The New Year is a great time for individuals and businesses to reevaluate their recycling efforts and overall carbon footprint and seek to reduce their impact every day. Currently less than 35% of US households recycle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides great information about how to increase recycling efforts in your everyday living, and how your efforts will help your community.
Paper Culture, a Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past seven years, and online retailer of personalized cards, gifts and wall décor, evaluates and optimizes reductions in their carbon footprint on a regular basis. Through its seven-year participation in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, Paper Culture has neutralized operational emissions equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 12,615 tree seedlings, then growing those trees for ten years.
They make sure that all of their business practices fall under their four pillars for sustainable operations (aka T.R.E.E):
1. Trees – Plant a tree with every order
2. Responsibility – Offer only eco-friendly products
3. Ethos – Operate sustainable business practices
4. Education – Help through community outreach and teaching
After evaluating the packaging in which products were sent to customers, the folks at Paper Culture felt there was an opportunity to engage and reinforce the importance of recycling and the power of planting one single tree. With most of their customers being parents with young kids, they also wanted it to find an interactive approach.
As a result, they came up with the ReversibleBox. The outside of the box is printed with eco-friendly water-based inks and is much more than just pretty typography; it's a reminder of the true impact of trees, from the air we breathe to the natural habitat they provide. On the reverse side of the box is a tree pattern with the recommendation that customers reuse the box the next time they need to send a package, store old photos or any other use they can imagine. In addition, the box contains tree seed packets with planting instructions.
Since the company plants a tree with every order, Paper Culture wanted their customers to be able to plant a tree of their own so they could enjoy and teach the benefits to the next generation.
Paper Culture CEO & Co-founder Christopher Wu says, "We are in a fortunate position to be able to connect to the future generations through our customers. We loved the idea of parents and their kids planting trees together, which creates both a teaching moment and the appreciation for one of earth's finest gifts."
Since the inception in 2009, Paper Culture has been providing modern and eco-friendly products, including personalized holiday cards, birth announcements, birthday invitations, gifts and wall decor. Carbonfund.org appreciates Paper Culture's ongoing commitment to reducing and neutralizing its operational emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world.
It takes a special company to carry through a long-term commitment to monitor and manage its social, environmental and financial impacts of conducting business. Grounds for Change is a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. Grounds for Change roasts 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible, while remaining committed to social justice and environmental stewardship.
In 2008, Grounds for Change helped Carbonfund.org pioneer the Certified Carbonfree® Products program by completing a thorough “cradle-to-grave” Life Cycle Assessment and Greenhouse Gases inventory report for its roasted coffees. It is a program that fits with Grounds for Change’s overall mission to achieve the highest possible standards in quality, fairness and responsibility throughout its operation and in each product it produces.
"It's simply the right thing to do," says Kelsey Marshall, Co-Founder of Grounds for Change. "We want to provide our customers with the highest quality coffee available. To us, that means Organic Certified, Fair Trade Certified and Certified Carbonfree® - caring for ecosystems, workers and the climate."
By measuring the carbon footprint associated with each pound of roasted coffee, then neutralizing those carbon emissions through quarterly donations to Carbonfund.org, supporting reforestation and avoided deforestation projects around the world, Grounds for Change offers a truly carbon neutral roasted coffee to environmentally conscious consumers.
The company’s commitment to carbon offsetting goes far beyond its coffee roasting operations. Every step in the coffee chain has been scrutinized, from a coffee plant in Peru all the way to a bag of roasted coffee in the customer’s hands. The details of harvest, transportation, roasting, packaging and shipping to customers have all been included in the rigorous carbon footprint analysis.
Grounds for Change focuses on operating as a green business and has received a Washington award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Grounds for Change donates well over 1% of total annual sales to various environmental organizations, including Carbonfund.org. In addition to offering 100% Fair Trade and Organic Certified coffee, most Grounds for Change coffees are shade grown, which means the possibility of a real livelihood for coffee growers, a breath of fresh air for the planet, zero net carbon emissions from crop to cup and healthy forests for migratory songbirds.
