Carbon 42 - a pursuit of audacious proportions | Seventh Generation
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Carbon 42 - a pursuit of audacious proportions

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On Groundhog Day 2007 a small team of people (Stephanie Lowe, Jay LeDuc, Sophie Abrams-UVM student, Tim Grenier, me and one chair for the 7 generations-out-from-now) dove deeply into the questions around what we as a company
can do to reduce our carbon impact - our carbon footprint. As you know, global climate change has direct ties
to our dependency on a petroleum (coal too) based economy. The more energy we use in our everyday, the more we travel, the more we buy the more combustion we create and the more CO2 we release into the atmosphere. We as a company and each one of us has a carbon footprint. Tim Greiner recently completed the whole Seventh Generation footprint - we released in 2006 30,800 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere - this includes our products, our transport of products, our business travel, employee travel to work each day and 60 Lake Street.

The quest for us all is to reduce our CO2 impacts (our carbon footprint) in our every deliberation. How we do that as a community is what we began planning for in our Groundhog Day-18-cell strategy session. We came up with five areas to begin to focus on. These include:

1. Employee carbon footprint followed by reduction efforts 2. Tier 1 manufacturing partner carbon footprint and reduction efforts 3. Our office carbon footprint and reduction effort 4. Product transport factory to customer footprint & reduction efforts 5. Life Cycle Assessment of craddle to gate estimates based on GHG factors for our products.

Yeah yeah, the 50, 000 foot view down, AND...We are still in the early stages of planning our strategy in each area; however, we as a team thought the best approach is not just to sit off in some corner of this ample space and decide what Carbon 42 should be, rather, it is only best to fully engage you all in the dialogue and practice of designing innovative approaches for making this rather gruesome opportunity into something quite magnificent...

So our first out put will be to engage you all. On March 16th we will be rolling out the first round of ideas for delving into this pursuit. And on Earth Day (April 22nd) we will be taking our next step. To give you an idea of the task we are envisioning for this project sit back and read slowly: to design an innovative systems approach to developing the mind and producing the actions that both lift our thinking on the question of global warming and create a path for carbon-balance.

Yes, Carbon balance! As Reed Doyle (7th Gener Product Innovator) continually tells me the idea of going carbon neutral (different from carbon balance) is "bs". He is absolutely right. Check out wikipedia for a definition of doing carbon offsets (the ways and means of becoming carbon neutral) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset. All in all carbon neutraling is covering the real endeavor of designing a strategy where waste is reduced to zero, where the idea of earth to earth comes alive in how we do business and how we can live in the world...

So why Carbon 42? So, I still think we have not taken the leap into deeply understanding the essence of carbon. Sure, sure the whole science of organic chemistry is about carbon, but when I went to the appendix of my organic chemistry text and looked under carbon for essence, there was nada-thing-to-be-stated. Obviously, mechanistic science has not yet stepped back and asked the whole question. On yeah, as we all know from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the meaning of...life. Voila, we seek the meaning of carbon in our unruly quest to beat back the sorrows of a dead science and weave in the most spiraling ideals of a higher consciousness that so graciously tries to break into our everyday and wake us the f__k up...

So if you have any questions we are always an arms-throw away... and be prepared for a rather fun dive into a rather intriguing pursuit.

Love, the C-42 design team

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