces transportation and its related pollution. All Earth Science products are produced in California, near the corporate offices in Santa Barbara, and many products have been formulated using organic and fair trade extracts and oils.
As a family-run business, Earth Science Naturals values giving back to and staying connected with its national and local communities. Earth Science Naturals has been a strong supporter of not only global environmental concerns, but also local organizations that work toward building healthy, sustainable communities, through planting trees, funding educational programs, pet adoptions or providing meals.
Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A), an architectural, interior design and planning practice headquartered in Cambridge, MA with over three decades of service to its clients and community, attributes much of its success and cultural alignment with the green building movement. In 2000, TK&A joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to enhance and expand the firm’s expertise and became an early adopter of pursuing Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their clients’ projects, including the first LEED certified buildings on the campuses of Washington University, Boston College and a LEED Core & Shell (CS) Pilot Project. In 2009, TK&A joined “A Better City,” a consortium of Boston-area businesses whose goal is to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through their “Challenge for Sustainability” program. TK&A engaged in the program and has taken the steps to initiate annual reporting of its own business operations through a Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility Report, including a detailed accounting and neutralization of the firm’s annual operational carbon emissions, in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Since 2011, TK&A’s firm-wide carbon emissions offset program has resulted in a balancing of 1,877 metric tonnes (MTs) – over 4 million pounds - of CO2 emissions from its operations (504 MTs in 2014). The emissions neutralization program has had the same positive environmental impact as planting 48,000 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.
TK&A plans to continue tracking and offsetting operational emissions while simultaneously engaging staff to help reduce the firm’s impacts on the planet, engaging staff in daily mindfulness of sustainable behaviors that benefit the business and their practice. These efforts culminated in The City of Cambridge awarding TK&A two “Go-Green” awards in 2012 in the Large Business Category for “Transportation” and “Climate Change.”
Carbonfund.org congratulates Tsoi/Kobus & Associates on its progressive positions on operational sustainability and reporting, and for continuing to achieve Carbonfree® business operations.
This year will mark Dolphin Blue’s 5th anniversary as a Carbonfree® Business Partner. The staff at Dolphin Blue is proud and honored to continue offsetting operational emissions with Carbonfund.org and has decided to take it a step further by purchasing an additional 36 metric tonnes of carbon offsets to neutralize projected annual operating emissions. Including these latest offsets purchased, Dolphin Blue has neutralized almost 718,000 pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 8350 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years.
Dolphin Blue has come a long way these past 5 years, by expanding their business offerings to include all-green, no harm products for household cleaning, lawn and garden care, pet care, children’s toys and body care that are produced with a minimal carbon emissions. Every product that Dolphin Blue carries is made from post-consumer recycled content, requiring less energy to produce, and is made in the USA, which means fewer emissions, compared to products made from virgin materials and imported from other countries.
Dolphin Blue supports initiatives that foster education and awareness in issues of sustainability, energy alternatives, organic agriculture and reducing waste. Dolphin Blue wants everyone who visits their website to be educated on why they are purchasing these items and the difference buying one eco-friendly product can make.
Dolphin Blue also is honored to be associated with organizations such as B Corporation, Green Chamber of Commerce, EPA Green Power Partner, Chlorine Free Products Association, North Texas Clean Air Coalition, Green Source DFW, and the Voluntary Renewable Energy Coalition.
For over 20 years, Dolphin Blue has continued to conduct business always respecting the natural world in which we live, and they ask their customers and other businesses to do the same. That’s why Dolphin Blue is encouraging other B Corps to go above and beyond by offsetting their companies’ annual operational emissions and educating their customers on the importance of reducing their individual carbon footprint.
Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their proposed Clean Power Plan. As readers of this blog are already aware, the Clean Power Plan proposes carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants, which are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., generating approximately one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Some specifics are that under the Clean Power Plan, states must expand their energy sources and use solar (photovoltaic and solar thermal), wind, geothermal, sustainably sourced biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydrology in order to decrease their carbon emissions.
Did you know that renewable energy technologies are characteristically more labor-intensive than intensely mechanized fossil fuel technologies? This means that the potential economic benefits may be substantial; not to mention the significant benefits for our climate and health.
The solar industry employed over 100,000 workers in jobs ranging from solar manufacturing and sales to installation according to the Solar Foundation in 2011. Solar jobs grew by 20% percent in 2013 and 2014 is expected to create 22,000 jobs. Furthermore, these statistics were reported before the EPA plan was released, which may further boost the renewable job sector.
Let’s look at wind energy. The amount of domestically manufactured equipment used in wind turbines doubled from 35% in 2006 to 70% in 2011 with 560 factories directly employing 75,000 full-time employees.
The hydroelectric power industry also plays a role. Statistics show in 2009 it employed 250,000 people. As many as 700,000 jobs could be generated if the hydropower industry installs a new capacity of 23,000 – 60,000 megawatts (MW) by 2025. Rounding out our look at the renewable energy sector, the geothermal industry directly employed 5,200 people in 2010.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) estimated in 2009 that a national, renewable electricity standard attempting to cut 25% of carbon emissions by 2025 would generate 297,000 jobs, $263.4 billion in new capital investment, $13.5 billion in income to farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners, and $11.5 billion in new local tax revenues. Remember, the EPA proposed reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. So the potential economic benefits may increase over the UCS’s estimates.