This holiday season, Grounds for Change is offering sales on coffee gift baskets, special winter seasonal coffee blends, and their Coffee of the Month club. With their commitments to Fair Trade, Organic and Carbonfree® Certified coffees, Grounds for Change offers premier choices for environmentally-savvy coffee connoisseurs.
Voxmicro, a leading technology group with prime focus in radio-frequency components, platforms and other network solutions has adopted the AIRETOS™ brand for its OEM and RF modular designs and wireless platforms.
With the introduction of its new brand, VoxMicro is also reemphasizing its pledge to the environmental cause. VoxMicro made a commitment to “zero out” the carbon footprint of its logistics and IT operations, and to provide carbon neutral shipping. Since 2008, VoxMicro has achieved these goals through its Carbonfree® Business Partnership program with Carbonfund.org. By supporting energy efficiency projects that produce measurable carbon emission reductions, VoxMicro neutralizes its own operational emissions.
VoxMicro’s environmental initiatives extend beyond carbon neutral operations to use of eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials, minimized corporate travel, and active participation in recycling programs, material control and hazardous substances regulation compliance.
AIRETOS™ is a celebration of those efforts aiming to represent ethical and environmental ways for designing, manufacturing and operating exciting new technologies in the domain of RF Connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Moving forward, VoxMicro will maintain its commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its products and will be staying at the forefront of active green rebellion for sustainability and preservation. VoxMicro believes it is important to protect our environment and will continue to search for new avenues that protect the environment without sacrificing product and service performance. VoxMicro LTD Group is on the forefront of pursuing operational sustainability and environmental preservation, and Carbonfund.org is proud to partner in these efforts.
uSave LED is a national lighting company specializing in LED products for the commercial and industrial market sectors and selling to the public, distributors and electricians. uSave LED has expanded its commitment to operational sustainability by neutralizing its estimated annual operational carbon footprint through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.
“Our mission includes converting large facilities over to LED lighting thereby making a significant reduction in energy usage Nationwide,” says Harry Zuker, CEO of uSave LED. “Offsetting our own carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org credits shows our commitment to the environment.”
uSave LED supplies high quality and highest rated state-of-the-art energy saving LED lighting to commercial property owners and tenants nationwide. In addition to offsetting its operational carbon footprint, uSave LED’s corporate office uses 100% LED lighting, its staff keeps business travel to a minimum and maintains a mostly paperless office.
The commercial LED lighting solutions offered by uSave LED enable clients to save money while reducing energy consumption and helping to preserve the environment. The LED bulbs are energy efficient (65-90% savings versus traditional bulbs), long lasting and labor saving. The firm offers a free energy study of business lighting and lighting needs, matches these requirements to corresponding products, and presents a findings report including specification sheets of the products, warranty options, financing options, available government incentives and potential tax deductions.
uSave LED offers 100% financing programs, direct-purchase and self-installation, or their turnkey solutions including installation. Results vary based on electrical costs and products chosen, but clients may anticipate a payback on investment in 1-3 years. All products are certified by UL, CE, Energy Star Design Light Consortium or similar certification laboratories.
A commitment to providing environmentally-responsible lighting solutions while mitigating its own operational emissions puts uSave LED in the front of its industry for environmental leadership. Carbonfund.org is happy to welcome uSave LED to the Carbonfree® Business Partnership.
Corporate Risk Systems Limited (CRS), a UK-based Risk Management Consultancy, provides consultancy and training solutions across Health, Safety and Environmental sectors and supports many international clients in insurance markets, the public sector, and commercial organizations.
As a responsible organization offering environmental and health and safety support to its clients, CRS recognizes the need for all organizations to reduce their environmental impact through implementation of effective carbon emissions and waste reduction policies. To address its own operational emissions, CRS developed a Carbon Reduction and Offset Policy, using Carbonfund.org to offset its entire annual corporate emissions and make Corporate Risk Systems Carbonfree®.
