It’s still early in this new year, and with Earth Day approaching next month, it’s a great time to look for ways to improve, expand and enrich your commitments to protecting and preserving our environment.
During 2013, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery of St. Helena, CA augmented their organic agricultural practices and environmental sustainability initiatives by offsetting business flight emissions through Carbonfud.org. This year, Spottswoode took the additional step to allocate a larger portion of its 1% for the Planet pledge to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, thus neutralizing all of their annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects around the world.
“Climate Change is the defining issue of our time, and we feel strongly that we must be a part of the solution to this global crisis,” explains Beth Novak Milliken, President and CEO of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. “We take our commitment to the environment seriously, and through our actions, we hope to inspire others to care for and respect our natural resources as well.”
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned vineyard and winery renowned for producing classic and refined wines that honor their vineyard origins. The balance, grace, and integrity reflected in their wines also drive a commitment to organic farming and stewardship of the winery’s gardens, historic building, and local watershed.
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery has farmed organically since 1985 and became a California Certified Organic Farmer in 1992. In addition, Spottswoode is certified Napa Green by the Napa Valley Vintners, uses solar power in their vineyard and winery, maintains insectaries and bird boxes in the vineyard, runs tractors on biodiesel and works to conserve water. The winery spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of their vineyard and is shared with many residential neighbors. The expansion of the winery’s environmental responsibility to mitigate all operational carbon emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership demonstrates an ongoing dedication to the health of land and air upon which Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery depends.
It’s that time of year in the US – time to start thinking about income tax return preparation. If you’re a self-preparer, you might be missing opportunities to lower your tax liability, a skill that is both an art and a science. The benefits of having a trusted tax expert as a partner to guide you through the process may pay off.
If you’re seeking a new resource for tax preparation and accounting services, there’s a team of tax and accounting professionals not only dedicated to best serving their clients but also to maintaining a commitment to environmental stewardship. They utilize technology to serve U.S. clients around the world.
Adam Shay CPA, PLLC is a Carbonfree® Business Partner, a Certified B Corporation and a member of 1% for the Planet. The firm believes that these programs reflect their values and goals of being successful business people while also contributing to the greater good and to solving societal problems.
"We are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and leading a new way to do business,” explains Adam Shay, CPA and Managing Partner. “We chose Carbonfund.org because they have been a proven leader in the carbon offset field."
By joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, Adam Shay CPA is neutralizing estimated total annual emissions from office space, business travel, mailings and employee commuting. It’s good to know that there are tax and accounting professionals who place a priority on environmental stewardship. Adam Shay and his staff exhibit these qualities in their commitment to operational sustainability.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., USA and TROIS-RIVIERES, QUE.,CANADA – 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.
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.
“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.
“Joining the ranks of CarbonFree® Business Partners and taking action to neutralize annual carbon emissions through supporting carbon reduction projects marks Kofcan as a leader in the global warming solution,” says Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org.
How the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program Works
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.
A carbon offset is a verifiable reduction in carbon emissions somewhere in the world other than where the emission is generated. These external reductions offer clean energy transformation (e.g. wind, solar), sequestration (e.g. forestry) and clean technology (e.g. energy efficiency). The projects also offer a range of benefits including conservation, clean water, job creation and innovation. Credits are generated when a project is verified and registered – allowing companies to purchase these credits and offset the emissions produced in the manufacturing and use of their products. These credits are then permanently retired on behalf of the product/company.
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.
About Kofcan: Kofcan is a young company playing in a big industry and plans to make a global impact by reinventing the meaning of "renewable energy" and the way it is used in the pellet industry. Producing low carbon products such as pellets from used coffee and other recycled raw materials is its primary focus. Kofcan is creating energy through sustainable projects, protecting the planet, and helping people become socially responsible through renewable sources.
About Carbonfund.org Foundation: Carbonfund.org is a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact and hasten our transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbonfund.org supports innovative renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects globally that reduce carbon emissions and help people. Carbonfund.org has worked with over 2,000 corporate and nonprofit partners. More at www.carbonfund.org.
About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.
NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Product assessments include testing and certification for more sustainable consumer and commercial products. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability standards for products such as carpet, flooring and other commercial building materials.
Additional NSF services include safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems certifications delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 environmental management systems, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and chain of custody (COC) certifications.
A simple suggestion five years ago to a client, recommending that they publish the company’s carbon footprint in their annual report, led Smart Media to adopt a broad and continuous sustainability commitment in its own operations and in the production of its award-winning annual reports.
One of the very few companies in the world to focus exclusively on annual reports, Smart Media The Annual Report Company (‘Smart Media’) helps organizations produce annual reports which go beyond statutory disclosure and compliance to become effective instruments of corporate communications.
In 2008, Smart Media encouraged a client to voluntarily publish their carbon footprint in the annual report. Since then, the numbers of client companies including this operational emissions information in annual reports have grown. Some clients depend upon Smart Media’s consultancy assistance which includes training, development of data entry forms and computation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.
By way of setting an example, Smart Media commenced producing carbon neutral annual reports in 2009, by thoroughly analyzing the carbon emissions associated with the full annual report production process. Then, Smart Media chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to neutralize these emissions by supporting global reforestation projects. In 2012, Smart Media became completely carbon neutral under Scopes 1 and 2 as well as selected sources under Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard by mitigating its own operational emissions with Carbonfund.org.
