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.

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Forever Cheese is already renowned for their commitment to sourcing the finest cheeses and specialty foods from Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Croatia and it has now been seven years since they have begun a commitment with Carbonfund to actively help the planet and further renewable energy.

“We are focused on wind and solar energy not just as a way for the future, but for now.” states Michele Buster, President and Co-Founder of Forever Cheese. “We hope to be a role model for other companies, catalyzing them to support the development of renewable energy resources.”

Since 1998, Michele and her business partner, Pierluigi Sini have been finding unique artisan cheeses and specialty foods to introduce into the US.  They hand-select each item directly from the producers.

Some of their more famous products include Genuine Fulvi® Pecorino Romano, Rustico®, Drunken Goat®, Naked Goat®, Mitica® Marcona Almonds & Fig Almond Cake. Look for the brands Fulvi®, Sini® or Mitica® to find Forever Cheese products.

Carbonfund.org is very proud to have this great partnership with Forever Cheese to provide significant benefit to renewable energy projects around the United States along with additional support toward national reforestation projects.

"We greatly appreciate our partnership with Forever Cheese," said, Executive Director, Eric Carlson, "they are true industry leaders in their commitment to supporting renewable energy."

For more information, please visit www.forevercheese.com.

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When looking for collision repair services, most drivers will seek shops with reputations for honesty and dependability.  Bay area residents can add CarbonFree® and environmentally responsible to their criteria, thanks to the steps taken by Selecta Auto Body.

Earlier this year, Selecta Auto Body made the decision to become a CarbonFree® Business Partner, neutralizing annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects.  This step followed careful decisions to reduce operational emissions and eliminate as much waste as possible in delivering auto body and detailing services.  

 "Our goal is to be the most reputable, dependable, honest, socially and environmentally conscious collision repair service in the United States and teaming up with Carbonfund.org is one way we can achieve it," states JR Hubbard, Owner of Selecta Auto Body. 

Selecta is a Certified B Corporation and a member of San Francisco’s Clean and Green Program, meeting the high environmental standards that the community expects.  The company places great emphasis on selecting the most environmentally-responsible products it can find, emphasizes proper handling, storage and removal of any toxic substances, and uses energy efficient equipment in its processes.    

And Selecta Auto Body seized a unique opportunity to build their new shop from the ground up.  As an earth-conscious body shop, Selecta set out to examine every aspect of its operations when relocating to their new facility.  They maximized natural lighting, installed high energy efficiency lighting where needed, and installed a new spray painting booth that is one of the more high-end and high-efficient models on the market.   The building’s electrical circuitry was updated to ensure safe and efficient operation, and the air circulation systems exceed building requirements to ensure employee and customer safety and comfort.  In addition, the facility features many plants to boost the oxygen levels in the workplace and help offset the carbon dioxide and chemical air pollutants that a typical repair shop produces.

The cumulative impact of these environmentally-conscious decisions and processes enhance Selecta Auto Body’s “green” operations and position the shop as a clear eco-leader in automotive services in the San Francisco area. 

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Clean water - a basic necessity for life and sustainability, yet almost 800 million people in our world still lack access to it.  Carbonfund.org Certified Carbonfree® partner Nika Water not only ensures that their products’ carbon dioxide emissions are fully neutralized, but Nika uses the power of water to help bring clean water to those in need.

Five years ago, Nika took the important step to perform a life cycle assessment of their bottled water, measuring the carbon emissions required to source and transport the water, manufacture the bottles, caps, labels and packaging, deliver the water to distribution outlets, then use and recycle the empty water bottles.  As each bottle of Nika Water is sold, Nika makes a corresponding donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize the carbon emissions attributable to that bottle of water.  Nika’s ongoing donations to Carbonfund.org support reforestation projects around the world that absorb carbon dioxide emissions while providing additional environmental benefits to the wildlife, habitat and communities in and around the projects.     

“After extensive research, we determined that Carbonfund.org was the superior provider of carbon footprint solutions due to their professionalism, pragmatic and business friendly solutions, list of available projects and complete operational transparency ensuring that Nika was devoting its resources in a truly meaningful way,” explains Jordan Mellul, General Manager for Nika. 

Now Nika has launched another project to bring a safe, clean source of water to a community in need.  In the West Sumatra region of Indonesia, the community of Muntei Kecil uses the river as their primary water source, even though the unsanitary condition and poor quality of the water threatens their health.  As part of Nika’s ongoing mission to use the power of water to make a positive impact, Nika is partnering with Surfaid to build a solar powered water pump with water source protection to serve the community in Muntei Kecil. 

