news & events

Verus News and Events

Change Agent

Atlanta Business Chronicle, Friday, April 10, 2009 – By Lisa R. Schoolcraft, Staff writer

Eric Taub left his banking career at Wachovia in 2006 to create and manage a hedge fund "at exactly the wrong time."

"I thought I could go back into banking/finance if it didn't work out," Taub said. "That was my Plan B. Plan A (the hedge fund) and Plan B went the way of the financial crisis."

When Taub, 40, shut down the hedge fund two years after its creation, there was no activity to go back to in banking, he said. He had to reinvent himself and his career.

Taub started his own environmental consulting firm, Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership LLC. The company audits businesses to determine their carbon footprint, then provides ways to reduce or offset carbon emissions.

"I looked at what I had an interest in and what I had a passion for," Taub said. "And I looked at how my skill set could be used in a different way."

Taub knew he was good at looking at businesses objectively after spending years doing financials and spotting trends.

"I know how to see trends and numbers and take things apart that way; why can't I look at it from a carbon basis?" Taub said.

Carbon offsets are traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange, the chairman of which is Richard Sandor, Taub's father-in-law.

"From the beginning, I've understood how financial markets and environmental markets can converge," he said. "I got interested in environmental issues since the climate exchange was launched in 1998."

Whit Blakeley, president and CEO of Career Management Resources Inc. in Alpharetta, has been in executive career management for 28 years and has "seen more people reinvent themselves than you can shake a stick at."

They tend to be employees who have "had it with corporate America, or they were good at what they did but they are not sure they want to do that anymore," Blakeley said.

Taub was smart to look at ways to marry his skill sets with a passion or vision, he said.

One of the keys to reinventing a career is to ask a "blue sky" question, the dream-job question, Blakeley said. "We've caught ourselves daydreaming what we would like to do, or we've seen someone doing a job we'd like to do. Maybe we tell ourselves we don't have the right degree or experience or won't make enough money. Those are limiters."

Develop a vision statement and assess prior experience in terms of transferable skills, Blakeley said.

"Identify those companies that have that function that you would like to do," he said. "If you have a better mousetrap, put a business plan together for a company that you would like to invent yourself."

Taub said those trying to reinvent a career should be broad about it.

"Say 'I like looking at problems and solving them,' " he said. "Don't just say 'I'm good at banking.' If you take a broad look at what you do, you will see how that could apply to different jobs."

He also decided what he didn't want to do.

"I like to meet people and talk to people, not sit in a room at a computer," Taub said. "Know what you don't want to do."

But it's also important to remain objective while determining a new career, said Gregory Henley, director of the Herman J. Russell Sr. International Center for Entre-preneurship at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson School of Business.

"A lot of people will fall in love with an idea, but they don't narrow it down to effectively start and run a business," he said.

They may need to get outside opinions, and not necessarily from friends, he said. Rather, turn to those who can evaluate the business without getting emotionally involved.

Those seeking a career change should also determine if they have deficiencies in knowledge skills or abilities, then fill in those gaps, Henley said.

"That can mean going back to school for a degree, such as a master's, or even taking non-credit courses," Henley said. "You should also be cultivating your network, because that will also help fill in the gaps."

Especially if starting a new business, entrepreneurs may find people within their network that have skills that are needed, he said. Taub said he networked at events that catered to the field he wanted to get into, not banking and finance events.

"Even those who are not in the industry may lead you to a client," he said.

Those seeking a second career also need to sell themselves.

"Whether trying to start a new business or not, learn to market yourself," Henley said. "For those who have been working for a while, they haven't had to have the need to promote and market themselves."

If starting a new business, determine the target market—who is going to buy the product or service, Henley said.

"The key word is target, because you can't sell to everyone, and that's a big mistake people make," he said. "Once you determine the target market, investigate how to sell to that market. The question to ask is 'Why would anyone buy this product or service?' That can form the basis of a sales platform."

When Taub founded his new business in June 2008, he did something similar by setting a client goal, rather than a revenue goal, to see if the business would be sustainable.

