Earth Day Webinar
April 22, 2008 @ 08:26 AM | By InterCall Blog

On Tuesday April 22, InterCall will be hosting a webinar, Planting the Seed of Success: Growing your business through an environmental initiative.  Chris Henn, COO at Esurance and Joann Lee, Community Relations at Esurance will be on hand to share how “green” initiatives have changed their business.  Martin Fox of Stradbrooke Consultancy will also share a list of top 10 tips to offset carbon emissions. 

To register for the webinar, click here.

If you participated in the webinar and have any feedback or questions for the speakers, please leave a comment.  Let’s continue the spirit of the webinar and of Earth Day by learning more best practices from each other here on the blog!

InterCall Employees Get INVOLVED!
April 22, 2008 @ 08:14 AM | By InterCall Blog

Earlier this month, InterCall challenged its employees to get involved in Earth Day activities.  A short list of volunteer activities and festivals was sent out to all employees and the response has been overwhelming!  Employees from Mexico City
to Chicago to Sydney have all agreed to participate in activities that will educate and empower individuals for Earth Day.

Click on comments to hear stories from our employees and be on the lookout for some great pictures soon!

A simple way to offset your carbon footprint
April 16, 2008 @ 02:22 PM | By InterCall Blog

Please welcome our guest blogger, Britt Sutcliffe - Telecom for Charity Project Manager

Investing in renewable resources, carbon offsetting, using eco friendly appliances are all a spectacular way to support the environment. But where does your company obtain the funds to support such initiatives?

Cost of implementation is often the prime reason for a company deciding not to choose an eco friendly business model. The funds to pay for renewable energy sources or carbon offsetting must come from someplace, so why not use your company’s current voice and data expenditure to pay for these?

How?

The Telecom for Charity initiative (T4C) is very simple: Any telecom services procured through this initiative will generate a monthly donation of 5% to the environmental program(s) of your choice.

A simple example for a simple program.

A company of 15 people is generating an estimated 26 tons of CO2 per year for their daily building services (electricity and natural gas). To offset 26 tons you could plant 36 trees in Kenya ($516.59) or even donate to the Clean Energy Fund ($399.75).  The same company has an estimated monthly telecom bill of $1200. This includes their phone system, calling plans, and internet connection. The services procured through the T4C initiative will now be generating a monthly donation of $60 every month to the program of their choice, for a yearly total of $720; which is far more than suggested amount to offset their estimated carbon footprint.

Win, win, win.

You are now supporting the environmental cause of your choice, you are receiving the same, if not better, telecom services as you originally had, and all for no additional monthly cost to your company. 

7 Simple Steps to Greening Your Small Business
April 9, 2008 @ 07:00 AM | By InterCall Blog

Please welcome a guest blogger: Susan Seliger Editor-in-Chief, RiverWired.com - Good Green Fun

Small businesses are what make America great. And their influence – if they choose to go green – can be as big as the mighty corporations getting all the attention for joining the eco-friendly fray these days.

"Independent firms with less than 500 employees employ half of the private sector workforce and use half of the electricity and natural gas consumed by the commercial and industrial sectors, In 2006, small businesses accounted for 99.9 percent of the 26.8 million businesses in the country."

- Jonathon Bardelline, in The Big Impact from Greening Small Businesses at GreenBiz.com.

So here are 7 simple steps entrepreneurs can take to be a little greener  -- no matter what your core business may be.

1. Ask your employees for green ideas first.
You don’t need to hire a Director of Sustainability.  Ask the people who always have the best ideas – your team. After all, if they have to implement these plans, it’s smart to get their buy-in from the start. Offering bonuses for eco-ideas that save the company money wouldn’t hurt.

2. Buy everybody a mug.
Giving each employee the gift of a ceramic, reusable mug engenders good will – and it will save you a fortune on those nasty Styrofoam cups.  The average office worker uses up to 500 disposable coffee cups per year – and Styrofoam takes about one million years to fully decompose. If you put your logo on the mugs, you can give them to clients and visitors to use and then take home. Not a bad way to reinforce your identity as a company that cares.

