Bretford reduces carbon footprint to net zero through internal efficiencies and external carbon offsets
The manufacturer of educational furnishings has reduced its carbon footprint to net zero through internal efficiencies and external carbon offsets.
CHICAGO—Bretford Manufacturing, Inc., today announced that it has been awarded CarbonNeutral® company certification by reducing its carbon footprint to net zero in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. As a result, Bretford is reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through internal reductions and changes in manufacturing. Following internal efficiency measures, for each remaining ton of GHG emissions that Bretford produces, it is purchasing a verified carbon offset, which guarantees an equivalent amount of GHG is reduced from the atmosphere through a renewable energy or clean technology project.
“We are among the first in the furniture industry to seek this type of certification, because we are serious about doing our part to improve our processes and the environment,” says Chris Petrick, CEO for Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. “Our customers are smart and savvy—they are scrutinizing the climate impact of their purchases and placing their attention on environmental credentials, with carbon being the key focus. They are choosing to work with manufacturers that align with their values, including those with low-carbon production processes to help green their supply chain. Our CarbonNeutral company certification illustrates our intention to be a choice manufacturer in this regard.”
According to Mark La Croix, executive vice president of business development, The CarbonNeutral Company, “Many specifiers are now demanding that companies address their environmental priorities and are actively looking for providers that can deliver increasingly sustainable furniture solutions. By achieving CarbonNeutral company certification Bretford has delivered on this demand.”
To become a CarbonNeutral company, Bretford’s CO2 emissions were assessed by an independent third party to determine levels from extraction, processing and transportation of raw materials; production, packaging and storage within manufacturing facilities; and volume and mode of transport to customers. Then modifications were made internally to help reduce emissions. For example, Bretford replaced HID/sodium vapor fixtures with florescent fixtures in its production facilities, resulting in an increase in brightness by 75 percent and a reduction in overall kilowatt hours by 40 percent for 2011, when compared to 2010.
Externally, to compensate for its unavoidable emissions, Bretford supports several carbon offset projects in cooperation with The CarbonNeutral Company, including:
- Garcia River Forestry: Uses conservation-based forest management to absorb and store carbon emissions while restoring wildlife habitat and protecting water quality.
- Yinshan Wind Power: This wind power plant supplies the North China Power Grid with approximately 120,000 MWh of clean energy every year.
- Fiscalini Farms Methane Capture: Located in Modesto, California, this project uses an anaerobic digester system to capture methane from cow manure. The methane produced is used to power the Fiscalini Cheese Company’s cheese-making facility.