"In these uncertain times, I felt a revenue model might not be a good indicator," Taub said. "But if we had [a certain number of] clients, then I'd know it was a sustainable business and there is a demand out there."

Taub shot for 30 clients by December 2008 and achieved that goal.

He also realized he needed to be flexible with his business plans to meet the needs of his clients.

"We started off thinking we were just going to provide an audit of a company's carbon footprint and offset it and certify it," Taub said. But clients were also interested in ways they could reduce it, "so that was a service we added."

Reinventing your career

  • Vision: Have a vision of what you would like to do functionally without limiters, i.e., lack of experience, education, age, income, etc.
  • Assess: Assess and know your marketable and transferable skills that support your vision.
  • Target: Research and list those companies or organizations that have the function or job that helps you achieve your vision.
  • Communicate: Write a résumé, or résumés, and sample correspondence that clearly communicates your ability to achieve your vision. Your résumé is a script for how you can benefit or do the new job in a company or organization.
  • Network: Recruiters and ads won't help you achieve your vision. Network with your target list to friends and contacts who can introduce you to decision-makers in your target companies.
  • Persist: Don't give up on your vision. Passion sells. Convince the decision-maker that you can contribute to their organization. And don't give up.

Source: Whit Blakeley, CEO Career Management Partners Inc.

Reach Schoolcraft at lschoolcraft@bizjournals.com.

Green Business Works EXPO Registration Now Open

Stephanie Armistead
General Manager, GreenBusiness Works EXPO

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for GreenBusiness Works EXPO (September 2–3, 2009). With great speakers and exhibitors lining up, I hope you will mark your calendar and plan to attend. As a gift to our newsletter readers, be one of the first ten to visit our web site and register and you will receive a complimentary all access registration for the EXPO.

Sustaining Sustainability - Saving Green, Going Green is our focus this year and educating companies on how to save money is our mission. Exhibitors, if you have a product or service that can assist companies or governments in realizing cost savings, the EXPO is the place to create new business relationships. Super Early Bird Rates are available until May 1st so register early and realize significant cost savings for your company!

What is new and different for EXPO 2009?

We have a new development for our program this year. The GreenBusiness Works EXPO Is pleased to announce the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation (JRCPF) will award a Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant during the Recognition Luncheon at the EXPO 2009 on September 2. The CASE grant is one of the programs offered by JRCPF and is a student competition for the most innovative proposal for a student led community service project linked to the student's academic work.

The foundation is offering the CASE grant program for "green projects" through the GreenBusiness Works Expo. The winning student will receive $1,000 to implement their project, a Certificate of Merit signed by President Jimmy Carter & Mrs. Carter, and a $500 scholarship on completion of a project report. Projects are published on the foundation's website www.servicebook.org.

If you are a student and wish to apply for the JRCPF Green CASE Competition visit www.servicebook.org. If you wish to sponsor a student grant through the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation, please me at 404 668 3616 to discuss how you can support our students.

We are very honored to have this amazing partner for our event and thrilled to be able to assist students in their environmental efforts.

Different for the EXPO this year is our group rate offering. If your company wants to send several people from your organization, visit the registration page and find out how to register for deeply discounted group rates.

We look forward to seeing you at the EXPO!

Andrew Keenan Quoted in Medill Reports

Chicago, Northwestern University

The Medill Reports of Northwestern University article Political climate warms to carbon offsets, farmers dig in quotes Andrew Keenan of Verus Carbon Neutral.

Verus Carbon Neutral on CNN

Andrew Keenan Quoted in February Smart Business Atlanta

Get the rundown on sustainability before your resources run out.

By Jessica Tremayne

Smart Business Atlanta, February, 2009

Sustainability isn’t about saving the planet. It’s about saving your business.

Conducting business in a sustainable manner means you can spend less and increase revenue.

While sustainability does help the planet, the incentive of reducing your business costs by half is a strong reason to pay attention. The buzz is that traditional energy and other resources will be in tight supply in the future, resulting in volatile prices. By investing in sustainable efforts now, you can help ensure your business’s long-term success.

