🌱 Keep It Clean: Ever wondered how to reduce your digital carbon footprint?
Featuring Method, Riverford Organic, Avallen and more...
This week we’re focused on keeping your business clean - chemically, digitally and environmentally. We cover:
How your brand’s online presence could be the key to reducing your carbon footprint.
A cleaner way of doing business: meet Method.
In case you missed it: Meet the Brands: allplants are going all-in on a more sustainable food system.
> Good News This Week
🎯 Avallen announced it has achieved B Corp certification. The 2019 founded Calvados brand also pledged 1% for the Planet in January 2021.
🎯 Darnley's Gin launched a range of recyclable gin pouches as part of their 2022 sustainability strategy. The pouches are derived from recycled plastic material, “which is not only recycled but also weighs 50% less than a glass bottle of Darnley’s Gin to transport”.
🎯 Y.O.U Underwear announced it has achieved B Corp certification, scoring 160.5 (the highest UK score) .
⭐️ Levi announced they’re redesigning the iconic Levi 501s to incorporate a blend of certified organic cotton, sustainably-sourced wood pulp and Circulose – made by Renewcell via chemically recycling cotton textile waste. They’re the first Levi jeans to meet the requirements set out by Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign initiative.
⭐️ Timberland launched ‘Timberloop’, inviting customers to return used Timberland products to be refurbished or disassembled and then upcycled.
⭐️ Morrisons scrapped 'use by' date on 90% of milk in favour of sniff test. Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, after potatoes and bread, with around 490 million pints wasted every year, according to Wrap.
⭐️ Guiness, a Diageo brand, announced plans to introduce four zero emissions vehicles to its Ireland fleet.
⚡️B Lab announced the launch of the B Corp Beauty Coalition, an alliance of 26 B Corps from 3 continents, all committed to improving the sustainability standards of the beauty industry. With this, B Corps such as Davines, SKANDINAVISK, N&B Natural is Better, Laboratoires Expanscience, RUDOLPH CARE, The Body Shop, Dermophisiologique S.r.l. Società Benefit, Rituals, among many others, demonstrate the power of collaboration to transform industries.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Your brand’s online presence could be the key to reducing your carbon footprint.
Digital activity seems like something floating in the ether. Can something so apparently intangible have a real impact on the planet? Last year, this notion was brought to the fore when Bitcoin’s monumental carbon footprint made global headlines. While more and more businesses are measuring, reducing and reporting their emissions, the consumer goods industry is only just waking up to the reality of digital carbon footprints. The great news is, there’s plenty you can do about it. Let’s take a look at the basics, and how you can get started.
Where do the emissions come from?
Despite appearances to the contrary, the internet is a physical entity. Every element loaded on a page, every click, is a communication. You’re requesting information, and the request receives a response. This communication requires power: 1.76g of CO2 for every page view, to be precise. Globally, this adds up to 416.2TWh per year. That’s more than the whole of the UK.
The biggest contributors, according to Website Carbon, are image, file and video formats, cloud usage, fonts and underlying code. Shockingly, a study by the Cleanfox app also revealed that promotional emails are responsible for 2 million tonnes of C02 annually in the UK.
Is it really worth it for smaller businesses?
Prioritising a sustainable web presence isn’t just something for e-commerce behemoths like Google and Meta (check out your Google Cloud emissions here). Brands like Riverford Organic are proving their credentials by measuring their digital carbon footprint via Website Carbon and getting the badge to prove it. Consumer goods enterprises like Ecover, Zaytoun and Method have even partnered with Wholegrain Digital help them streamline their platforms.
This can have a real and immediate impact on your business’ efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. Watch brand Geckota can attest to this fact: their partnership with Go Positive revealed that their digital activity was their third largest contributor, accounting for 10% of their total emissions. By changing aspects of their web presence, this figure could be reduced immediately.
Fortunately, reconsidering both website design and digital marketing strategy has other benefits. Auditing your online promotions, for example, allows you to assess if your campaigns are truly effective, or if you’re overloading your customers. When it comes to website design, research shows that simpler is better when it comes to user experience. By streamlining these technical aspects, you’re not only making your site greener, but you’re likely making your site more appealing.
Remember: You don’t have to completely overhaul your web presence to start making a difference.
Keen to learn more? Check out these incredible resources:
Head to the Website Carbon measurement tool for an accurate calculation of your digital carbon footprint.
As well as partnering with brands, Wholegrain Digital provides a number of free online resources. Start with 17 ways to make your website more efficient and learn about Page Weights.
The Sustainable Web Manifesto sets out six principles to consider when building a green digital presence.
Haven’t subscribed to Following the Footprints yet?
> Brand Spotlight
A cleaner way of doing business: meet Method
A true category disruptor, Method has worked hard to distinguish itself as a pioneer in a new era of household products since day 1. Aiming to rip up the slightly toxic manual for cleaning products, they’ve been on a mission to make them…well…cleaner for our homes and ourselves.
Founded in 2001 by two childhood friends, Method Products is now a part of Lifestyle Brands - a growing house of like-minded brands under the SC Johnson umbrella that also includes Ecover. A founding B Corporation member, they certified in 2007, proving that keeping ‘clean’ isn’t simply a mission for the chemical composition of their products. In 2013, they reincorporated as a public benefit corporation, cementing social and environmental ethics at the heart of their governance.
In particular, their focus on their packaging has defined them. Not only has their product design won them numerous awards and cemented their brand identity in the minds of shoppers, they switched to 100% recycled plastic in their cleaning and hand wash bottles in 2008. This simple change means their bottles use 70% less energy to make compared to using virgin plastic. Across other product ranges, it varies from 25% PCR (post consumer resin) to 50% PCR. Method also heavily encourage the use of refills, making it easier on the consumer's pocket and clothes for them to switch to Method. Part of this scheme is their introduction of aluminium hand wash bottles. Unusual for many companies, their aim is to design for recyclability. Creating a product that is compatible with recycling systems from across their consumer base is a challenge, but it’s exciting to see a brand acknowledge the necessity for end of life considerate product design.
What other methods are Method adopting to mitigate their environmental impact?
Their 230-foot wind turbine outside their LEED-platinum certified soap factory is expected to generate half of the building’s annual electrical consumption.
Working with Gotham Greens, they’ve built a 75,000 square foot commercial greenhouse on their factory roof. They aim to produce 500 tonnes of fresh, pesticide-free produce annually for the local community. Their green roof canopy will also help them decrease energy use, improve urban air quality and reduce stormwater runoff.
Their new North American factory acts as a manufacturing and bottling facility, reducing transport costs and emissions from centralising their operations into one place.
They use biodiesel to power over 1/3rd of their US truck shipments.
They offer financial incentives to their suppliers so they can invest in more energy-efficient equipment or lighting. This helps them decrease emissions throughout their value chain.
To learn more about Method, visit their website, or shop them below.
> In case you missed it
💥 #9 - Meet the Brands: allplants are going all-in on a more sustainable food system.
Featuring Ellie Harrison, Sustainability Lead at allplants
> Follow up with…
Article: Going "All In": A Climate Policy Guide for Business Leaders
Workbook/Guide: The Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework
Book: The Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years