3. Replace the office refrigerator, microwave – and all your equipment – with energy-efficient models.
Newer Energy Star-Rated appliances use up to 40% less energy than older versions. Look for star ratings on fax machines, copiers, printers and everything you use.

4. Recycle Paper – this is a big one – and easy, too.
Do we really have to remind you about this one? About 40% of the garbage in our landfills is paper that could have been recycled. Buy recycled paper – along with biodegradable paper plates and napkins. Encourage copying on both sides. Have bins for recycling paper in convenient locations – like next to the coffee machine – to give added incentive to toss paper in the right spot.

5. Apply the 3 R’s to electronics and office equipment, too
The eco-mantra, reduce, reuse, recycle, doesn’t stop at paper. You can refill ink cartridges. Recycle electronics safely – Staples and Office Depot are getting into the recycling act. When in doubt, go to Earth911 to see where to recycle – or donate – in your area. You may even qualify for a tax credit for donations to local schools or non-profits.

Other recycling resources: Top 10 Recycling Resources ;   Electronics RecyclingWho Makes The Greenest Electronics?

6. Replace bottled water with a water filter
Bottled water costs too-to-three times as much as gasoline. Americans spend more than $8 billion a year on bottled water – and generate over 1.5 million tons of plastic that will not break down in landfills for tens of thousands of years. A water filter costs pennies per gallon. You do the math.

7.  Consider laptops – instead of desktops – for staff.
A laptop’s LCD screen uses 1/3 the energy of a typical Cathode Ray Tube. And employees can take laptops with them – at night or when they travel -- to get more done. Win-win.

What is a carbon offset? The offset & clean energy basics!
April 2, 2008 @ 10:00 AM | By InterCall Blog

So we've been talking a lot in previous posts about "doing something" and making choices.  If you're looking to reduce the footprint of your company's data center, find a better way to power your office or home, or just try to balance the impact you're having, we've gathered some info for you below.  We talked to the folks at Green Mountain Energy to get some intel about making smart choices on energy and carbon offsets.  Here's what they had to say:

1.  How is energy “cleaner”?

Renewable energy is “cleaner” because it does not emit carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas that has been proven to contribute to global warming. The different types of renewable energy are wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass. These energy sources are classified as renewable because they use resources that are either inexhaustible or rapidly replenished to generate power.

2.  When I use “cleaner” energy, does that reduce my carbon footprint?

Yes, because part of your carbon footprint is the emissions from the electricity and heat you use in your home. When you use renewable energy instead of fossil fuel s for your electricity, you reduce the demand for “dirty” electricity at a fossil-fuel burning power plant. That means everyday activities that use electricity no longer add to your carbon footprint.The other parts of your carbon footprint are vehicle travel, air travel, heating, and sometimes diet.

3.  What is a carbon offset?

Carbon offsets come from clean technologies such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and forest sequestration. They are called carbon offsets because they help offset the carbon impacts of activities such as electricity generation from fossil fuels and transportation. When you buy a carbon offset, you are buying the right to claim that you are balancing out either all or a portion of your carbon emissions over a specific period of time.

4.  Can both residential and business emissions be offset?

For example, at BeGreenNow, we calculate the carbon footprint of the home or business according to data provided by the customer. That data includes electricity bills, air travel records, commuting distances and vehicle fuel economy, and any other areas the customer wishes to offset. We have created two divisions to serve the different needs of business and residential clients: eMission Solutions for businesses, and BeGreenNow for residences.

5.  When I buy an offset, where does my money go?

That depends on the company from which you buy the offset. At BeGreenNow, we let you see where your dollars are going – toward tree replanting in American forests, energy efficiency projects, and renewable energy facilities. But every carbon offset company backs up their carbon offsets differently, and you should never do business with a company that doesn’t explain its offset sources. Although there is no universal quality standard for carbon offsets, BeGreenNow strives to use the best sources that reliably remove carbon for your offsets.

Visit BeGreenNow to learn more about carbon offsets, calculate your carbon footprint, and explore our different options for offsetting your home and travel emissions.

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