About NARF | NARF's Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
(page last updated 2/04/2013)
Green Office Co-Chairs: David Selden and Rose Cuny
Native American Rights Fund Statement on Environmental Sustainability
It is clear that our natural world is undergoing severe, unsustainable and catastrophic climate change that adversely impacts the lives of people and ecosystems worldwide. Native Americans are especially vulnerable and are experiencing disproportionate negative impacts on their cultures, health and food systems. In response, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is committed to environmental sustainability through its mission, work and organizational values. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have a long tradition of living sustainably with the natural world by understanding the importance of preserving natural resources and respecting the interdependence of all living things. NARF embraces this tradition through its work and by instituting sustainable office practices that reduce our negative impact on our climate and environment. NARF is engaged in environmental work and has established a Green Office Committee whose responsibility is to lead and coordinate staff participation in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption and pollution and create a healthful work environment.
What we measure.
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is headquartered in Boulder (26 employees), Colorado and has regional offices in Anchorage Alaska (4 employees) and Washington D.C. (2 employees). While sustainability is important in all offices, to date, most projects have been associated with the main offices in Boulder where the property is owned. Offices in Anchorage and D.C. are leased. We currently monitor and report on our impacts in 5 major areas:
- Recycling as part of our "zero waste" program
- Composting as part of "zero waste" program
- Energy Consumption (electricity and natural gas)
- Paper Consumption (office use)
- Air Travel (includes all 3 offices)
In 2013, NARF partnered with Trees, Water & People to offset its global warming emissions for 2012 from the five areas measured and described above. NARF made a donation to the Native American solar heater project to offset about 362 tons of carbon dioxide. In addition to offsetting carbon dioxide, the solar heater project helps Native American families in need by providing clean, free heat from the sun and jobs. To learn more about this project, read the Indian Country Today article "Henry Red Cloud leads the renewable-energy charge at Pine Ridge."
See our data and impacts since 2007 below.
Notes about the data:
Air travel: 2007-2012 includes all airfare booked through NARF travel agent and includes NARF main office in Boulder as well as small offices in Anchorage, AK, and Washington, D.C. Approximately 90% of all NARF travel is covered.
Calculations: The following calculations were used:
1KWH = 1.93lbs of C02
1 Therm = 11.7 lbs of C02
1 Air mile = 1lb of C02
Waste data was based on data provided by waste management company.
1lb Recycling = 5lbs of C02 prevented
1 Ton paper = 9 tons C02
NARF's Green Purchasing Policy demonstrates NARF's commitment to environmental sustainability in accordance with our Sustainability Statement. The goal of this policy is to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment and the health of our employees. This policy will be used consistently with the NARF Accounting Department’s policies and procedures on purchasing.
Green Purchasing is the practice of procuring goods and services that cause less harm to the environment, and the living beings that depend upon it for survival. Green products are those manufactured with more environmentally-friendly materials or which are produced with minimal impact on the environment.
NARF will strive to balance environmental and fiscal responsibilities in making green purchasing decisions. When the cost of “green” products is significantly higher, NARF will consider using funds from an established “NARF green fund” to pay for the increase in cost. General purchasing decisions will be made by the Office Manager with the advice of the Green Office Committee and high cost items will be approved by the Corporate Officers. NARF will strive to purchase materials that:
- Cut back on greenhouse gas emissions or are made with renewable energy (i.e. Energy Star computers and copier/printers).
- Are manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.
- Decrease the use of toxins detrimental to human health and to the environment.
- Contain the highest possible percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
- Are reusable and recyclable or contain reusable parts (rechargeable batteries, reusable printer cartridges, etc.).
- Cut back on air, water, and/or land pollution.
- Are multifunctional (i.e. copier/printer/scanner, etc.) and serve to decrease the total number of products purchased.
- Are made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner.
Favor will also be given to suppliers who offer environmentally preferable products, who work to exceed their environmental performance expectations, and who can show documentation of their supply-chain impacts.
Environmentally preferable products and services of similar quality and price to conventional counterparts should gain a purchasing preference. When the greenest option is not available, too costly, or impractical, NARF should look at how the products are produced, as well as the environmentally and socially responsible management practices of suppliers and producers.
The NARF purchasing policy is one element in our continuing, long-range commitment to the environment. By adopting this policy, we hope to likewise engage the producers and suppliers of NARF's office products and services to adopt business practices that reduce their impact on the environment.