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.
What does consistent environmental leadership look like? Over the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Community Capital Management has neutralized over 850,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the emissions created by burning almost 43,500 gallons of gasoline.
Community Capital Management is a registered investment adviser whose mission is to deliver strong investment performance for its clients in strategies aligned with their organizational purpose. The firm primarily manages fixed income impact investing portfolios that finance a variety of community initiatives such as affordable homeownership and rental housing, environmental sustainability, job creation and training programs, affordable healthcare facilities, childcare programs, and neighborhood revitalization activities. As a leader in the impact investing space, Community Capital Management maintains its commitment to operating an environmentally-conscious business practice.
"Community Capital is excited to partner with Carbonfund.org in committing to offset our carbon footprint. We hope that we will help lead the way and encourage others in the investment management industry to do the same," said Jamie Horwitz, Director of Marketing at Community Capital.
The firm is proud to lead by example, offsetting its carbon emissions by supporting the development of renewable energy, forestry projects and increased energy efficiency through its partnership with Carbonfund.org.
In addition, Community Capital Management’s CarbonFree® commitment includes encouraging office recycling programs, minimizing the use of plastic water bottles by offering a water filtration system in their office, using energy-efficient lighting, conducting more marketing online rather than using printed media, living within close proximity to their office to reduce vehicle pollution, and continually seeking other ways to grow their business in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner. This consistent leadership in operational sustainability sets Community Capital Management in the forefront of its industry as an environmentally responsible fixed income investment management firm.
Global travel and tour operators have the opportunity to experience many of the world’s wonders and often witness the environmental changes occurring in the places they visit. This heightened sensitivity to the condition of the natural environmental and the potential impacts of travel and tourism should lead to an elevated sense of responsibility to “do no harm”. Carbonfund.org Partner Cultural Tour Consultants takes this responsibility seriously. They specialize in customized, in-depth study tours covering the visual arts, music, language, history and gastronomy, for individuals, school groups, universities, churches, and community groups.
As part of their core values, Cultural Tour Consultants is committed to promoting sustainable tourism worldwide. For the past six years, they have partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset the company’s carbon footprint through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, supporting reforestation projects around the world.
"Travel promotes firsthand knowledge of our planet, its cultural heritage and its natural resources,” explains Melissa Reed, Cultural Tour Consultants Partner. “We, as travel professionals, have an obligation to do what we can to promote sustainable tourism and encourage the exploration and appreciation the Earth and its people.”
Cultural Tour Consultants also offers clients the ability to offset their tour flight emissions directly from the Cultural Tour Consultants’ website by linking to Carbonfund.org’s flight calculator. Their website is loaded with other information regarding healthy and safe travel, passport/visa and insurance matters, what and how best to pack. As a six-year CarbonFree® Partner, Cultural Tour Consultants continue to demonstrate leadership in consistent care for their tour clients and for the places they visit.
The trend towards “farm-to-table” dining is everywhere, and locavores “rule” in many parts of the world. But how can you tell if a restaurant truly “walks the walk” and is not just “talking the talk”? An inspiring example is CarbonFree® Business Partner Founding Farmers, with locations in Washington, DC and Potomac, MD (with Tysons Corner, VA slated to open in Summer 2014). Since September 2008, the award-winning Founding Farmers has been one of the country’s leading restaurants to offer farm-inspired “American True Food & Drink” in a modern, casual setting.
Founding Farmers is a business that is fully committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing the earth with a “Triple Green Approach” to bringing great food from Farm to Fork. The menus at Founding Farmers are based on regional and sustainable agricultural resources whenever possible, and the freezers on site are for ice cream only!
For the fifth consecutive year, Founding Farmers is proud to be an official CarbonFree® Business Partner, supporting global climate-friendly renewable energy projects and the Carbonfund.org mission of education, offsets and outreach. Founding Farmers is 100% carbon neutral by offsetting its CO2 emissions annually with Carbonfund.org.
"As Washington DC’s greenest restaurant, and one of the greenest in the country, our business model is earth-friendly from the inside out. It was logical, affirmative and natural for the restaurant to partner with Carbonfund.org,” explains Dan Simons, PR Advisor for Founding Farmers. “We believe in setting an example as a leader in the green/LEED restaurant category, and partnering with Carbonfund.org allows us to share in the mission and share what we’ve done with others."
Secondly, the restaurant operates with the earth in mind, by sorting and recycling all non-food products, processing used cooking oil into bio-diesel, composting all organic waste products, using an in-house super water purification system to eliminate water bottle waste, and cleaning with earth-friendly and chemically neutral products. Even the menus are printed on recycled papers with soy-based inks.
Finally, the architecture and design of the space itself meet the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold design standards and criteria, with the use of reclaimed and recycled materials for the floors, surface finishes and fabrics; with high-efficiency lighting, HVAC and general energy use.Beyond the building itself, Founding Farmers is a Certified Green Restaurant™ as recognized by the Green Restaurant Association for eco-friendly operations.
A collective of American family farmers owns the flagship restaurant, where products are sourcedfrom family farms, ranches, and fisheries across the United States. They celebrate and share the longstanding connection between farmers — the first to lead the green movement — and their historic stewardship of natural resources. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Founding Farmers in achieving sustainability leadership in the restaurant industry.