David and Victoria Byrnes have worked with organic and fair trade producers for over 12 years, helping other brands launch their products nationally. After seeing there were so few organic snack options on grocery shelves for their own family, they decided to launch their very own brand. With hard work and perseverance, and a focus on organic and Non-GMO Verified products, they launched Good Boy Organics in 2012, featuring BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks), Organicasaurus corn puffs, and Yellow Barn Biodynamic® sauces.
As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Good Boy Organics focuses exclusively on certified organic products. Organic agriculture helps capture and retain carbon in the soil through the use of cover-cropping, green manure and compost. The use of petroleum-based fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming systems. Organic agriculture’s focus on soil-building improves soil moisture, so less energy is expended to water crops. Good Boy Organics’ Yellow Barn pasta sauce products are also certified Biodynamic®, an agricultural practice in which all inputs and outputs must be grown and re-used on the farm. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and fosters self-sufficiency.
Despite all of these benefits of certified organic products and Biodynamic® agriculture, Good Boy Organics recognized that its own business operations produced harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including office space energy consumption, product shipping and business-related travel emissions. To enhance their environmental commitment, Good Boy Organics joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership to neutralize those annual operational emissions they could not eliminate.
“I chose to partner with Carbonfund.org and their Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, because their values to environmental sustainability most closely match our own. They are well-known for their efforts helping companies like mine reduce and offset carbon emissions.” David Byrnes, Founder, Good Boy Organics
At Good Boy Organics headquarters, they maintain a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and cans. All materials are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Their office uses energy-efficient lighting and low-heat strategies in order to save energy. These measure help to reduce the carbon footprint from their operations, and the Carbonfree® Business Partnership ensures that remaining emissions are mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.
Two of the key benefits of the Carbonfree® Partnership Program are its affordability for businesses of all sizes and its applicability to businesses of all industries. Despite best efforts, no business can identify and neutralize all of its operational emissions without the help of carbon offsets.
Veteran travel tours operator Toto Tours recognized this reality and took an important step towards improved sustainability by joining the Carbonfree® Partnership Program for 2014. Through their annual program donation, Toto Tours is supporting carbon reduction and clean energy projects around the world, while neutralizing a portion of their operational emissions.
Toto Tours provides worldwide adventure travel opportunities for the gay and lesbian community. Founded in 1990, Toto Tours hosts small groups of 10 – 20 participants to exciting global destinations. Their tour offerings change from year to year, and their customer tour satisfaction has yielded a repeat rate of 70% or higher on almost every tour.
The activity of travel and touring includes the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with airline flights, ground travel, hotel stays and dining, not to mention regular business operations like office space energy usage, IT services and mailings, and business travel.
"Toto Tours is pleased to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset the emissions generated as a result of our travel program business,” expressed Daniel Ware, President of Toto Tours. “We appreciate the tools you provide on your website to help our clients make environmentally conscious decisions regarding ways to offset their travel footprint. The carbon reduction projects you support are excellent!"
Airplane travel is one of the contributors to Toto Tours’ carbon emissions, so tour participants are encouraged to be aware of and actively participate in flight emissions offsetting for every tour.
Toto Tours also is committed to giving back to the communities they visit during travels around the world. Toto Tours staff have visited schools and made donations to charitable causes in Nicaragua, Bhutan, Honduras, and Kenya. These included the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where Toto Tours contributed to the elephant orphanage in Nairobi, a Masaai village in the Masaai Mara, and a giraffe sanctuary in the outskirts of Nairobi.
There were two special causes in Kenya that especially moved the staff of Toto Tours. The first is "The Brethren Concern," a group dedicated to serving homosexual men in Nairobi, and the second cause is a the Matanya Primary School, a remote school where 250 children depend for their early education and even their basic necessities on the generosity of those who happen to visit. Toto Tours will continue to support both of these causes into the indefinite future, and will continue to pursue ways to improve tour sustainability in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Storing your wedding gown, vintage clothing, family heirlooms or military uniforms became more environmentally sustainable when Foster-Stephens joined the Carbonfree ® Business Partnership program last fall.
Foster-Stephens of Elk Grove Village, IL has been producing storage solutions including archival boxes, muslin garment bags and reusable/recyclable garment bags to preserve and protect wedding gowns and other family treasures since 1936. Their product line includes many styles and sizes of archival protection boxes and bags to anyone interested in preserving textiles and family heirlooms: dry cleaners, museums, designers, costume archivists, military personnel and individuals interested in preserving their heritage.
To improve their own operational sustainability and neutralize operational emissions, Foster-Stephens supports Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world that help to sequester carbon dioxide and reduce carbon emissions. They also maintain recycling programs in their office and warehouse, and select products made from recyclable materials.
