REPRINTED FROM PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 24, 2013
Owner of Eagle Wing Tours, Brett Soberg, receives two environmental leadership awards this week
"VICTORIA'S 1ST AWARD WINNING WHALE WATCHING TOUR COMPANY"
Locally-owned company Eagle Wing Tours received two environmental stewardship awards in two days. Recognized at the CRD Ecostar Awards on September 24, 2013 and the Vancouver Island Tourism Awards on September 25, 2013, Eagle Wing Tours is leading the eco-tourism movement here in Victoria. Owner, Brett Soberg, has worked to ‘create a new model for what a responsible whale watching company should look like on and off the water.’
Soberg received the Community Environmental Leader category CRD Ecostar Award which honours the work of an individual who has continually gone the extra mile to help steward our environment and engage in conservation. Eagle Wing Tours received the Tourism Sustainability Award from Tourism Vancouver Island, which recognizes a tourism business in the Vancouver Island Region that has set out to minimize their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, respect local cultures and benefit local communities.
Eagle Wing Tours is Canada’s first 100% carbon neutral whale watching company and the only one to support 1% For the Planet. Other efforts include the Wild for Whales adoption program, the Earth Day Garbage Showdown and the World Oceans day Celebration at Fisherman’s Wharf. With sustainability integrated into the core of how they do business, Eagle Wing Tours will continue to lead the way for responsible eco tourism in Victoria and around the world.
The World Tourism Organization estimates that “global spending on eco tourism is increasing at a higher rate than the industry-wide average growth” and “more than a third of travelers are found to favour environmentally-friendly tourism and are willing to pay between 2 and 40 per cent more for this experience.” Social and environmental awareness, especially in the younger demographic, is creating increased demand for eco-friendly choices. Some local leaders are embracing this new market and adjusting their internal operations, products and services to match the changing landscape of Victoria’s second largest industry.
“What this means is a total shift in how consumers purchase and, therefore; how businesses must act. A handful of companies, such as Eagle Wing Tours, are setting the bar high for other businesses.”- Jill Doucette, Founder of Synergy Enterprises & Synergy Sustainability Institute.
Eagle Wing Tours
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.
Industry leadership is often demonstrated by implementing internally the best practices promoted to customers. This notion of “getting and keeping one’s own house in order first” is exemplified by the sustainability strategies of CarbonFree® Partner Clarke, a global environmental products and services company with the mission is to make communities around the world more livable, safe and comfortable.
In 2008 Clarke established a set of aggressive sustainability goals, and put into motion initiatives to achieve them. Every employee is charged with making everyday decisions, big and small, through a sustainability lens. In 2009, Clarke completed its first sustainability report, and in 2010, began reporting greenhouse gas emissions according to GRI standards. For the past three years, Clarke has neutralized its electricity usage and onsite fuel consumption by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon emissions reduction projects around the world.
”We are committed to creating policies and procedures that reduce our carbon footprint,” states J. Lyell Clarke III, President & CEO of Clarke. “Our commitment is a journey and we cannot continue on our journey without the partnerships of our stakeholders, customers and employees, and Carbonfund.org, which has demonstrated its transparency and helps us to further mitigate our impact today.”
Clarke helps its customers improve the health and safety of communities by developing and delivering environmentally responsible mosquito control and aquatic services to help prevent disease, control nuisances and create healthy waterways. Clarke’s product innovations include EarthRight™, a groundbreaking municipal public health service that uses only products made from naturally-derived active ingredients, and employs earth-friendly application methods including bicycles and all-electric sprayers. EarthRight™includes a unique pairing of two Environmental Protection Agency-registered and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Listed® products to give communities a highly sustainable choice for effective mosquito control.
Environmentally-conscious product development coupled with a disciplined strategy for internal and operational sustainability make Clarke an industry leader and partner that Carbonfund.org admires.
The Channel Islands National Park, off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, is one of the most astounding and best-kept-secret wilderness attractions in the U.S. It is the only National Park that isn't open for vehicle traffic and does not charge an entrance fee. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Channel Islands Outfitters (CIO) offers tours to experience this natural amusement park, as well as other guided kayaking, sea cave exploration, hiking, backpacking expeditions and multi-sport adventures.
