title: green biz is cool!

what: global-warming gases can be offset in a variety of ways ranging from investing in technologies that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, such as renewable energy, highly fuel-efficient vehicles or energy-efficient lighting in public schools, to the planting of trees, which absorb global-warming gases.

In recent years, a handful of companies have gone beyond 'energy efficiency' to seeks ways to leave behind no carbon footprints whatsoever. The US-based Climate Neutral Network gathers together companies and other organisations committed to developing products and services that reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus their impact on the earth's climate.

aim: the Network’s mission is to support the development of profitable Climate Neutral innovations and partnerships and to create a new marketplace in which caring for the earth’s future becomes a more visible and valuable part of consumer and company purchasing decisions.

cool companies: participating companies can become certified as Climate Cool on achieving the complete reduction and offset of all carbon emissions. A company that chooses to become a Climate Cool enterprise agrees to reduce and offset all of the climate impacts for the full spectrum of its internal operations on a cradle-to-grave basis: the sourcing of materials; manufacturing or production; distribution, use, and end-of-life disposal. Products or services can also be certified individually as Climate Cool.

smart biz: till now four major companies have been labelled as Climate Cool. But, why should a company adhere to such a scheme? Well, take a look at what biz-men think about it:
“Global warming is a business issue… by becoming Climate Cool-certified, we are fulfilling consumer expectations that we do the right thing. Neutralizing climate impact is not only good for the environment, it’s smart business.” [Mr. John Emrick, chairman and CEO of Norm Thompson, a catalogue company].

In other words, being Climate Cool is a way to have more consumer appeal and to answer to more and more demanding consumers. Companies worry about their customers so let your voice be heard!

cool events: the Network more recently began certifying events that achieve a zero emission footprint. The first certification of this kind was the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. This included measurement of greenhouse gases from such sources as athlete, official, and spectator travel to Salt Lake City, transportation around town, and the events and venues themselves, even including the burning of the Olympic torch.

The offsets required were achieved through donations of greenhouse gas reductions and the effort was supplemented by the planting of 18 million trees. In total, emission reductions exceeded the calculated emissions footprint of the Games by three times and the event received the Cool label.

what if…: bearing in mind that total USA annual emissions of CO2 are 6 billion metric tons and that meeting the international expectations raised under the Kyoto treaty would require a 3-4% reduction in this base, the initiatives catalysed by the Climate Neutral Network could account for substantial portions of these reductions in USA greenhouse gas emissions. For example, if…
  • 20% of three oil companies' customers purchased Climate Neutral certified ‘Cool Fuel’, it would generate a CO2 reduction of roughly 0.7% in USA emissions. Not too bad, is it?