We’ve heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” associated with many environmental movements and causes.  Our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program takes this call to action a step further by helping businesses of all sizes to “act globally and act locally.”

For the past five years, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café in Silverdale, WA has heeded this call.  They’ve maintained a CarbonFree® Business as an important part of their overall commitment to “remarkable customer service” and sustainable business practices.  Monica and her team recognized that it was important to supplement their dedication to sourcing locally, and to eliminating waste and emissions wherever possible, by adding a global commitment to neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from their business operations.     

"Because we know we are doing some things well and there are lots of things that we can do better,” explains Monica Downen, Owner and namesake of the bakery and café.  “We love that we reduce what we can and offset what we can't!"

Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café offers a menu featuring local produce, dairy, eggs, coffee, honey, sodas, flour and grains, pickles, and poultry.  The staff composts food waste, recycles, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and subscribes to green power through the local utility.  All of these efforts accompany their five-year commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® operation.

Make sure your sustainable business plan minimizes your impact on the environment.  Join Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Café in our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and support our carbon reduction and clean air technology projects around the world.         

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The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program is intended to provide a simple, affordable way for businesses of any size to evaluate the carbon emissions associated with their annual operations, take steps to reduce these emissions, and neutralize the remaining emissions by supporting clean air and carbon reduction projects around the world.  The program is also structured so that it compliments broader sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility programs, and helps to promote awareness and recognition for these efforts.

A great example of expanding environmental commitment beyond carbon emissions neutralization is CarbonFree® Partner K.L. Security Enterprises’ annual tree-planting projects through their Safe Environments Initiative.  When not out planting trees, the K.L. Security team helps customers store critical business and personal electronic data, documents, vital records and collections with their custom safes, vaults, fireproof file cabinets and ioSafe rugged hard drives.  For residential customers, services may also include preservation and protection of family photo albums, heirlooms and other keepsakes.

 “For the last 5 years, I’ve been a steward of a diverse ecosystem in Indiana - 48 acres of native forest and prairie that deserves to be protected,” explains Johnny Klemme, CEO of K.L. Security Enterprises.  “With the help of friends and family, we’re teaching others about the importance and power of our local environment, and even more importantly, that you can’t sit back and wait for other people to take initiative; you have to make that conscious decision today to make a difference.”

Check out this video to see Johnny and the K.L. Security team in action.

In the last two years alone, K.L. Security has offset 93 metric tonnes of CO2 through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership, the equivalent of carbon emissions from almost 10,500 gallons of gasoline.  In 2013, K.L. Security plans to complete two additional environmental improvement projects with several other local businesses in their community.

"Our commitment to the environment runs deep, and partnering with Carbonfund.org ensures that every bit of our operational CO2 emissions is accounted for,” confirms Johnny. “Each and every one of our customers across the United States can take comfort that the carbon emissions from every safe and vault that we ship to them are offset through our support of Carbonfund.org’s reforestation, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. We’re doing our part to affect positive change in the world in which we live, work and play and hope our customers value this commitment as much as we do." 

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To inaugurate the New Year, CarbonFree® Business Partner Inner Ecology™ is proud to become one of the very first Benefit Corporations in the state of Illinois. Founding Director Amanda Kreiss joined thirteen pioneering business leaders to join this newly-established corporate structure to help forge a more sustainable and inclusive economy. 

Inner Ecology facilitates the responsible sourcing, assessing, and dispensing of East Asian traditional medicinals of whole plant, mineral and animal origin for the benefit of its customers’ environmental and economic health.  Inner Ecology seeks to provide consistent leadership in forging a fresh approach to social entrepreneurship within the field of East Asian Medicine.  

Three years ago, Inner Ecology augmented its environmental sustainability commitment by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its annual operational carbon emissions and support carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world. 

“We relish this singular opportunity to demonstrate publicly the level of our commitment to good stewardship and to be held accountable for the high standards we set”, asserted Amanda Kreiss, the Founding Director of Inner Ecology.   “In the longer term, a central aim of our business is to do our part to "green" the profession of East Asian Medicine and support domestic cultivation of our medicinals.”  

Benefit Incorporation revives the tradition of corporate charters from an era when states expected and demanded that corporations serve the public good.  In Illinois, Benefit Corporations are now legally required to include this material positive impact on society and the environment in their articles of incorporation, and to publicly report annually on overall social and environmental performance in compliance with comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standards. This offers businesses more freedom in defining success and provides legal protection for those looking to pursue a corporate purpose other than simply maximizing profits.  

Carbonfund.org recognizes Inner Ecology’s leadership, both in its ongoing pursuit of environmentally-responsible operations and its new focus on a broader social commitment to fully accountable reporting on all social and environmental performances.

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According to the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can help companies realize $12.3 billion in energy savings and reduce carbon emissions by 85.7 million metric tons annually by the year 2020.  This staggering carbon emissions reduction figure is equivalent to mitigating the emissions from almost 181 million barrels of oil each year.  

These compelling statistics are creating a surge in cloud computing options and providers; the challenge is to find the right provider offering the breadth of computing services, systems security and deliver the flexibility required by each business.

