Minimizing our negative footprint is equally important if we want to leave our planet in a better condition than how we found it, and that is why we are a CO2 neutral company. Being CO2 neutral means helping to conserve our natural environment and all stakeholders in the process of existing as a business.
We are really proud of our credentials as a carbon neutral company and want to share with you exactly how we are a CO2 neutral company, how we offset our CO2 emissions and what does CO2 neutral actually mean.
WHAT DOES CO2 NEUTRAL MEAN AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
As you know, carbon dioxide is one of several greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. It’s added to our environment as a result of human activities. For example - burning fossil fuels, industrial production, energy production, and transportation.
Whilst trees consume the CO2 emissions (CO2e) we produce - this gas is destroying our marine ecosystem. Our oceans are our life source - every living being on the planet relies upon the sea to regulate our climate.
But, the good news is that companies can offset their CO2e.
Essentially, this means that you balance ALL emissions associated to a business, being offices, travel and emissions related to your product or service. You offset this by funding an equivalent amount in carbon saving projects. Only a business that chooses to do this is considered a CO2 neutral company.
By taking measures to offset our CO2e, we help to reduce greenhouse gases, either by reducing the productions of CO2 or by producing more oxygen in the atmosphere. This conserve valuable ecosystems and wildlife habitats, whereas often they also bring additional social and community benefits in developing countries who need our help the most.
OUR CO2 EMISSIONS
All companies produce CO2e - there isn’t a way around it. However, by making the effort to offset our emissions we are taking a step towards a more sustainable future. Nature Unite was conceived as a result of the desire to combat the plastic and ultimately climate emergency. So, our commitment to remaining a carbon neutral company is vital to our foundation.
We have conducted a comprehensive cradle-to-grave CO2e analysis of our CO2 neutral reusable water bottle via Carbon Footprint.
The Nature Unite CO2 neutral bottle is crafted with part OceanBound recycled plastic, a material which uses 90% less energy and emits 78% less CO2 than producing virgin plastic. For each bottle produce, we generate 0.756 kg of CO2e. To get a grasp of how much CO2e this is, it’s similar CO2e to 1 virgin paper toilet roll. Also, if you use the Nature Unite bottle just 5 times where you would otherwise have bought a single-use water bottle you are CO2e breakeven.
WHAT IS CARBON FOOTPRINT?
Carbon Footprint is the recognised consultancy and standard-setting agency. Their website offers a wealth of resources that enable businesses (and individuals) to calculate their CO2e. In fact, it was using their CO2 calculation tools that we were able to pinpoint our own carbon footprint.
But, Carbon Footprint doesn’t stop there. They also educate businesses on how to improve their CO2e and how to offset these in a sustainable and ethical way. Using their network of global NGOs and foundations, we pledge our profit towards climate care, conserving wildlife habitats and protecting fragile communities.
HOW IS NATURE UNITE A CO2 NEUTRAL COMPANY?
We offset 100% of our CO2 neutral bottle and business-related CO2e through two certified projects with Carbon Footprint.
We chose these projects because they contribute to rehabilitating our environment whilst at the same time supporting remote communities.
Kenyan Reforestation Project
The Kikuyu escarpment forest is the gateway to Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, this remarkable environment is the main source of water and livelihood for neighbouring communities.
However, the region has fallen victim to charcoal burning, logging, ring-debarking of medicinal trees and overgrazing. Such pursuits have virtually depleted the forest vegetation, dried up the springs and rivers, and caused wildlife to suffer. They have also impacted on the livelihood of the local residents and derailed the tourism economy.
Escarpment Environment Conservation Network (ESCONET) is rehabilitating the natural ecosystem. At the same time, they promote the sustainable maintenance of a clean, healthy environment. They are planting 20 different species of native broadleaf trees to restore the forest. In addition to benefiting carbon sequestration and wildlife, this provides the community with the opportunity for new skills and employment.
Since the project began, over 180,000 trees have been planted. The trees have survived extraordinarily well and nowadays other community-based organisations are becoming involved in tree planting for benchmarking tours.
You can read more about the Kenyan Reforestation Project and even pledge a tree of your own.
Reducing Deforestation in Brazil Project
Deforestation is the number one cause of species extinction globally, and the second leading cause of CO2 emissions. And if it continues at its current rate, the earth’s forests could vanish completely within the next 100 years. This project with Portel-Pará REDD supports our largest rainforest, the mighty Amazon.
The initiative aims to prevent unplanned deforestation in the native forest, which has occurred due to logging, squatting, and attempts to implement pastures. The project is expected to avoid over 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions over a 40 year period. This will be achieved by managing the land in the form of a "private conservation reserve", through rigorous monitoring and enforcement.
Whilst supporting critical biodiversity habitats, this project provides comprehensive training to local villagers and creates jobs in forest management. This empowers the community to take charge of monitoring and enforcement activities.
Again, you can read more about the Reducing Deforestation in Brazil Project.
That is how we are reducing and offsetting our emissions with our CO2 neutral product and supporting sustainable efforts around the world. If you are interested in learning more - we urge you to explore the Carbon Footprint resources for yourself.
Written by the Nature Unite team