“There’s a lot of overlap with quality and sustainability,” says Christopher Johnson, co-founder and CEO of ifPeople, a technology solutions provider that incorporated sustainability as a core business value. “High quality also means low cost; less waste means less cost. Companies have to be willing to educate themselves to make sustainable choices.”

Americans compose 5 percent of the world’s population, yet contribute almost 25 percent of the greenhouse gas pollution, which scientists believe causes global warming. If everyone used and wasted energy and other resources this way, we’d need four planet earths to keep up with the demand. Consumers are finally taking notice of this egregious waste and are looking to buy from sustainable businesses, while more and more businesses are looking to obtain products from other businesses using sustainable practices. This is a time when your business can not only streamline production but also increase revenue by drawing in new customers.

“Barack Obama was so specific about forming an energy plan, we’ll be seeing things change soon,” says T. Boone Pickens, founder and chairman of BP Capital Management. “This means businesses have to get going on where they’ll be standing when this comes in to play.”

Ninety percent of readers polled by Smart Business say being green is an important part of their corporate philosophy, yet almost half report that they’re not willing to invest in greener practices. Experts say spending money on green initiatives isn’t paying for an image; it’s a direct investment in a more economic way of running your business.

Why sustainability is important

Think of sustainability like the Internet. Fifteen years ago, when the Internet was emerging, it wasn’t pervasive, but now it’s everywhere. Eventually, sustainable business will just be called business and green building will just be known as building. Experts say that is the way it’s going to be and you have to adapt now.

If you want to know the value in sustainable management, think about the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For almost a decade, Dow Jones has been providing sustainability indexes of businesses, which shows objective benchmarks for financial products linked to economic, environmental and social criteria. Sustainability indexes offer a performance baseline and an investment value for mutual funds, certificates, separate accounts and other investment vehicles based on the concept of sustainability. To date, the assets managed amount to approximately $6 billion.

“Imagine if U.S. automakers had invested in sustainability in the ’70s,” says Andrew Keenan, founder and marketing director, Verus Carbon Neutral, a sustainability auditing company. “We’d all be saying, ‘Toyota who?’”

The need for sustainability has already created thousands of jobs stemming from business consultants to waste managers. Experts say we’ve only scratched the surface of what sustainable practices can do for businesses. While solar and wind power commonly come to mind, sustainability includes using recycled products when building, collecting rain for watering purposes and designing your business’s landscape in a way that minimizes the need for upkeep and conserving resources.

“Most graduates are environmentally oriented,” says David Rovner, managing director, Sustainable Methods Consulting LLC. “Innovative thinkers will be looking to be employed at a company that isn’t wasteful.”

While reducing waste has its obvious benefits, reduced insurance rates are another benefit to sustainable businesses. In fact, sustainability consultants predict business insurance will be more difficult to procure as nonsustainable practices are looked at as a risk.

In a 2008 report by SAB Miller, one of the world’s largest breweries, a survey of 4,000 senior executives showed 70 percent place corporate sustainability at the top of their priority list. That still leaves more than a quarter of businesses delaying action.

What you need to know

When initiating a sustainability plan, think about who your customers are and what they want. Consider how implementing sustainable practices can lead to more business. The challenge is making decisions that are financially, socially and environmentally intelligent. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan, having a sustainability expert evaluate your business is a jumping-off point.

The Global Reporting Initiative is another ally for businesses seeking a sustainable route. It’s an organization that provides a framework companies can follow to measure and report their economic sustainability performance and monitor the performance of other companies. The organization sets the principles and indicators that businesses can use to measure and report their sustainability performance. GRI is growing as an international standard for corporate sustainability reporting.

“Stakeholders are looking to invest in companies that are sustainable and exhibit corporate responsibility,” Rovner says. “Too many businesses don’t know what to do outside of recycling. It’s a problem of you don’t know what you don’t know — but the resources are out there.”

Another source for information comes from the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, which was established in 2002 as a member-led, nonprofit organization that presents projects to demonstrate the business value of sustainable development. Projects featured by the council create value through economic returns and environmental and social benefits.