Chicago-based Steadfast Networks offers an additional benefit to its customers by operating in a CarbonFree® environment.  Steadfast Networks calculates the annual carbon emissions from all base operations and neutralizes those emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air technology projects.  Steadfast Networks also provides a CarbonFree® option to all customers by calculating and mitigating specific operational emissions through Carbonfund.org for each customer’s dedicated or co-located server energy consumption. 

"At Steadfast, we're always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Carbonfund.org fit organically into our business model and so it was pretty much a “no brainer” for us," explains Karl Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Steadfast Networks.

Steadfast Networks specializes in highly flexible cloud computing, including options for dedicated servers or collocation services at their fully redundant data centers in Chicago and New York.  The facilities used by Steadfast Networks are highly engineered to assure reliability and maximize energy efficiency, resulting in a significantly reduced carbon footprint.  Their status as a CarbonFree® Business Partner sets Steadfast Networks above the competition for companies seeking the most environmentally responsible options for cloud computing solutions.

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Producing environmentally-conscious clothing is a complicated and often vexing challenge for “green” clothing manufacturers.  Certainly, conventionally-grown cotton has been clearly identified as one of the world’s “dirtiest” crops, consuming 10% of the world’s pesticides and 25% of the world’s insecticides, according to the Pesticide Action Network North America.  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.   

Despite “cleaner” fabric choices, clothing manufacturers face additional unavoidable carbon emissions in the growing, harvesting and refining of raw materials, the clothing manufacturing process, and the ultimate shipping and delivery of their products.  Carbonfund.org’s emission neutralization strategies help environmentally-responsible producers to mitigate these operational emissions by supporting renewable energy development and carbon reduction projects around the world.  

One of Carbonfund.org’s long-time CarbonFree® Business Partners, ONNO Textiles, 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.

But ONNO Textiles recognized the harmful environmental impact of their overall production and delivery processes. They manufacture their apparel overseas, and move raw materials and finished product all over the globe. To balance the resulting environmental harm, ONNO Textiles has partnered with Carbonfund.org for the past five years to neutralize their operational emissions by supporting our renewable energy technology and carbon reduction initiatives around the world.  This long-term commitment to carbon emissions mitigation through investment in clean air projects makes the CarbonFree® partnership between ONNO Textiles and Carbonfund.org a great example of true operational sustainability.

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According to a study by the American Bus Association, motor coaches are the most fuel-efficient transportation mode in North America, in terms of passenger miles per gallon of fuel.  As a result, motor coaches are on average seven times more fuel-efficient than single occupancy automobiles, making motor coaches the most environmentally-friendly option for group transportation needs.

Carbonfund.org makes it simple for environmentally-conscious transportation companies, such as CarbonFree® partner The Convention Store (TCS), to further enhance their fuel-efficient coaches by offsetting fuel-related emissions.  TCS specializes in providing ground transportation services to large-scale meeting planners, conferences and events throughout the United States and Canada.   

TCS monitors, designs and implements the most efficient travel routes for their clients to decrease the distance of each trip; then they augment their large-capacity fuel-efficient transportation services by offsetting all carbon emissions from their motor coach services.  This in turn supports Carbonfund.org’s clean air and carbon reduction technology projects.

“We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they not only offer ways to offset our carbon footprint but are building a network of other companies that care about our environment as much as we do,” says TCS CEO Sean Higgins.  “It is amazing to watch the list of partners grow and know the amount of change that we will all bring by partnering with Carbonfund.org.”

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It seems only fitting that a business that depends entirely on organic and natural herbs, flowers, and medicinal plants would maintain a strong commitment to environmentally responsible business practices.  Carbonfree® Business Partner Mountain Rose Herbs sets a high standard in this regard and has made significant steps in following Carbonfund.org’s motto of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” by lessening its energy consumption prior to neutralizing their remaining annual operational emissions with Carbonfund.org.

Mountain Rose Herbs’ 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 their principal facilities and installing Energy-Star rated heating and cooling systems.  In addition, Mountain Rose Herbs upgraded all their 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.  Mountain Rose Herbs converted all electrical usage to their local Greenpower program to ensure that a significant portion of their electricity comes from wind and solar sources. 

Despite all of these energy-saving measures and efficiency enhancements, Mountain Rose Herbs still generates a measurable annual carbon emissions footprint from its business operations.  In order to neutralize these annual operational emissions, Mountain Rose Herbs has partnered with Carbonfund.org for the past four years to measure and offset these unavoidable emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean energy and carbon reduction projects. 

"If we are to move past coal and look forward to a greener future that is full of alternative energy, then we must support the endeavors of Carbonfund.org, who are creating the infrastructure necessary to make it happen," states Shawn Donnille, Vice President of Mountain Rose Herbs. 

We applaud Carbonfree® Partner Mountain Rose Herbs for pursuing a meaningful commitment to environmentally-conscious business operations, measuring and neutralizing their annual carbon emissions, and supporting our clean air technology projects.

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