For many of our CarbonFree® Small Business Partners, it’s important to balance their intentions to provide sustainably-produced products to customers while minimizing their operational impact on the environment. These goals often require careful choices and thoughtful decisions in order to achieve the right equilibrium and stay true to the mission and goals of the business. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Just Skin Food struggled with this balancing act until they reached the right approach.
Just Skin Food offers handmade organic and naturally synthetic-free “skin food” products that support, nourish and heal. All of the herbal oils, salves and balms are made by hand, by using various infusing methods of organic herbs with unrefined, steam-distilled and cold-pressed ingredients. Most products are vegan, and all products are cruelty free and GMO-free.
Just Skin Food was started by Gabriella Calvi-Rooney. When she first launched Just Skin Foods, she chose NOT to sell anything online – she felt that generating a larger carbon footprint through packaging and shipping small quantities of her products was counter-intuitive to the healing that she hoped her products would accomplish. As a result, her products were offered locally in the Cape May, NJ area or hand-delivered by Gabriella when she traveled to other areas.
In a very short time, customer demand was so great that Gabriella felt compelled to create a website to enable customers to order her herbal products online. Now Gabriella had to decide how to minimize the carbon footprint for shipping such small items.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was established to help businesses like Just Skin Foods address their impact on the environment. The program provides a simple, affordable means through which products and services can be delivered to customers while neutralizing operational emissions and supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
Joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was an easy and affordable solution that neutralized carbon emissions from Just Skin Food's operational activities and projected product shipments. Gabriella also established a minimum online order size, reuses shipping boxes from vendors, and only ships twice weekly to reduce carbon emissions associated with post office trips and shipments. In addition, she chose to use organic freshly popped popcorn as packaging material, which can be fed to the birds.
If your business is re-evaluating its social and environmental responsibilities and needs to its reduce operational impact, consider the example of Just Skin Food and the solutions we provide through our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
As we continue to celebrate fifth and sixth anniversaries with many of our CarbonFree® Business Partners, new businesses are joining our partnership ranks as part of their environmental commitment.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner Beautycounter launched with its skin care line on March 4, 2013. Beautycounter’s mission is to educate families about the need for safer chemicals and beauty care products, and to be a part of the solution by creating safe and effective skin care and beauty products in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Beautycounter was founded by a team of social entrepreneurs who believe in using the power of business and strategic partnerships to move in the right direction.
One of these right decisions was joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and CarbonFree® Shipping Emissions programs, neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from general business operational and from shipping their products to customers. Through the CarbonFree® programs, Beautycounter is supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency projects around the world.
“In order to be successful in business and in our social mission, we have to reject the short-term thinking that got all of us into the current environmental crisis,” explains Mia Davis, Vice President of Health & Safety. “Beautycounter recognizes that we can’t do it alone—strategic partnerships are absolutely necessary to create meaningful, lasting change. We’re proud to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset our carbon emissions, and for guidance on reducing our overall footprint.”
Beautycounter maintains an extensive list of chemical ingredients that will never be used in their products, which contain no hidden fragrances or preservatives. Beautycounter also prohibits testing of their cosmetics on animals, makes every effort to use FSC-certified paper and post consumer recycled content in both paper and plastic materials, and sources plastics that do not leach toxic chemicals and that are recyclable in most communities.
These comprehensive initiatives demonstrate Beautycounter’s forward thinking approach to entering the beauty and skin care industry as a responsible leader in environmental sustainability, and Carbonfund.org is pleased to be a partner in their efforts.
The continuing focus on Corporate Social/Environmental Responsibility (CSR) programs requires companies to seek out environmentally sustainable practices in every aspect of their operations. While many businesses rely upon product packaging and shipment to reach their customers, they can “green” these activities through careful selection of shipping products, including the labels they use to address and mail their products.
Carbonfund.org business partner Taylor Label is committed to manufacturing its ‘GoGreen’ Labels through a process it calls 'Green-Cycle Production’. This process focuses on the use of environmentally sound raw materials, 100% wind-powered production facility, FSC-certified paper and environmentally benign and recyclable adhesives.