A sustainability consultant can help you identify what sustainable methods are available. After an assessment, you, along with department managers or those hired for the assignment, can construct an operational analysis that details your plans with set goals and deadlines. This will include your estimated ROI time frame. Make sure your sustainability plan describes how sustainability topics relate to long-term organizational strategy, risks and opportunities, including supply chain topics.

Even if you don’t implement everything in your sustainability plan today, you can reevaluate and implement more sustainability methods in the future.

Make sure you are meeting all local and national protocols while setting some of your own standards. Define sustainability issues for your business based on your industry and the department. For example, if your business uses a lot of water, utilize rainwater recycling to minimize the amount of water you must purchase.

“How many more Katrinas can we survive economically?” Keenan says. “Businesses are only looking at what’s in front of them. They’re afraid to take their eye off the ball, but they should really be looking at where the ball’s going to be.”

Verus Carbon Neutral Receives National Network Coverage

Verus Carbon Neutral receives national network coverage from the Weather Channel.

Atlanta claims nation’s first ‘carbon-neutral zone’

Virginia-Highland businesses band together to help environment

By Jim Auchmutey

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Friday, January 23, 2009

Think of it as the intersection of good times and good intentions.

A new sign at the corner of Virginia and North Highland avenues proclaims the intown Atlanta shopping and dining district a “carbon-neutral zone.” What it doesn’t say is that Virginia-Highland also claims to be the nation’s first such zone.

While this could be seen as the latest chapter in the annals of green marketing — another emission in all the talk about global warming — there’s actually substance behind the boast.

The carbon-free zone is the result of a pilot project engineered by a local environmental company — an intricate transaction linking 18 merchants, a trading exchange in Chicago, a charitable foundation in Atlanta and thousands of acres of forest in rural Georgia.

“I’m sure most of us don’t understand exactly how it works,” says Andy Kurlansky of Everybody’s Pizza, one of the Virginia-Highland businesses that paid to be part of the venture. “But I still thought it was worthwhile.”

It all started with a year-old Atlanta company called Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership. For a fee, it audits a business’ carbon footprint: the net effect of its utility use, transportation and waste production on the environment. Verus then calculates an offset, a payment the business can make to compensate for its emissions, usually by funding alternative energy, sustainable forests or some other endeavor that reduces greenhouse gases by removing them from the atmosphere or not producing them in the first place.

Verus is the first to admit that it’s all rather complicated.

“We spend 90 percent of our time explaining how it works,” says company founder Eric Taub, a former hedge fund manager who got the germ of the idea from his father-in-law, Richard Sandor.

Sandor started the Chicago Climate Exchange, a market where carbon credits and offsets are traded like pork belly futures in the interest of fighting climate change through capitalism. Time magazine called him “the father of carbon trading.”

Last fall, Verus pitched its services to a sympathetic prospect, Antje Kingma, one of the owners of Eco-Bella, a Virginia-Highland shop that sells organic bedding, apparel and housewares.

Kingma comes from Germany, the breeding ground of the Green Party, and readily agreed to have her business audited. She was shocked when Taub told her that Eco-Bella was responsible for 22 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.

“I felt dirty,” she says, only half-joking. “I felt evil.”

Twenty-two metric tons is actually far below the amount of CO┬▓ produced by the average three-bedroom household. But Kingma still wanted to pay environmental penance, so she gladly wrote a check of $87 for the first year’s offset.

She thought it would be nice if her neighbors did likewise, so she approached her landlord, Stuart Meddin, whose company owns the adjoining storefronts at the northwest corner of Virginia and North Highland. A veteran of green developments like Glenwood Park, he offered to underwrite the audits for all 18 businesses — a cost of more than $7,000 — if they paid for the offsets.

Kingma presented the idea to the other tenants during their regular meeting last September at Fontaine’s Oyster House. With the economy cratering and gas pushing $4 a gallon, it was a terrible time to be floating the idea of another expense — especially one that’s not tax-deductible.

“The carbon thing wasn’t the issue. People were more concerned about the cost,” says Brian Jolly of Half-Moon Outfitters, a store on North Highland.

