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2022 Accomplishments

Below are some of our community's achievements in 2022. Doesn’t Indiana deserve a truly positive response to global warming? Our main focus in 2023 is becoming financial sustainable. For this reason, please consider supporting our mission with a recurring monthly contribution.


This post is about our home state of Indiana, where we raise our families, grow our businesses, and try to model peace in a crazy world on a miraculous planet flying through space.

Just ten states produce half of U.S. carbon emissions. Indiana is one. And historically, the U.S. emitted 25% of the carbon that’s in the air today.

So we Hoosiers have a unique responsibility. Thankfully we're pragmatic, hardworking, and generous.

Carbon Neutral Indiana is a 501c3 nonprofit, and our mission is to help our state reduce emissions for a better future.

We’re different from other environmental groups. We have the DNA and hustle of a Silicon Valley startup. We’re pro economic growth. And our spirit animal is the golden retriever — energetic and friendly to all.

Would you consider supporting this mission with a recurring monthly contribution?

 

Become a Member Today

 

Dr. Anne Gilbert is a psychiatrist with IU Health. She was already certified carbon neutral, but she also set up a recurring monthly contribution today. She joined the Fun & Effective Climate Action Society. "CNI helped me to understand and then reduce my own carbon footprint... [and] what I can do locally and today to reduce climate change."

This year alone, we helped Indiana reduce carbon emissions by:

1. Publishing a Book

It contains 60 true stories of Hoosiers reducing carbon emissions, 50 organizations that can help, 29 bills, and 16 how-to guides to help you get started.

We started by interviewing 100 people. One lesson? Another environmental organization in Indiana received a $80,000 grant to create a sustainability course. They invested six months of work, but only five people registered. So we learned from their mistakes.

We wrote the 100+ page book in three months. Then we distributed free copies to thousands of leaders. As a result, we’re hosting 21 book discussions for 150+ people. 

And it received advanced praise from both leading liberals and conservatives. No other climate focused organization has earned such support on both sides of the aisle in Indiana.

We’ve partnered with six nonprofits, giving them 100% of profits from books they sell. It'll be used in college classrooms.

And a program at Indiana University will use it with 80 high school science teachers. If that goes well, they want to use it with 200 more teachers. Imagine every high school student in Indiana using this book. That can be around the corner.

 

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2. Experimenting With Ways to Inspire and Educate the Public

Purdue's enrollment is up 20%. Great! But their independent student newspaper is dying. Over that same period of time, the newspaper's revenue per student dropped by 60%.

So we paid six Purdue students to write stories about climate solutions. 15 stories so far. We saw an opportunity and seized it, and we're helping shift Purdue's innovation ecosystem toward climate solutions.

Purdue educated Neil Armstrong. It also had the first Computer Science department in the country. What if Purdue set its sights on climate? What kind of future could we imagine and create together?

 

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3. Shepherding the First Carbon Offset Project In Indianapolis

Since 2019 I've wondered, "What if we could offset our footprints by financing carbon projects in Indiana?"

Thanks to a grant from The Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Jonathan Green and I identified 120 acres of urban forest that — when protected properly — could generate $2 million for the City of Indianapolis.

Companies would pay to protect these forests because of the carbon they store, and the City could use that money to acquire and manage more urban forests. We showed them how to create a virtuous cycle. We even got this project pre-approved by the carbon registry City Forest Credits.

This hasn't been easy. Since spring of 2021, we've hosted monthly meetings for stakeholders like a Fortune 500 company and Indianapolis city leaders. Our facilitation and movement building, along with others, even led to a city ordinance.

We are currently waiting to see if the Office of Sustainability will pick us as a contractor. Stay tuned.

 

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4. Hosted Webinar With 121 Registrants

We invited five expert panelists to discuss “Opportunities in Indiana's Emerging Climate Economy.”

Registrants included 12 founders of startup companies that raised $426 million in funding as well as managers and executives at companies with $77 billion in revenue.

121 people registered. What does that mean? Here's context: there's another environmental organization in Indiana with 10X our budget that's been around for 20+ years. Their biggest event every year has 100-200 people. At the most recent event, they didn't include a conservative in their panel discussions. 

Carbon Neutral Indiana has demonstrated again and again that Hoosiers are excited by a solutions approach to climate. And they want a truly nonpartisan movement. This is just the beginning!

 

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5. Tabled at Community Events

We got out into the community, met new people, and established new relationships.

Anyone with sales experience understands success is a numbers game. To grow a movement each of us needs to listen to and speak with many people. We can't get discouraged. We can't ever give up. "Yes lives in the land of no."

So we tabled at seven events like Eco Fest in Fort Wayne; Greening the Statehouse, Indiana Climate Policy Conference, Battery Innovation Center luncheon, MIBOR REALTOR® Association Earth Day, and Creation Fest in Indianapolis; and an Earth Day festival in Michigan City.

 

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6. Earned A Lot of Media Attention

This matters. If Hoosiers don't know about our community, then many people will feel a vague sense of worry or hopelessness. They won't take action.

We raised awareness with earned media in newspapers like Indianapolis Business Journal (3X!), IndyStar, Input Fort Wayne, Lebanon Reporter; TV channels like WISH-TV; news services like Indiana Environmental Reporter (2X!); and five local and national podcasts.

 

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7. Consulted Fortune 500 Companies

We were sought out informally for our expertise by ExxonMobil, Eli Lilly, and the Midwest Climate Collaborative; presented at Pike High School, the first regional climate convening in Bloomington, IN, and DELV Design architects.

I'm even helping the Midwest Climate Collaborative create a "Midwest Climate Asset Map" for people in 11 other states to use.

 

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And Much More

We do not use fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to persuade you, but you know the stakes.

Doesn’t Indiana deserve a truly positive response to global warming?

For this reason, I am asking you to consider supporting our community's mission with a recurring monthly contribution.

Let’s continue to grow a community of friends… a community of creative problem solvers and everyday heroes.

 

Become a Member Today

 

Chris and Anne Haynes hosted a potluck at their home for other carbon neutral members. Our community is bigger than climate. It's about reconnecting ourselves to community and our environment.

We shipped books to thousands of Indiana's leaders — elected officials at the city, county, state levels; university presidents, high school superintendents, Chambers of Commerce, and more. We have the DNA and hustle of a Silicon Valley startup company.

40% of global carbon emissions come from buildings. Architects at DELV Design review our new book. Cara Weber invited CNI to explore ways architects can reduce emissions in the buildings they design. What's the best way to help with climate? Commit to continuous learning. Let's all be students, and teachers, to one another. Endless growth.

 

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