“Our strategy was to reduce our GHG emissions as much as possible and to offset the rest thereafter. Our philosophy, when in comes to partnerships is ‘the best or not at all’. Having looked around we chose Carbonfund.org, as it is an independent foundation having a great track record and credibility. They have the experience and expertise to help clients in almost any sector in any part of the world. Thus, their capabilities matched our requirements as well as those of our varied group of clients" says Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Chairman, Smart Media The Annual Report Company.
Doing business in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and UAE, and with a track record spanning over 15 years and 1,500 reports, Smart Media is the acknowledged leader for annual reports in the Asia-Pacific region. This is borne out by the numerous international awards and accolades earned year after year, including the Platinum Achievement Award at the International ARC Awards, USA - popularly dubbed as the Oscars of Annual Reports - in 2010 and 2012 – and in 2013, Smart Media received an unprecedented 94 awards, including 25 Gold awards and 7 Grand awards.
Smart Media clients get the benefit of working with a certified carbon neutral company and neutralizing the GHG emissions resulting from annual report production activities outsourced by Smart Media in the production of their annual reports, including the usage of paper and printing, offset through verified sources. As a result of Smart Media’s leadership, some clients have begun setting targets to reduce their GHG emissions intensity through the adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures as well as fuel switching, with the added benefits of operational cost savings. For Smart Media, this may well be its single largest contribution – though indirect – towards environmental stewardship. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Smart Media in these efforts.
For visitors to the greater Chicago area and the locals who’ve endured a long winter, a big three-season draw is the Lake Michigan waterfront. Among the popular waterfront pastimes are the various Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat cruises that provide passengers with views of the Chicago skyline, architectural tours, dinner cruises, and on-board wedding and special event celebrations.
To help protect and preserve the Lake Michigan resource, the environmentally-focused passenger will consider a cruiseline’s attention to environmental responsibilities and fuel conservation when booking their tour. CarbonFree® Partner Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline will stand out as a leader in this area.
As part of their extensive sustainability initiatives, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline has partnered with Carbonfund.org to measure and neutralize their annual carbon dioxide emissions. Office energy usage, business travel and employee commuting emissions, as well as all fuel used by the cruise ships throughout 2012, were included in the emissions calculations. The resulting total annual operational emissions were mitigated by corresponding donations to support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects.
The CarbonFree® Business Program status joins many other environmentally conscious initiatives followed by the Chicago-based cruiseline company. Since 2006, all vessels have used B-11 biodiesel fuel, saving more than 4,000 gallons of imported crude oil per year. Their newest vessel, Chicago’s Leading Lady, added to the fleet in 2011, is equipped with computerized energy-efficient engines that help the boat save over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises encourages their passengers to join an active office and operations recycling program by recycling their onboard maps for future guests. Dockside waste bins are constructed of recycled plastic milk containers, and beverage cans and bottles are collected onboard and dockside for recycling. Promotional materials are printed by CarbonFree® Partner Digital Hub, voted Chicago’s Greenest Printer, with soy-based inks and recycled papers. All employees are encouraged to ride their bike, walk or commute to work by using public transit, and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruisline encourages its staff to participate in the employee public transit reimbursement program.
This focus on measures to protect the waterways its passengers enjoy demonstrates a firm commitment to environmental stewardship by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, and Carbonfund.org is glad to participate in these efforts.
Carbonfund.org seeks to partner with businesses that subscribe to the same mission of solving the climate crisis. The goal of achieving a clean energy future is more complex than simply meeting carbon emission reductions targets. Any solution needs to be sustainable, and sustainability is one of the cornerstones of Carbonfree® business partner TCX Investment Management Company.
The global TCX Fund provides protection and risk control against currency devaluation in frontier market currencies for major development finance institutions to microfinance institutions and other institutions investing in the communities of many emerging market countries, such as Cambodia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Peru, and Vietnam. This translates into providing a mechanism to absorb the risk of extreme currency value fluctuations so these institutions can assist local businesses with the startup funding they need. TCX is able to make real contributions to sustainable development and to improving the living standards in communities in some of theleast developed countries on our planet.
TCX maintains a Sustainability Policy requiring that the businesses they assist also meet environmental sustainability goals.A key tenet of the TCX policy maintains that any projects receiving funding should pursue development for the needs of the present population without impairing the ability of future generations to meet community needs. All projects are expected to include pollution prevention and abatement, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable natural resources management.
Carbonfund.org and TCX have partnered to help TCX reach its own operational emission reduction goals. In the past three years, TCX Investment Management has neutralized a total of almost 460 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions created by its annual operations – the equivalent of removing 82 passenger vehicles from the road for a year – in part by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy projects."We chose Carbonfund.org because of their verified programs, pricing and easy-to-use customer friendly services," confirms Bill Piccolo, Operations Manager for TCX.
TCX’s operational emissions neutralization program supports Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy projects, and in doing so, enhances air quality and promotes new technology development that will continue to reduce carbon emissions and hasten the transition to a cleaner energy future. Carbonfund.org looks forward a continued partnership with TCX in pursuingthe paired goals of sustainable development and environmental stewardship.