The owner of DabberDoo, a gift boutique next to Eco-Bella, was skeptical. Christie Harper, an SUV-driving mom from Cobb County, believes global warming is real but suspects it has been exaggerated. Her brother is even more doubtful. When she told him Virginia-Highland was considering going carbon-neutral, he scoffed: “You are freakin’ kidding me.”

In the end, Harper decided to go along with her neighbors. “I figured it couldn’t hurt,” she says.

The price of the offsets ranged from $10 a year for Lulu Blue, a petite sweet shop, to $600 for Highland Tap, a steakhouse. Restaurants inevitably leave a larger carbon footprint with their sizable staffs and higher utility use.

“I’m the biggest polluter over here,” says the Tap’s general manager, Ron Haynes, who commutes 30 miles from Peachtree City and employs 35 people.

He’s still unsure whether his check bought anything more than a fuzzy feeling of virtue.

“It sort of made sense to me when they explained it,” he says. “But I do wonder what I’m doing to curb global warming. It feels like I’m just spending money to make up for the damage I’m doing to the environment. I guess it’s better than doing nothing.”

What did the merchants’ money buy?

Verus traded it on the Chicago Climate Exchange for offsets that support a “carbon sequestration” project in Georgia. Translation: sustainable forest land managed in a way that maximizes and measures removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

Valley Wood, a Columbus timber company, manages the project for the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation of Atlanta, which owns 64,000 acres of land in middle and south Georgia. The foundation, in turn, supports animal welfare causes.

Trees and puppies — no wonder Virginia-Highland feels good about itself.

Critics of carbon offsets regard them as something akin to papal indulgences, a modern version of buying absolution. Whatever one thinks of them, they represent cutting-edge environmental thinking of a sort not usually associated with the Deep South.

“When we call businesses in California, some of them snub us,” says Verus partner Andrew Keenan. “They figure people in a red state like Georgia couldn’t know much about the environment. We want to show them that we’re not a bunch of hicks.”

The carbon-neutral zone is already attracting attention close to home.

Just last week, Verus met with the Decatur Downtown Development Authority to discuss the possibilities for that enclave of alternative lifestyles and tree-hugging sensibilities.

“It sounds like something Decatur would get behind,” says the authority’s Linda Harris, who wonders how Virginia-Highland beat them to the punch.

VERUS CARBON NEUTRAL AND HAGADONE PRINTING TEAM UP

ATLANTA (January 7, 2009) — The Hagadone Printing Company—Hawaii's leading eco-friendly printer, has teamed-up with Atlanta-based Verus Carbon Neutral to purchase carbon offsets on behalf of their clients. Offsets will be retired equal to emissions generated by each page printed for their clients.

Verus Carbon Neutral is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world's first and North America's only active, voluntary and legally binding offset trading system. Verus Carbon Neutral provides high-quality offset projects that are third-party verified by the CCX. The Environmental Defense Fund recently recommended 12 offset projects, of which, seven were registered on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

To assure more funding goes to offset projects, Verus Carbon Neutral sets its price based on the CCX market price. According to their managing partner, Eric Taub, no other offset provider offers a more transparent or aggressive pricing structure.

# # #

Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership

Verus Carbon Neutral is an innovative and eco-conscious company that aids businesses and individuals looking to offset and reduce their carbon footprints. After conducting an audit to determine the size of their footprint, Verus Carbon Neutral provides a simple way to reduce or completely offset their client's CO2 emissions, supplying them with certification and a tangible way to communicate their commitment to the environment. Privately held, Verus is based in Atlanta and more information can be found at www.verus-co2.com.

Hagadone Printing Company

n 1994, long before sustainability became popular, Hagadone's President, Erwin Hudelist, received the "Investing in the Environment" award from the State of Hawaii. Since then, they have established a solid environmental record. Hagadone has eliminated harmful chemicals and toxic materials from their printing process. Silver run-off, benzene and isopropyl alcohol are no longer used. Direct-to-plate printing has virtually eliminated film-based printing. Liberty brand inks are formulated so they produce no volatile organic compounds that pollute the air.

Conserving energy is also a priority. In 2003 they made improvements to their building's electrical system that recovers "drainage" energy. And two years later replaced all old light fixtures with energy-saving T5 and T8 fluorescent lights. More recently, Hagadone replaced all of their office incandescent lightbulbs with CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs).

