Environics Communications reaches carbon neutrality

    Industry leader pledges continuous commitment to reducing emissions

    TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - Environics Communications, a full-service North
American public relations firm with offices in Canada and the United States,
has achieved carbon neutral status. Since first committing to become carbon
neutral in January 2008, Environics worked with the Pembina Institute
(www.pembina.org) and followed a strict protocol to plan and execute its
climate change strategy. The firm met the target earlier this month and plans
to continue to reduce its carbon footprint each year.
    In order to achieve carbon neutral status the agency first created an
inventory of Environics' GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the operations of
all four offices. The baseline was set for 2007, as the data was the most
complete. Factors evaluated included staff commutes, business travel, office
paper usage and heating and electricity consumption. The finalized inventory
was then analyzed by the Pembina Institute to determine the full amount of 
CO(2) emissions generated by Environics, as well as to identify opportunities
for reduction measures to further decrease the company's carbon footprint.
    "Our team has established Environics as a best practice leader for our
industry in the greening of business," said Bruce MacLellan, President of
Environics Communications. "By working with Pembina, we have opened ourselves
to full transparency and invested the dollars required to neutralize our
impact on the environment," he added.
    Emissions that could not be reduced by internal efficiency improvements
have been neutralized by the purchase of offsets from First Climate LLC
(www.firstclimate.com) for the Toronto, Washington and Metro New York offices.
The Montreal office purchased offsets for its operations from Planetair
(www.planetair.ca). In total, Environics purchased 239 metric tonnes of CO(2)
equivalent to neutralize the full amount of their 2007 GHG emissions. All
offsets purchased are certified Gold Standard, and will go toward supporting
renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development projects. For
example, some of the offsets purchased will come from a wind farm project in
Te Apiti, in the Manawatu/Ruahine region of the lower North Island in New
Zealand, and over 5 years will generate emission reductions of 1,544,075 t
    "We applaud Environics Communications' commitment to carbon neutrality,"
says Katie Laufenberg, an Eco-efficiency Analyst with the Pembina Institute.
"While purchasing high quality offsets is one piece of the puzzle, a
continuous commitment to reducing internal emissions is critical to legitimate
carbon neutrality. Even before engaging us, Environics had launched several
exciting environmental initiatives to reduce their GHG emissions. With ongoing
emission reductions and a dedication to carbon neutrality, Environics is
setting a strong leadership example for its industry peers."
    In 2007, Environics began sourcing the majority of its electrical power
from clean, emission-free providers. Wherever possible, the office lighting
was switched from standard incandescent light-bulbs to Compact Fluorescent
Lighting (CFL) which provides substantial energy savings. The agency
significantly reduced paper use and implemented a standard practice of
double-sided printing. In the largest offices, employees no longer use water
coolers, which eliminates the environmental impact of production, delivery and
    To reach their internal GHG emissions reduction target for 2008, the
offices are making even more changes:

    -   Technology: Wherever possible, technology and hardware are upgraded
        to models that require less energy to operate.
    -   Paper use: All offices have switched to 100% post-consumer recycled
        paper and further strategies are being explored to continue to
        decrease printing and paper waste.
    -   Business Travel: Efforts to minimize air travel by the exploration of
        conference technology and plans to reduce taxi travel are in place,
        including encouraging staff to travel to meetings using public
        transportation or bicycle whenever possible.
    -   Employee Commutes: Environics strives for greener employee commutes.
        For example: a bike share program has been launched to encourage
        cycling as an alternative to driving to work. Already in place is an
        employee credit of $250.00 for the purchase of a bicycle.

    About Environics Communications

    Founded in 1994 and now with over 90 staff in the United States and
Canada and annual fee income of more than $12 million, Environics
Communications Inc. (www.environicspr.com) is a full-service, management-owned
public relations agency. Ranked No. 2 on the list of the 50 Best Workplaces in
Canada for 2008, the firm has also won over 100 awards for client work and
focuses primarily on the advanced technology, financial services, health
sciences, and consumer sectors. The firm's offices are located in Montréal,
Toronto, Metro New York and Washington, D.C.

For further information:

For further information: Colleen DeVan-Stewart, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2700, cdevan@environicspr.com; Elizabeth Cook,
Environics Communications, (416) 969-2673, ecook@environicspr.com

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