First Carbon Neutral Zone Created in the United States

Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:45am EST
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ATLANTA, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Climate change is one of the most
daunting challenges of the 21st century, but the recent growth and popularity
of American eco-consciousness has created a new sense of urgency to address
this problem. Today the green movement took a significant step forward as the
first "Carbon Neutral Zone" in the United States was announced in Atlanta. By
purchasing carbon offsets, an entire retail community known as The
Corner-Virginia Highland, effectively offset its residual greenhouse gas
emissions using an innovative collective approach that will set the standard
for American companies looking to adopt sustainable business practices and
reduce their carbon footprints.
    (Logo: )
    Atlanta Establishes First Carbon Neutral Zone in the U.S.
    The zone, established at The Corner-Virginia Highland shopping district,
was initiated by Verus Carbon Neutral, and spearheaded by Antje Kingma,
founder of Eco-Bella.  "Many of us have taken steps to run environmentally
friendly companies for years," said Ms. Kingma, "this zone gave us all a
chance to come together for our community."
    Verus specializes in auditing individual and corporate footprints and
providing carbon offsets from the Chicago Climate Exchange. Sponsored by the
Meddin Company, each of the 18 businesses on The Corner submitted to a carbon
footprint audit.  Verus Carbon Neutral completed all audits and calculated the
metric tons of carbon emissions that needed to be offset.  The businesses
volunteered to purchase the required offsets to create this first-of-its-kind
Carbon Neutral Zone.
    "Climate change is the number one issue of our time, and it is critical
for our leaders to be committed to addressing these issues on a local level
and to lead by example," said Mandy Schmitt, director of sustainability for
the city of Atlanta.  "Today's announcement is an exciting and important step
in the right direction and is representative of our overall efforts to green
our city."
    Carbon Offsets-The Next Step In Sustainable Business Practices
    The offset provider for this project is Valley Wood, a sustainable
forestry manager, and 100 percent of offset profits are donated to the Humane
Society and other charities. Carbon offsets include the development of
projects like solar and wind power, reforestation/afforestation and methane
collection.  All offsets were approved by the Chicago Climate Exchange and
third-party verified.  The Chicago Climate Exchange is the world's first and
North America's only active, voluntary and legally binding offset trading
system. Carbon offsets also provide some side benefits that include: habitat
creation and reuse of waste products (methane) for energy production.
    Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership
    The Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership is an innovative and eco-conscious
company that aids businesses and individuals looking to reduce their carbon
footprints.  After conducting an audit to determine the size of their
footprint, Verus provides a simple way to reduce or completely offset their
client's CO2 emissions, supplying them with a tangible way to communicate
their commitment to improving the environment. Privately held, Verus is based
in Atlanta and more information can be found at their website:
SOURCE  Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership

Kate Jay with Trevelino-Keller, +1-404-214-0722 ext. 118,, for Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership


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