By the end of 2005 Hagadone had invested $11 million in a state-of-the-art web press and infrastructure improvements. This press, which runs on natural gas, uses half the energy of the old web and has an eco-cool oven that recycles ink solvents, resulting in zero emissions.

An industrial shredder/baler system helps them recycle 140 tons of waste paper per month, plus what is collected from their customers. Hagadone's PaperBack Program allows customers to return the extras of print jobs for recycling. At places where their delivery drivers make regular stops they even pick up the paper with their biodiesel-driven vehicles. To learn more about Hagadone Printing's PrintGreen initiatives visit www.hagadoneprinting.com.

VIDEO ABOUT THE FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL ZONE CREATED IN THE UNITED STATES

FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL ZONE CREATED IN THE UNITED STATES

Atlanta-based Developer and 18 Business Owners Work with Company to Establish Groundbreaking Eco-Zone

ATLANTA (NOVEMBER 14, 2008) — Global 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.

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 Organic Lifestyle Boutique. "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 Carbon Neutral specializes in auditing individual and corporate footprints and providing carbon offsets from the highly acclaimed Chicago Climate Exchange. Sponsored by the Meddin Company, each of the 18 businesses located at 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 local shop owners then volunteered to purchase the required offsets to create this first of its kind Carbon Neutral Zone.

"Climate change is the #1 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."

"We were thrilled to work with The Corner-Virginia Highland businesses on this groundbreaking endeavor," explained Eric Taub, founder and managing partner of Verus Carbon Neutral. "It's a smart business proposition that creates a win-win situation—offsets allow you to contribute to the future of our planet while investing in your own business at the same time."

Carbon Offsets—The Next Step In Sustainable Business Practices

The offset provider for each retailer at The Corner-Virginia Highland is Valley Wood, Inc, a sustainable forestry manager, and 100% of offset profits are donated to the Humane Society and other charitable organizations. Carbon offsets include the development of projects like solar and wind power, reforestation/afforestation and methane collection. All offsets are certified by the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's first and North America's only active voluntary, legally binding integrated trading system to reduce emissions of all six major greenhouse gases (GHGs). Carbon offsets also provide some side benefits that include: lowering our dependence on foreign oil, habitat creation and reuse of waste products (methane) for energy production.

"We can't stop global warming with voluntary offsets," stated Daniel A. Lashof, the science director of the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, "but they offer an option for individuals looking for a way to contribute to the solution in addition to reducing their own emissions and urging their elected representatives to support good policy."

The Corner Virginia-Highland Businesses Celebrate Announcement with "Green Saturday" Event

The Corner has dedicated Saturday, November 15th as a Green Celebration of local businesses and neighbors working together for the better of the community. Atlantans are encouraged to walk or bike to learn more about the Carbon Neutral Zone. Eric Taub and Andrew Keenan, Verus Carbon Neutral Partners, will be on hand to explain the process and answer questions on how individuals and corporations can reduce their carbon footprint.

# # #

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The quote attributed to Daniel A. Lashof was first published in the New York Times article "Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?" by Andrew C. Revkin on April 29, 2007.)

About the 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 by carbon footprints. After conducting an audit to determine their size of their footprint, Verus provides a simple way to reduce or completely offset their CO2 emissions, and supplies 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: www.verus-co2.com.

About Corner Virginia-Highland

Developed in the 1900's and now owned by The Meddin Company, the historic Corner Virginia-Highland shopping and dining neighborhood retail district is located on the corner of North Highland and Virginia avenues in Atlanta, Georgia. The eighteen businesses that are part of the "Carbon Neutral Zone" include: Bella Cucina, dabberdoo, Dakota J's, Eco-Bella Organic Lifestyle Boutique, Everybody's Pizza, Fontaine's Oyster House, Half Moon Outfitters, The Highland Tap, La Tavola Trattoria, Lulu Blue, M/3, Mitzi & Romano's, Mitzi's Shoebox, Nadine's Triple Crown, Noche, Paper Source, South of Market, and Wired & Fired Studio.