In addition, Taylor Label has neutralized 100% of the carbon emissions from shipping its products to customers through the CarbonFree® Shipping program for the past five years. "Carbonfund.org has products specifically suited to our needs. Their partnership managers and website make accessing their services a straight-forward and successful process," explains Lloyd Taylor, President of Taylor Label.
Taylor Label has been voted the "Most Environmentally Progressive Printing Company" at the annual Environmental Printing Awards, developed the industry’s first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified label stock and became the first FSC-certified label manufacturer in North America. Taylor Label is also the founding member of 'Canada's Green Printers', a not-for-profit organization designed to help printers share environmental best-practices within the industry. Their comprehensive and long-term commitment to environmentally-responsible product development, manufacturing and shipment underscore Taylor Label’s leadership in sustainability within the shipping label industry.
Even the most environmentally sensitive businesses know that their annual operations contribute to the increase in carbon emissions in our atmosphere, but the businesses that are truly committed to operational sustainability are taking simple and affordable steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
For the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Arbor Teas has neutralized its annual operational emissions and its product shipment emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Arbor Teas retails one of the largest selections of USDA-certified organic loose leaf teas from around the globe, most of which is Fair Trade, through its on-line store. In addition, Arbor Teas is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and has taken many steps to reduce emissions by offering only organic teas, reducing and “greening” its packaging and using renewable energy sources. However, their teas come from all corners of the world, so the shipping emissions are unavoidable. To mitigate these emissions, Arbor Teas has maintained a CarbonFree® Shipping program to offset the carbon footprint of annual product shipment emissions, and to offset all internal operational emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.
“It makes no sense at all to sell an organic product if the method of delivering it to our customers is environmentally harmful,” says Jeremy Lopatin. “Although we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re happy to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset what we can’t avoid… yet!”
Almost three years ago, Arbor Teas became the first tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. With the release of this next generation packaging, Arbor Teas advanced its environmental mission, continuing to lead the tea industry through its staunch commitment to sustainable business practices. For the first time ever, tea drinkers are now able to compost their tea leaves AND tea packaging together in their home composting system. This innovative packaging is composed of a cellulose film made from wood pulp sourced from sustainably-managed trees, and the films used for Arbor Teas’ new packaging breaks down in a backyard compost setting.
Carbonfund.org applauds Arbor Teas’ long-term commitment to maintaining its CarbonFree® Operations and Shipping programs, and to its continuing innovation in the areas of product packaging and sourcing.
According to a study by the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, the issue of sustainability is increasingly important in the apparel industry. Environmentally-conscious fashion designers and retailers are moving away from the wasteful trend of “fast fashion” to focus on eco-fashion practices.
New CarbonFree® Shipping Partner Hearts believes that “conscious consumers create change,” and that sustainable fashion is not only environmentally friendly, but also a means of artistic and cultural expression. As Hearts launches its sustainable fashion online store, it has chosen to embed a carbon neutral shipping program as part of its environmentally-responsible commitment.
Through the CarbonFree Shipping Program, Hearts calculates the carbon footprint associated with the inbound and outbound product shipping and makes a corresponding donation to support Carbonfund.org’s projects that reduce carbon emissions, in order to lessen the impact of the carbon emissions created by any outbound shipping process. Hearts will be providing an immediate positive effect through investment back into reforestation projects, clean energy development and energy efficiency technologies.
“Hearts understands that environmental and economic sustainability is crucial with any e-commerce platform but especially in the world of fashion where it is our duty and responsibility to offset the carbon emissions when we can,” stated Michelle Petro, president. She added, “We are thrilled to partner with Carbonfund.org because they too are our environmental change makers.”
“Our CarbonFree Shipping Program offers a simple and affordable solution for responsible retailers such as Hearts to deliver their products worldwide in an environmentally sustainable way,” adds Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “The CarbonFree Shipping label will assure Hearts’ customers that they’re choosing to make purchases from a company that is committed to its mission of social consciousness.”