"It’s down to each individual and organization to accept its environmental impact, if sustainable development is to turn from a concept into reality,” says Richard Ball, Head of Environment for CRS. “Climate Change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today, and it is all our responsibility to reduce carbon emissions at source where possible, and offset our residual carbon footprint."
Over the past eight years, CRS has neutralized almost 1.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions produced by combusting almost 80,000 gallons of gasoline.
Corporate Risk Systems Limited is a forward-thinking and innovative HSE training and consultancy group, ISO 9001 certified and Carbonfree®. Their auditing, training and consulting services have benefitted clients in over 60 countries on six continents, and their commitment to neutralizing their own operational emissions establishes CRS as a clear leader in corporate risk consultancy and sustainability leadership.
Care To Click is an online community where people's small actions can make a big impact. The organization’s goal is to make the world a better place for everyone, which includes protecting our environment for future generations.
By joining the Carbonfree® Small Business Partnership program with Carbonfund.org, Care To Click has neutralized almost 80,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This reduces the company’s operational emissions and makes it a more sustainable organization.
“We owe it to future generations to leave the world a better place than we found it,” explains Tracilyn Scala, Founder of Care To Click. “Carbonfund.org has made doing so their mission and deserve everyone's support.”
Care To Click helps raise money for environmentally conscious groups, including Carbonfund.org. By taking a few simple actions on the Care To Click website, like donating free clicks and tweets, printing useful coupons and shopping online using Care To Click's “Care To Search” browser extension, users prompt donations to charitable organizations.
Care To Click encourages everyone to take action, and recognizes that these actions have an impact. As a Carbonfree® Small Business Partner, Care To Click has taken the lead in neutralizing its own operational emissions.
Tandus Centiva, A Tarkett Company, offers a unique line of flooring products as a true fit-for-purpose approach to enhance building spaces for learning, working, healing and living. An important component of its product line is offering Certified Carbonfree® flooring products to its customers, through a program developed by Carbonfund.org.
The company utilizes Cradle to Cradle principals to strategically design and manufacture its products. This closed-loop approach focuses on four key areas: the choice of good materials in the design of products, the responsible use of resources to minimize impacts on the environment, the well-being of people during product use and closed loop recycling at the end-of-use to produce new products with good materials.
The Certified Carbonfree® Product program relies upon a full cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment of each registered product, to determine the entire carbon footprint associated with each square yard of flooring material. Tandus Centiva has renewed its Certified Carbonfree® Product Registration again this year for seven of its flooring products.
“Tandus Centiva will continue to conserve energy and utilize renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations and products,” explains Glen Hussmann, President of Tandus Centiva. “Additionally, registering Powerbond® and modular products as Carbonfree® through the Carbonfund.org provides Tandus Centiva customers with a credible means of purchasing Carbonfree® floor coverings.”
Tandus Centiva uses a multifaceted approach to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations and products including the reduction of energy, water and solid waste, the increased use of recycled material and renewable energy, along with a continued emphasis on closed loop recycling and post-consumer reclamation of its products. These strategies along with the Certified Carbonfree® Product options places Tandus Centiva among the sustainability leaders in the flooring industry.
ClimateStore Inc., located in Boston, MA, officially became a Carbonfree® Partner with CarbonFund.org. The newly launched retail brand has a mission to make it fun and easy for people to reduce their carbon footprint, and launched its on-line brand, climatestore.com, this past Earth Day. The company seeks to close a gap in the retail space, namely, the lack of an easily recognizable retail brand focused entirely on climate change.
ClimateStore hopes to tap into a growing market of climate conscious consumers, and carbon offsets play an important role in its sustainability strategy. To help realize its mission, ClimateStore purchased offsets from a portfolio of reforestation and forest conservation projects to offset emissions from its operations including energy use at its offices, freight and parcel shipping, employee commutes, and business travel. The company also relies on partnerships with like-minded organizations, like Carbonfund.org and 1% for the Planet, to support climate change awareness programs and forest conservation initiatives.