CIO is an employee owned and operated company of adventure enthusiasts who share a passion for the Channel Islands, Santa Ynez Mountains, and other amazing outdoor experiences. But the company recognized that its tour operations create unavoidable carbon emissions. By joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and supporting clean air and carbon reduction projects, CIO has neutralized its annual operational emissions.
"Traveling to an island on a regular basis requires fossil fuels to be burned, which contributes to CO2 emissions, “says Garrett Kababik, CEO and Co-Founder of CIO. “We can’t avoid this and stay in business, so we are doing our part to offset this carbon in other ways, which is why we partnered with Carbonfund.org."
The guides and advisory board of CIO have been serving Santa Barbara Community and the Channel Islands National Park for over 20 years. CIO also educates the public about ocean related issues and volunteers in restoration and preservation efforts in the Santa Barbara Channel watersheds.
This level of environmental leadership is evident in CIO’s overall operational commitments. In 2013, CIO officially became a certified For-Benefit Corporation. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves by offering a more positive and transparent way to do business. In addition, CIO established an Adventure Co-op that gives local community members and regular adventure travel guests to join the co-op and lower the ongoing costs of CIO services while enjoying access to the Paddle Sports Center facilities, equipment and fitness plans.
Carbonfund.org welcomes CIO to the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and supports their efforts to run a more sustainable and responsible adventure tourism business.
As is the case with many of our eco-tourism business partners, Eagle-Eye Tours of Windermere, Canada recognizes the environmental impact of their educational tour programs and is doing something about it. Eagle-Eye Tours covers the globe with diverse tours, ranging from ones with a birding focus to tours combining photography and wildlife, birds and gardens and more, visiting some of the wildest corners of our planet. Tour travel and onsite lodging creates carbon dioxide emissions, which Eagle-Eye Tours works to minimize but also realizes that all emissions cannot be avoided.
To address this negative by-product of their tours, Eagle-Eye Tours has maintained a CarbonFree® operation for the past five years by calculating annual tour-related emissions then supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects to neutralize those emissions. To date, Eagle-Eye Tours has mitigated almost 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions through their CarbonFree® program, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by almost 23,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for ten years.
"We travel the world enjoying birds and other wildlife, but realize that many of these species are threatened by climate change,” explains Cam Gillies, Director of Eagle-Eye Tours. “We are excited to continue to offset the carbon emissions from our operations and to take concrete action in the conservation of the biodiversity we so enjoy."
Eagle-Eye Tours offsets all of the carbon dioxide emissions produced from all guide and on-tour participant flights, vehicle use during tours and operations, ship use, and the electricity used by their office. They also design tours that visit reserves and lodges that have been established to demonstrate and deliver benefits from conservation to the local community. Eagle- Eye Tours offers tour participants the option to help with environmental sustainability by offsetting flights from their departure to the start of the tour. This ongoing commitment to sustainable tour management helps to set apart Eagle-Eye Tours as a leader in ecotourism and demonstrated environmental responsibility in all aspects of their operation.
Businesses that use ingredients directly from nature ought to have a heightened sensibility to giving back to the environment and preserving the Earth’s resources. Five-Year CarbonFree® Business Partner Alima Pure does just that.
Alima Pure creates mineral-based makeup using only the purest cosmetic-grade mineral pigments. There are no additives, fillers or fragrances that can irritate skin or clog pores. Their mineral pigments are beneficial to the skin, offering sun protection and anti-inflammatory properties.
Alima Pure was founded on the premise of minimal ingredients for maximum impact. They follow the theory that a few simple, natural ingredients crafted in just the right way can give every woman the power to present her best self to the world with confidence and beauty at its most beautiful.
And Alima Pure is committed to reducing their operational carbon footprint by maintaining energy-efficiency manufacturing processes, using wind-powered electricity and recycled materials for printing. To counterbalance the remaining impact, Alima Pure has been a CarbonFree® Business Partner for the past five years, offsetting 100% of their net corporate carbon emissions through contributions to Carbonfund.org that support energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry projects around the globe.
Alima Pure is also a proud member of 1% for the Planet, since their first year in business, donating 1% of annual gross revenue (sales, not profit) to grassroots environmental organizations dedicated to protecting the planet.
