Published March 20, 2012
Volume 20, Number 3

Partner with Carbonfund.org to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint  

Here is an interesting way to promote environmental responsibility: The next time you are looking for a corporate incentive—to recognize an employee or express appreciation to a customer, for example—think about participating in the Carbonfund.org Foundation’s Million Tree Challenge.  As its name implies, this program aims to plant one million trees as part of the effort to raise awareness about the devastating effects of deforestation, the source of roughly 20 percent of global warming.

“Trees are essential to our lives and planting trees benefits everyone. For just $1 per tree, you can make a substantial impact on global warming,” notes Carbonfund.org President Eric Carlson.

The Million Tree Challenge is one of several programs developed by Bethesda, Md.-based Carbonfund.org, a “direct action nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting public efforts against climate change via the promotion of climate-neutral living, carbon offsets, and green power.” Since its founding in 2003, the organization’s relationships with more than 2,000 businesses and 750,000 individuals have succeeded in offsetting over five billion pounds of CO2. 

As it advances the fight against global warming, Carbonfund.org has continued its focus on making it “easy and affordable” for both businesses and individuals “to reduce and offset their climate impact and hasten the transition to a clean energy future,” Carlson remarks.

The CarbonFree™ Business Partnership program allows companies to estimate and offset their annual operational emissions. Participants use the Carbonfund.org calculator or preset options to measure their companies’ carbon footprint based on standard metrics. For example, a typical office with five employees generates approximately 36 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, but the total can go much higher when other factors are included. The calculator’s flexibility enables users to compute their emissions related to virtually any activity--general business operations, fleet vehicles, employee commutes or travel, product shipments, special events, and so on--in order to measure, analyze, reduce, and ultimately offset those emissions.

The total carbon load determines the appropriate level of offset contribution. A carbon offset represents a reduction in carbon dioxide elsewhere in the world, such as a renewable energy or reforestation project, to balance out emissions that cannot be reduced. The domestic and international renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation projects that Carbonfund.org supports are all third-party validated to ensure that all contributions make a positive impact in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“When you make a donation, we retire offsets from our projects,”Carlson points out. “When we purchase carbon offsets or support a carbon reduction project we gain the right to the emission reductions.” Many groups buy these rights and then use them to pollute or sell them. Carbonfund actually buys the carbon reductions and takes them out of circulation forever. “Simply put, we retire carbon by not using it.”

Carbonfund.org has also introduced the industry’s first CarbonFree™ Product Certification program, assisting businesses to certify and offset their product(s) as carbon-neutral.

In explaining why a business should consider becoming a CarbonFree™ Partner, Carlson highlights the organization’s belief that “everyone bears a responsibility to protect our environment for future generations.” As more and more businesses take action to reduce their climate impact and support efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, “we can help change our energy system from dirty energy, like coal, to clean energy, like wind,” he emphasizes.

To find out more about the CarbonFree™ partnership and other climate change solutions, visit www.carbonfund.org

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