What if there were a quota of carpet samples in the U.S. and each SIM produced actually prevented the creation of a carpet sample from that pool? As nonsensical as this may sound, principles of this model are in place in Europe due to the Kyoto Protocol.
The European Union has created a climate change mechanism called The EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme that produced a pool of Carbon Dioxide points and assigned quotas to over 10,000 businesses in member countries which must purchase the emissions points — sort of a CO2 debit card. Interestingly, individuals outside of these organizations can purchase these points and therefore prevent any other entity from using the CO2 credits. The Science Museum London has packaged a Climate Relief Pack which contains an EU Carbon Emissions 100kg Carbon Credit certificate which “cancels” a portion of the EU quota available to big businesses — in effect a means of ensuring clean air through a £19.99 purchase. Though we have carbon offset programs in the U.S. they use donations to purchase alternative energy or plant trees. They don’t actually prevent anything like the Climate Relief Pack.
The elimination of waste is much easier when it’s never created. This is what we call dematerialization and though we've been using the term for a while to explain what we do, we're finally hearing it more from outside sources… and BIG ones at that. A rather heady, but interesting article on the subject can be found here 0n AT&T's corporate web site.
Thanks to Andy in our Leeds office for the EU explainations.