All Alima Pure cosmetics are cruelty-free, and most products are vegan (the only exception is a bit of beeswax in lipbalms). This dedication to product purity and operational sustainability sets Alima Pure apart as a leader in the natural cosmetics industry and a committed CarbonFree® Business Partner.
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.
Environmentally-responsible business entrepreneurs come by their inspiration through a variety of experiences. For Michelle Garcia, Founder and President of Pure&True, a natural and organic beauty and skin care products company based in Oahu, the inspiration began with researching the requirements for LEED building certification. Through the process, Michelle learned of the many toxic ingredients contained in home and personal care products. Her continued research led her to develop Pure&True as a cosmetic company devoted to pure, natural and organic product ingredients and with a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
As a company, Pure&True cares about the choices the business makes and how those choices impact customers’ health and the environment. They believe it is possible to indulge oneself with skin and beauty care products while making a meaningful difference in the world. Six years ago, Pure&True made the decision to offset the carbon emissions from its business operations and product shipments by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and supporting our global reforestation and sustainable energy projects. As a CarbonFree® Partner, Pure&True has neutralized over 430,000 pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to the quantity of carbon dioxide sequestered by over 5000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
“As a cosmetic company, I believe that Pure&True should be a vehicle to making a difference in the world – through the products it creates and the support it lends to environmental and social charities,” explains Michelle. “This is the vision that sparked the birth of Pure&True, and I look forward to developing this vision as the company grows.”
In addition to maintaining its CarbonFree® operations, Pure&True also donates 5% of the profits from each product sale to selected social and environmental charities. Pure&True makes it possible for their customers to support their products while making positive contributions to protecting and preserving the environment, and improving lives of women and families around the world.
The view from a small aircraft brings environmental problems into focus. Long-term CarbonFree® Partner LightHawk is devoted to assisting environmental protection efforts through the unique perspective of flight. LightHawk provides aerial services as a tool to help protect land, water and wildlife in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and parts of Canada to a wide variety of organizations working on conservation issues.
As part of its commitment to environmental protection, LightHawk has maintained CarbonFree® operations for the past six years, neutralizing the emissions from all business travel and the fuel consumed by LightHawk flights. As a CarbonFree® Partner, LightHawk has neutralized over 3.3 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to the quantity of carbon dioxide sequestered by over 38,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
"Based on LightHawk’s commitment to the environment, we feel it is our responsibility to adhere to sustainable practices in our emissions, including all flights done by our volunteer pilots,” explains Rudy Engholm, LightHawk’s Executive Director. “LightHawk believes that by partnering with Carbonfund.org, we are truly making a contribution towards removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."
Founded in 1979, LightHawk is a nonprofit organization that provides donated flights through a network of volunteer pilots to more than 250 partner conservation groups throughout Central and North America each year. The aerial view provided by LightHawk flights lends itself particularly well to issues that benefit from a large-scale perspective, particularly protection of wildlife migration corridors, monitoring illegal uses of protected lands, and species-specific scientific research and protection efforts. Carbonfund.org congratulates LightHawk on achieving its sixth year CarbonFree® and for continuing its important work in providing donated flight services to environmental protection and conservation groups.
Summer is here, and the “weekend warriors” are out in force, perfecting their manicured suburban lawns. Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for up to 5% of the nation's air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces as much volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in one hour of operation as eleven new cars each being driven for one hour.
Environmentally-responsible lawn care companies are innovating ways to reduce and eliminate the harmful emissions associated with meticulous lawn maintenance, and new CarbonFree® Business Partner Gone Green Maui is leading the way.
Gone Green Maui is committed to offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional landscape maintenance. They offer all natural control applications for weeds, insects, diseases and fungus. All fertilizers and soil amendments are made from natural products to prevent the pollution to the water supply. And now, Gone Green Maui has taken a further step by neutralizing its remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Partnership program.
"Gone Green Maui is committed to reducing the carbon footprint associated with landscape maintenance and is happy to have become a member of Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon we are unable to reduce currently," states Sean T. Woods, Owner of Gone Green Maui.
By supporting Carbonfund.org’s global forestry projects, Gone Green Maui mitigates its own emissions while contributing to important forest preservation and restoration efforts, thus leading its industry in environmentally aware actions.