With access to clean water, the community will be able to grow and become sustainable.  All Nika Water purchases participate in this project and others that Nika supports in addressing the growing need for clean, safe drinking water around the world. By directing 100% of its profits from the sale of its bottled water to alleviate water and sanitation needs in impoverished countries, Nika hopes to solve the water needs of thousands of families throughout the world.  Carbonfund.org values our partnership with Nika Water and supports their efforts to reduce the global water crisis.  

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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.   

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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.

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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 pollutionAccording 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.

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Most Corporate Social Responsibility programs include Scope 3 employee business travel and commuting in annual operational carbon emissions calculations.  Often, a review and audit of business travel patterns and choices reveal options to reduce the resulting business travel carbon emissions, and sometimes reduce the costs of business travel. 

Since 1978, CarbonFree® Business Partner Topaz International has been a leader of audit and support services to the corporate travel industry, with the mission to deliver world-class customer service to its clients, including over half of the Fortune 1000 companies located in over 80 countries.

In 2007, Topaz International implemented several initiatives to streamline its operations and reduce its carbon emissions.  Topaz became a 100% virtual organization, eliminating all office space and employee commuting, and joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its remaining carbon footprint and become a zero impact company to the environment.  2013 marks the sixth consecutive year that Topaz International has maintained this commitment to a CarbonFree® environment by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects, and reforestation projects around the world. 

 “This is our effort to make earth a better place to live today and in the future.  Each person and company must do their part to improve our environment for our children and working with Carbonfund.org is a great place to start,” asserts Bradley Seitz, President and CEO of Topaz International. 

A great example of following our motto, “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Topaz International leads the corporate travel audit services industry by practicing what they preach to their clients and by operating CarbonFree®.

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Five years ago, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists approached the Carbonfund.org Foundation to create a unique program to neutralize the emissions from the wedding gown cleaning and preservation services offered by its members.  ZeroCarbon gown preservations became the first carbon-neutral wedding gown cleaning and preservation program in the wedding services industry, and it ensures that the beauty of each wedding gown is preserved while safeguarding the environment.   ZeroCarbon wedding gown preservations are endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants and Green Bride Guide.

Carbonfund.org helped to calculate the carbon footprint of the gown cleaning and preservation process and created a per-gown treatment emissions level to be neutralized.  Each Certified Wedding Gown Specialist makes a separate per-gown preservation donation to Carbonfund.org, which helps to support reforestation projects that reduce carbon emissions worldwide.  To date, the ZeroCarbon wedding gown preservation program has mitigated over one million pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the total emissions absorbed by 11,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists created a flyer about the ZeroCarbon preservation program printed on recycled paper in soy ink for their members to use, and they’ve added the ZeroCarbon text to the complimentary care labels supplied to wedding gown designers.

“My own experience with the ZeroCarbon labels has been very positive,” explains Sally Conant, Executive Director.  “At my personal company, which is also a member of the Association, brides inspect their gowns before they are packed in acid-free wedding chests.  When the gown is packed I explain that the ZeroCarbon label means we have offset all of the carbon emissions with a donation to Carbonfund.org to support reforestation projects."

"About a quarter of the brides say they chose my company because we do green gown preservations, and the rest are pleasantly surprised to hear about the program when they come for the gown.  One bride recently told me it was very reassuring to know that she could care for her gown without damaging the environment.  If it is a relative of the bride who comes to collect the gown, about a third of them say something such as ‘She will be so pleased.  She cares about our environment.’"

 

 

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The electronic delivery of software applications, rather than mailing physical DVDs and CDs for manual installation on computing networks and workstations, is an important component to reducing operational emissions.  Recent studies have calculated that replacing traditional distribution of DVD/CD disk kit software with Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) can result in at least an 83% reduction in carbon emissions. 

CarbonFree® Business Partner Kivuto Solutions offers green software distribution solutions through ESD, enabling users to download software and avoid the carbon emissions attributable to product packaging and shipping.   Previously known as e-academy, Kivuto seeks to maximize software availability for organizations by reducing the total cost and environmental impact of software distribution. 

But Kivuto decided it was important to do more and wanted to join the national movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming.  Recognizing that its own operations still created a significant carbon footprint, Kivuto took the proactive step to calculate its annual operational emissions.  Kivuto then chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to mitigate its emissions by supporting Reforestation and Forest Preservation projects that absorb carbon emissions now and for years to come.  

Electronic software delivery may be part of a lower carbon world, but IT systems use a tremendous amount of electricity.  Carbonfund.org encourages companies to follow examples set by business partners such as Kivuto to take the next step towards operational sustainability by supporting carbon sequestration projects, energy efficiency innovation and renewable energy source development. 

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