“With the recent release of the latest UN IPCC report and U.S. National Climate Assessment, there can be no doubt this is a critical issue current for future generations. More people are asking what they can do to reduce their carbon impact” says Steven E. Bushnell, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of ClimateStore Inc. “There is a false perception that moving to a lower carbon economy will require giving things up or need extra effort. We take the opposite view; lowering one’s carbon footprint should be fun, easy and rewarding as we collectively secure the stable climate we all hope to live in.”
The ClimateStore.com website provides summaries of climate science, issues an urgent call for action, suggests plans to reduce personal carbon emissions, and provides products to help people achieve a lower carbon footprint. The company launched with about 250 carbon saving products, including: energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear and accessories. Each product is evaluated by ClimateStore staff to identify exact how it saves carbon - including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle - and communicate their findings with a simple icon system and detailed product descriptions.
For Colorado residential and commercial property owners faced with construction defect issues, there’s a leading law firm that specializes in effective case verdicts and settlements, and that’s also a leader in managing its own environmental responsibilities.
Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. is one of the leading construction defect litigation law firms in Colorado, representing property owners with construction defect claims against builders, subcontractors, and their insurance companies. The firm takes a unique approach to construction defect cases, developing and implementing several alternative approaches to construction defect claims that often resolve claims without their clients ever stepping foot in a courthouse.
This leadership in creative and effective construction defect case settlement parallels the firm’s leadership in its ongoing commitment to maintaining environmentally sustainable business operations.
Six years ago, Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. committed to offset 100% of its carbon footprint created by office activities, including electric usage and business car travel, in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Each year, the firm makes a donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize its annual estimated operational emissions by supporting third-party verified renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation projects.
To date, the firm’s carbon footprint offsets have neutralized almost 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gases, the same quantity as is sequestered in a year by five acres of US forest lands preserved from conversion to cropland.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Carbonfund.org,” states Doug Benson, Founding Partner. “We hope that our commitment to offset our carbon footprint will serve as an example to other law firms, community associations and their vendors.”
Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson in their ongoing efforts to maintain environmentally responsible business operations.
Carbonfund.org supports carbon offset projects that clearly benefit the environment and fight climate change. A recent study highlights how projects such as ours offer even more than combating global warming alone. They can provide additional benefits ranging from employment to health, which is important to countries' economies and limited budgets.
Often the question is posed as whether to cut emissions or use the funds to stimulate the economy. But we can have the best of both worlds with certified carbon-cutting projects; particularly projects in poor countries. And the numbers add up to billions in additional benefits.
Carbon credit certifier, the Gold Standard Foundation, in a partnership with WWF Switzerland commissioned a peer-reviewed study from Australia-based Net Balance. Economists analyzed the environmental and socioeconomic benefits from clean energy or Gold Standard-approved carbon reduction projects.
The report found, "Robustly designed and audited greenhouse gas mitigation projects... deliver far more than carbon emission reductions, meaning it is no longer necessary to choose between climate and other environment and development outcomes."
The study analyzed more than 100 initiatives including building wind farms, planting trees, installing water filtration systems and distributing clean stoves to discourage people from burning wood or charcoal. Then the report identified areas beyond greenhouse gas cuts where there was a potential benefit from projects, such as local economies, employment, health and biodiversity.
The report gives a couple examples; the first shows how three water filtration systems throughout Africa and Asia deliver health benefits such as less air pollution, which is valued at more than $300 million annually. The second example illustrates how 54 Gold Standard-certified wind farms created jobs worth $12 million a year while contributing a total $100 million per year to countries' balance of payments.
Gold Standard Program projects generate carbon credits that can be bought by individuals, businesses and organizations to offset their own carbon footprints. Learn more about Carbonfund.org's carbon reduction projects at http://www.carbonfund.org/projects.