🌱 4 solutions to decrease 'WFH' emissions, and inside Bird Eyewear's partnership with SolarAid.
Featuring Bird Eyewear, The Curators, Yeo Valley and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: 4 solutions to make ‘Working From Home’ (WFH) work for your organisation’s carbon footprint too.
Brand Spotlight: Bird Eyewear x SolarAid: ‘Reframing’ what matters.
In case you missed it: 🤝#4 - Meet the Partners: Altruistiq, featuring Saif Hameed, CEO and Founder.
A HUGE thank you to the 57 people that joined our Festive Drinks event last Thursday, hosted at Raye the Store and in aid of City Harvest London.
Together, we raised £500 which will provide 4000 healthy meals for food insecure households this winter. It was also fantastic to meet so many of the Following the Footprints community in person, whilst sipping on Sapling Spirits and Lixir Drinks. Watch this space for future events!
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Foodsteps and Reewild announced their partnership to combine Footstep’s data-driven carbon footprint tools and solutions with Reewild’s gamified consumer carbon tracking app. The partnership will empower businesses and consumers through increased education, carbon literacy and transparency, by making carbon data accessible, engaging and fun.
🎯 Notpla announced the launch of their new seaweed-coated packaging for the takeaway food industry. The barrier, made from seaweed and plants, has been designed to have the same properties as plastic and is designed to biodegrade naturally, be home-compostable and recyclable.
🎯 Ecologi launched Ecologi Zero, their free carbon accounting software in partnership with Xero. The tool will overcome cost and complexity barriers often faced by SMEs.
🎯 The Curators certified as a B Corp. Working with ClimatePartner, The Felix Project and FareShare to build a responsible, socially aware business.
⭐️ Mars announced the transition to kerbside recyclable recyclable, paper-based packaging will begin in April 2023. This will apply to Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars in Australia.
⭐️ Yeo Valley announced that they will be removing clip lids from their Greek style range, following a successful trial. The move will continuing their work to reduce the plastic packaging from their range, following the transition to 100% recycled plastic pots.
⭐️ Tesco launched the Tesco Exchange, their online marketplace for their 3,500 suppliers to sell or donate surplus stock and products (including crops, by-products, ingredients or packaging) to other suppliers that can make use of them. The shop aims to cut production costs and reduce waste through the platform.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
4 solutions to make ‘Working From Home’ (WFH) work for your organisation’s carbon footprint too.
As more and more of the country moves to a hybrid working model, and new legislation making this available from day one, companies' carbon emissions have been displaced from the workplace to employee homes. Despite a decrease in commuting and business travel emissions, the combination of poorly insulated homes and a lack of energy management raises the question of just how much these changes impact companies carbon footprints, and wider emissions in general? And, how in challenging economic times, businesses can empower employees to uphold sustainable practices in their homes, saving money and the environment in the process.
So, what contributes?
When working from home, employees are generating emissions on behalf of the business, and so they still count towards companies’ Scope 3 “indirect” emissions. This covers the exact same as if employees were in an office, so from heating and lighting to equipment and waste, there are lots of ways to incentivise employees as they ‘WFH’.
But working from home emissions pose their own challenge for businesses. And with a reported ‘emissions gap’ of over 470,000 tonnes of carbon in the UK in 2020 alone, understanding how to calculate and manage this is essential for companies to be able to effectively manage and mitigate their total emissions. A great starting place to understand WFH emissions is via EcoAct’s open source methodology for calculating remote working emissions.
How can your business support WFH decarbonisation? Below are our top recommendations, that you can begin implementing today:
Problem: We know that all the physical equipment used to perform work, including monitors, keyboards and printers contribute to the largest growing waste stream of e-waste.
Solution: Make it easy for employees to dispose correctly by offering e-waste disposal at work or signposting employees to their local recycling or disposal sites. Also, using companies like Backmarket and redistributing equipment is a win-win for cost and carbon. We’ve covered some options here. Nice.
Problem: Old, inefficient equipment is bad for your pockets and the planet.
Solution: Go for energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR-certified electrical equipment or green “A ratings” as company policy. Increased efficiency means a reduction in energy use and utility bills - it’s a win-win. While you’re at it, encouraging employees to switch to LED bulbs is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint.
Problem: Almost 60% of UK homes are powered by fossil fuel energy, so despite having all the best intentions in-house, changing the source is key.
Solution: Incentivise employees to switch to a renewable energy supplier, with monetary rewards, referral codes and extra holiday. Point employees towards The Big Clean Switch to guide them through this transition.
Problem: WFH can be challenging to drive engagement and a sense of team-spirit, making changes that little bit more difficult.
Solution: Create some healthy competition between employees through platforms like DoNation. Track progress on sustainable pledges like Ooni Pizza Ovens who offered a prize to the team that saved the most carbon per person.
Has your company done anything that has worked really well? We’d love to know!
> Brand Spotlight
Bird Eyewear x SolarAid: ‘Reframing’ what matters.
Sunglasses aren’t often associated with sustainability. The ultimate lost luggage, it’s easy to see them as endlessly replaceable - the archetypal fast fashion. Globally, 1 billion pairs are bought per year, generating thousands of tonnes of plastic waste from lens production alone. So, how can a sunglasses brand not just minimise their impact, but make a positive contribution to the world? Bird Eyewear, the first UK glasses brand to achieve B Corp status, is showing us the way. How? By bringing a little light to the darkness. Let’s take a closer look…
‘Share your sun’: the ultimate buy-one-give-one scheme
Bird has an exclusive partnership with SolarAid, donating a solar lamp to a family in Malawi or Zambia for every pair of shades bought. Currently, nearly 600 million people across Africa rely on fossil-fuel burning lamps in lieu of access to electricity. This means that Bird’s Share Your Sun scheme isn’t just a buy-one-give-one model, but a buy-one-replace-one model. For each kerosene lamp replaced, not only are 1.1 tonnes of CO2 per year saved from the atmosphere, but health problems are averted, time can be spent studying and 10% of a family’s income that would’ve otherwise been spent on fuel is saved. Given the incredible environmental and human impact of kerosene lamps, each replacement through Share Your Sun is significant.
Their impact so far:
Schemes like this are even more meaningful when they sit within the context of a brand who demonstrates mindfulness across all of their operations. Founder Ed Bird is clear that “everything Bird Sunglasses does is for a purpose”, evident in how meticulously they research and source their materials (read more here). Their frames are made from Bio-acetate provided by Mazzuchelli, and FSC-certified wood sourced from partners conforming to ISO- standards. Their packaging is beautifully designed with sustainable manufacturers Flexi-Hex, Aquapak and ProAmpac. To top it all off, they’ve even developed a recycling programme for their non-compostable ranges.
This level of care and attention to detail is paying off in spades (or, shades…). The brand was valued at a cool £1 million in their first year of trading, and they’ve since nabbed the prestigious Frame of the Year at the Optician Awards (beating industry big names Specsavers).
For Bird Eyewear, it’s all about ‘reframing what matters in the world’ and, as a Start-up series winner it seems that investors are sharing Birds’ vision of the future.
Support Bird Eyewear via their shop:
> In case you missed it
🤝#4 - Meet the Partners: Altruistiq
MEASURE DATABASE - Featuring Saif Hameed, CEO and Founder.
> Follow up with…
Article: Why climate competency training is vital for corporate directors
Article: Finisterre founder Tom Kay on building Britain’s Patagonia and scaling sustainably
Resource: Free Carbon Track Assessment - Sweep
Webinar Series: Net-Zero Carbon Action by Edie