Cue confetti — we’ve got a HUGE announcement. tentree is officially Climate Neutral Certified!
The process to become Climate Neutral Certified is a months-long effort to measure, offset, and reduce our carbon footprint. Sustainability and the environment are part of our DNA here at tentree, and today we’re thrilled that we’re able to join 230 other Climate Neutral Certified brands in taking meaningful action for the climate.
What Does “Climate Neutral Certified” Mean?
Climate Neutral is a nonprofit committed to solving climate change by making carbon neutrality simple and accessible — something we’re all about. Starting today, you’ll see the Climate Neutral Certified label popping up on our website and products.
Brands with the label measure and offset all of the emissions it takes to run their business, produce products or services, and deliver them to customers. All certified brands are also working to reduce their carbon footprint.
Our entire “cradle to customer” brand-level operations are covered, including all upstream product emissions, shipping emissions, and corporate overhead emissions such as business travel, and utilities at the office.
We went through three distinct steps to get Climate Neutral Certified:
Measure: Our emissions from the previous year are totaled to get certified. Emissions are broken up into three categories: Scope 1 (direct brand emissions, like employee commuting), Scope 2 emissions (indirect brand emissions, like electricity used in-office), and Scope 3 (supply chain emissions, like raw materials and shipping).
Offset: Once there’s an estimate of brand emissions, companies purchase at least as many carbon credits as the total remaining footprint amount. “Carbon credits” are tradable certificates that represent the removal or avoidance of one tonne of CO2. They tend to correlate with specific environmental projects that you can support.
Reduce: Any brand looking to get Climate Neutral Certified must create a Reduction Action Plan to prove that we’re working on internal emission reductions. These action plans must include a minimum of two measures that will reduce corporate emissions within the next 12-24 months.
tentree Is Officially Climate Neutral!
We’ve been on a mission to reduce carbon emissions since day one — planting trees is one of the best ways to neutralize carbon dioxide. But we wanted to take it one step further, and make sure we were doing our part throughout the entire organization to not only prevent, but reverse climate change.
Here’s what our certification process looked like.
We worked with Green Step Solutions to get a thorough audit of our CO2 emissions across all three scopes. That includes the emissions created from making and delivering our products/services, including our supply chain emissions, employee commuting, business travel, and utility bills. In 2020, we measured our carbon footprint at 9,249 tonnes.
The vast amount of our emissions (99.86%) came from Scope 3, which is our supply chain. This tends to be true for all companies, but not everyone is transparent about it.
Greenwashing alert! Not all “Net Zero commitments” include Scope 3, the biggest contributor and the hardest scope to change. Keep that in mind when a brand shouts about their climate commitments — the Climate Neutral Certification covers it all.
Yeah, we know we’re taking things a little out of order, but our commitment at tentree is always to reduce as many of our CO2 emissions as possible, even if we’re offsetting.
The specifics are still in the works as we collaborate with our internal and external partners (ie. there’s more to come!), but here’s a peek at our Reduction Action Plan to help lower the emissions we produce over the next 12-24 months:
What We’re Reducing: Factory Emissions
Currently purchased goods and services make up ~43.9% of our total footprint. We’re a product-based company, the reality is that creating anything will have a carbon footprint. While we’re currently working with our Director of Sustainability to create our specific action plan, we’re focusing on a few key initiatives.
How We’ll Reduce It
- Rolling out renewable energy at our top manufacturing facilities
- Integrate Regenerative Cotton (ie. cotton that actually captures CO2) into our supply chain
- Finding new and innovative ways to use more of our favourite low-impact fibres, like TENCEL ™
What We’re Reducing: The Impact Of Air Freight
As a whole, transportation currently makes up ~54% of our CO2 emissions. We know that air freight has a significantly higher footprint than land or sea. Currently air freight makes up just 3% of our total weight transported, yet it makes up over 2/3 of our upstream (getting the product to our warehouses) CO2 emissions at ~69%.
How We’ll Reduce It
As we grow by approximately 30 – 40% this year, our goal is to keep our air usage (total kg of product shipped by freight) the same or less than this past year. We’re going to do this by working with our downstream partners so they understand the impact of air freight, working with our internal team to rollout better forecasting and planning, while also working with our wholesale partners to limit the amount of quick-turnaround product.
Same thing goes with our downstream (to the customer) shipping. Our goal is to reduce the percent of air/express shipments used by our customers through education, and offering some different shipping options later in the year.
We “zeroed-out” our emissions by purchasing 9,249 tonnes, or $78,625.00 worth of carbon credits. These credits go towards supporting projects around the world that reduce CO2 emissions and protect the environment.
We’ve chosen to support the following projects:
Great Bear Rainforest: The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project is an Improved Forest Management project that generates emission reductions by protecting forest areas that were previously designated, sanctioned or approved for commercial logging.
India Solar Project: Supports the installation of a 90 MW solar power project in Karnataka state of India. The project will replace greenhouse gases emissions connected to the Indian grid, which is mainly dominated by thermal/fossil fuel based power plants.
Burn Stoves in Kenya: Supports the manufacturing and distribution of the JikoKoa Stove in Kenya. This stove is significantly more efficient and provides locals with a better ability to cook meals with low carbon emissions.
Plus, we’re still planting trees!
Did you know that we didn’t count the CO2 emissions cancelled out by our tree planting projects? So, all of this work we’re doing to become climate neutral is in addition to tree planting (psst, together we’ve planted over 55 million trees!). Why? Our goal isn’t just to do our part to prevent climate change — we want to lead the charge in not only reducing the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, but actually giving back to the environment.
To give a bit of perspective, let’s take a look at how much CO2 these trees will sequester over their lifetime. Around four trees will sequester 1 tonne over 20 years. That means 55 million trees will sequester 9,250 tonnes/year, and offset over 1,480 years of tentree’s business!
We sell clothes (and other things) that plant trees. The last thing we want is for your purchases to take a toll on the environment. We’re committed to making sure that however you choose to plant with us, whether through apparel or Climate+, that there are no negative effects for the planet.
Want to learn more about our Climate Neutral Certification? Check out our page on the Climate Neutral Website.