"We are proud of our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint,” states Nancy L. Jones, President of Foster-Stephens. “Our partnership with Carbonfund.org allows us to maintain our commitment to providing the best products for protecting textiles for future generations while offsetting the carbon emissions required to provide these products."
Historical preservation is important, but it should be accomplished with minimal impact on our environment’s future. Foster-Stephens is helping to achieve this goal by carefully selecting environmentally-responsible preservation packaging products and mitigating its own business emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
The New Year is here, and progressive businesses are already launching their sustainability initiatives. New Carbonfree® Business Partner evolveEA is out of the blocks early with their Green Vision for Living Buildings in 2014.
evolveEA is a multidisciplinary architectural design practice committed to sustainability in the built environment, and ready to help individuals, communities, and organizations take strategic action towards sustainable practices. evolveEA looks through three lenses of sustainability: People, Process, and Place.
evolveEA is a carbon neutral, B-Corp certified company and won first place among small businesses in Southwest Pennsylvania in a 2012 competition judged on all aspects of a company’s sustainability footprint. After reducing emissions wherever possible, evolveEA chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to completely neutralize emissions from four years’ worth of annual business operations. Through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, evolveEA is supporting energy efficiency projects in order to mitigate its own operational emissions.
“evolve’s mission to advance sustainable systems and solutions for people, processes, and places has driven us to achieve and maintain carbon neutral operations since 2011,” explains Steve Hockley, Sustainability Process Manager. “While we have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint, Carbonfund.org has enabled us to reach net zero emissions by purchasing offsets for four years worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our office operations and travel.”
The impact of building sustainability can be seen in recent evolveEA projects, including the US Steel Tower’s LEED certification process begun in 2007. With the recent changes to LEED certification, businesses have additional opportunities and incentives to neutralize building emissions by supporting carbon emissions offsetting projects. evolveEA and Carbonfund.org look forward to partnering on future projects to help advance sustainable systems and solutions across the country through the design of green buildings and facilitation of carbon-neutral operations.
The summer travel season is around the corner, and exotic locations lure the most adventurous travelers to remote and environmentally sensitive areas to experience their wonders. When planning these trips, environmentally responsible travelers will seek out sustainable tours that meet established ecotourism guidelines.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." CarbonFree® Business Partner Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace adheres to this definition and its guiding principles when selecting the local tour operators and outfitters for its online destination tours and travel adventures. Detour actively promotes sustainable tourism by offering trips operated by local ecotourism companies and promoting green certified hotels in the trip destinations they support.
As an important part of its sustainability mission, Detour minimizes it own operational carbon emissions then mitigates what it cannot eliminate in partnership with Carbonfund.org. As a virtual company, Detour follows Carbonfund.org’s motto to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” by maintaining only a small wind-powered office with some employees working from home. Detour handles all tour information and customer communications online, replacing paper and printing with electronic documents. And for the past six years, Detour has neutralized all remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program. To date, Detour has neutralized over 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 6000 trees over a ten-year period.
“As a company based on promoting small-scale tourism directly through socially and environmentally responsible local tour operators and outfitters, Detour is committed to protecting the environment and minimizing global climate change,” said Greg Findley, Detour’s CEO.
Working only with sustainable local travel companies ensures that the tours support the local economies. Detour selects tour operations that employ local people and provide economic incentives for local people to protect their natural and cultural resources. Traveling with local companies also gives travelers a window into the lives of the communities they visit. This inside knowledge can make the difference between being a tourist and thoroughly experiencing and learning about a destination.
Taking a trip, even the most sustainably-planned tour, has some negative environmental impacts, including the carbon emissions of airplane travel and on-site ground transportation. Detour advises its customers to become environmentally-responsible travelers by choosing a sustainable trip, taking fewer and longer trips, and trying to get direct air flights when possible. Finally, Detour encourages tour customers to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from their flights through Carbonfund.org. Join the ranks of eco-travelers by selecting leading sustainable tour operators like Detour and taking the extra steps to neutralize your vacation travel emissions.
It’s spring – time to get outdoors and enjoy all the beauty and adventure that nature offers. For the past ten years, Central Coast Outdoors has arranged kayaking, biking and hiking tours in the California Central Coast region, and for the last five of those ten years, Central Coast Outdoors has neutralized its own operational emissions as a CarbonFree® Business Partner.
"Our company goal was to lower our emissions and impacts as much as we could and use carbon offsets and other mitigation measures to address the impacts that remained,” explained John Flaherty, co-owner of Central Coast Outdoors with his wife, Virginia. “We feel Carbonfund.org works hard to offset and repair environmental damage for organizations that advocate for a sustainable future."
