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.