With these figures, we’re not even taking into account a complete picture of the potential economic benefits from expanded renewable energy sources. Think about how direct job creation leads to indirect job creation. For example, when you hire additional employees, you may very well need a larger Human Resources staff.
All of this comes at a time when our country could deeply benefit from economic stimulation. The U.S. economy is still anemic, with unemployment rates remaining high, and a disturbing national debt that’s expected to reach $20 trillion by 2020. We must embrace win-win scenarios such as these that combine healing our ailing planet with economic recovery. It’s past time to forge the path to a low-carbon future.
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.
Americans eat a lot of sugar. According to a 2012 infographic from www.OnlineNursingPrograms.com, we consume about 130 pounds of sugar each year. And when I say sugar, I don’t just mean sugar from sugar cane. I am referring to corn syrup, which is used to sweeten our favorite soft drinks, of which the average American drinks 53 gallons per year. That sounds bad, and it is, but brain scans show that sugar is addictive as cocaine. Well, our national addiction is in major trouble from climate change.
Corn is the biggest agricultural crop in the U.S. It’s a $65-billion-a-year industry and global warming is putting it at a significant risk. A report released this week by Ceres, a coalition of investor and environmental groups, says that corn is at risk because its water demands are growing at a time when the threat of drought is increasing. Ceres said corn production particularly is in danger due to its tapping stressed aquifers as a water source. A couple that are especially relied upon are the High Plains aquifer, which covers eight Great Plains states, and the Central Valley aquifer in California.
Report author Brooke Barton, Water Program Director at Ceres, says, “Escalating corn production for our food, livestock and energy industries has put the corn sector on an unsustainable path.” The Midwest drought of 2012 pushed corn prices to record-level highs of $8 per bushel and according to the report are "a taste of what is predicted to become the new normal in many parts of the Corn Belt thanks to climate change.”
Rising corn prices also impact more than just the food industry. The transportation industry may also take a hit as corn production is affected by climate change. The crop is used to make ethanol, which is a fuel additive, and accounts for roughly 10% of the country’s fuel.
However, the largest use of corn in the U.S. is still for human consumption one way or another. Even if we’re not directly drinking it in soft drinks, it is still used a livestock feed. Soda manufacturers, such as leading beverage company Coca-Cola Co., could make a significant difference in sustainable corn production. Ceres says they could seek out suppliers of their agricultural ingredients who use less water and fertilizers.
Although, the good news to our waistlines is that U.S. consumption of carbonated soft drinks has been declining for a decade. Maybe we are starting to wean ourselves off of our sugar addiction after all. Either way, it is part of a group of addictions that our country needs to overcome. Using less is the best way to control carbon emissions.
The big news this week is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their proposed Clean Power Plan. Environmental groups and climate change activists have been eagerly awaiting these carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants.
Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S. and generate approximately one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA’s proposal, released Monday, will help lower carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
The proposed rules are the latest under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The EPA is charged with proposing commonsense approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants.
Last June, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reduce carbon emissions, prepare the country for the impacts of climate change and lead international efforts to address global warming. Learn more about the President's Climate Action plan on the White House web site.
For good or ill, climate change continues to be a politically charged issue, often dividing along party lines. However, many companies recognize that global warming is already impacting their daily business operations and that the problem is only going to get worse if we do not take steps now to embrace a low-carbon future.
Sustainability advocacy nonprofit Ceres coordinated letters of support for the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution rule to the Obama Administration and Senate and House majority and minority leaders from 125 companies including the likes of Unilever, VF Corporation and Mars. The letters were also signed by 49 investors managing $800 billion in assets.
Read more about the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule.
ClimateStore Inc., located in Boston, MA, officially became a Carbonfree® Partner with CarbonFund.org. The newly launched retail brand has a mission to make it fun and easy for people to reduce their carbon footprint, and launched its on-line brand, climatestore.com, this past Earth Day. The company seeks to close a gap in the retail space, namely, the lack of an easily recognizable retail brand focused entirely on climate change.
ClimateStore hopes to tap into a growing market of climate conscious consumers, and carbon offsets play an important role in its sustainability strategy. To help realize its mission, ClimateStore purchased offsets from a portfolio of reforestation and forest conservation projects to offset emissions from its operations including energy use at its offices, freight and parcel shipping, employee commutes, and business travel. The company also relies on partnerships with like-minded organizations, like Carbonfund.org and 1% for the Planet, to support climate change awareness programs and forest conservation initiatives.
“With the recent release of the latest UN IPCC report and U.S. National Climate Assessment, there can be no doubt this is a critical issue current for future generations. More people are asking what they can do to reduce their carbon impact” says Steven E. Bushnell, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of ClimateStore Inc. “There is a false perception that moving to a lower carbon economy will require giving things up or need extra effort. We take the opposite view; lowering one’s carbon footprint should be fun, easy and rewarding as we collectively secure the stable climate we all hope to live in.”
The ClimateStore.com website provides summaries of climate science, issues an urgent call for action, suggests plans to reduce personal carbon emissions, and provides products to help people achieve a lower carbon footprint. The company launched with about 250 carbon saving products, including: energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear and accessories. Each product is evaluated by ClimateStore staff to identify exact how it saves carbon - including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle - and communicate their findings with a simple icon system and detailed product descriptions.