Central Coast Outdoors has taken many additional steps to be an environmentally responsible tour company. They use highly fuel efficient hybrid vehicles for their tour transportation, installed solar electric panels on their office, use refillable water bottles and purchase produce and menu items from local farmers markets for tour meals. These efforts coupled with their ongoing commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® business underscore Central Coast Outdoors’ dedication to being a truly sustainable tour operations company.
Get out there this spring – enjoy the outdoors, but be sure to choose tour operators that are truly dedicated to environmental responsibility like Central Coast Outdoors to plan your next adventure.
We’ve heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” associated with many environmental movements and causes. Our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program takes this call to action a step further by helping businesses of all sizes to “act globally and act locally.”
For the past five years, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café in Silverdale, WA has heeded this call. They’ve maintained a CarbonFree® Business as an important part of their overall commitment to “remarkable customer service” and sustainable business practices. Monica and her team recognized that it was important to supplement their dedication to sourcing locally, and to eliminating waste and emissions wherever possible, by adding a global commitment to neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from their business operations.
"Because we know we are doing some things well and there are lots of things that we can do better,” explains Monica Downen, Owner and namesake of the bakery and café. “We love that we reduce what we can and offset what we can't!"
Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café offers a menu featuring local produce, dairy, eggs, coffee, honey, sodas, flour and grains, pickles, and poultry. The staff composts food waste, recycles, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and subscribes to green power through the local utility. All of these efforts accompany their five-year commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® operation.
Make sure your sustainable business plan minimizes your impact on the environment. Join Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Café in our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and support our carbon reduction and clean air technology projects around the world.
The enduring premise of the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and key to the program’s ongoing success, is the simplicity of the commitment: recognize and measure the annual operational emissions of your business, do what you can to reduce those emissions, and then support carbon reduction projects to mitigate the negative impact of the business emissions you can’t yet eliminate.
Hundreds of businesses around the world have joined the program, and many have maintained a long-term commitment to remaining CarbonFree®. It fits easily within their business strategies, environmental commitment and operational budgets.
A great example is Gaia’s Delights, a CarbonFree® Partner for the past six years, following its founder’s focus on the environment as underscored by the company’s name. Gaia was the goddess of Earth in ancient Greek mythology, and Gaia means “Mother Earth”. Gaia’s Delights is the parent company for a number of businesses known for their commitment to fair trade practices and to small independent herbal farms and farmers. Keith Cleversley started the company in the late 1990′s while at the peak of his record production career. With the resources that Gaia’s Delights has gathered over the past years, the company now devotes much of its time to helping worthy causes, doing important research, and engaging in activities that help to preserve and improve the world’s environment.
"When searching for more ways to enhance our efforts to help to save this beautiful planet of ours, Carbonfund.org was the obvious choice and a shining example of what grass roots determination can accomplish," explains Keith. His ongoing devotion to developing enterprises that provide healthy products from the herbs and extracts found in nature, while supporting local farmers and communities and maintaining fair trade practices, demonstrates Keith’s continuous commitment to environmental sustainability that exemplifies our CarbonFree® Partners.
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.
Two years ago, the Carbonfund.org staff “went virtual” as a way to eliminate the carbon emissions from occupied office space and regular employee commuting to the office, and as a way to save operational costs. For the past five years, CarbonFree® Business Partner the Boardroom Executive Suites® has offered virtual offices and other alternative workspace options to the Denver community, while also neutralizing its remaining operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction technology projects.
Boardroom Executive Suites provides ready-to-use office space, virtual office services, conference room rentals, advanced telecommunications and administrative support services in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, CO. “A typical office space is used less than 50% of the time. That means that there is a huge amount of waste associated with a typical office – heating, cooling, electrical, janitorial services,” explains Nathan Jansch, President and Owner of Boardroom Executive Suites. “Add to the office emissions those from employee commuting, often from lengthy and highly-polluting commutes. In an executive suite or virtual office environment, all of that changes.”
The structure of most executive suites and virtual office centers also helps reduce emissions by making use of office space and support resources more effectively. Instead of having an office suite that is used by one person 50% of the time, executive suites and virtual offices provide shared amenities and encourage maximum utilization of space and resources, reducing the per-worker carbon emissions that the suite emits.
Nathan adds, “the Boardroom Executive Suites furthers carbon emission reduction efforts by engaging in energy conservation efforts in our suites (reducing what we can) and aligning ourselves with Carbonfund.org to offset our estimated yearly carbon emissions (offsetting what we can’t).” Their long-term commitment to carbon emissions reduction efforts and operating a CarbonFree® business over the past five years shows real leadership and innovation as an alternative workspace provider.
Is 2013 the year to green up your work environment? Consider virtual office space, home office, virtual conferences and shared office space options as ways to reduce what you can, then talk to Carbonfund.org to neutralize your remaining operational emissions that you can’t eliminate.