Simpleaf’s Sustainability Improvement: What do Carbon Emissions free, Carbon Offsets, and Greenwashing mean?
Sustainability means many things to many different people. Oftentimes, it is referring to financial, social or most commonly environmental sustainability. Each has a role to play in creating a better future for everyone. The most pressing of issues today is undeniably climate change. We all play a role in the future of our planet; the people that live on it, and the wildlife that deserve protection. One of the biggest challenges in protecting our planet is mitigating the carbon we produce every day. The solutions may seem simple, but to utilize solutions, we first must understand the complexity of the challenge.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting involves calculating the amount of carbon emissions generated by human activity in groups, then purchasing an instrument that pays for avoiding or sequestering the same amount of carbon elsewhere in the environment. Because the earth is one giant carbon sink, removing an equivalent number of emissions elsewhere in the environment has the same net impact as if your emissions didn't occur.
What is a carbon offset?
A carbon offset is a tool representing the reduction or sequestration of 1 metric ton -- 2,205 pounds -- of carbon emissions. It's called an offset because it's used to compensate for an equal amount of carbon emissions produced by, in this case, shipping our products. Carbon offset projects are verified by third parties to make sure that they indeed reduce, avoid, or sequester the amount of carbon that they claim.
Are the carbon offsets verified in any way?
All offsets that are publicly available are registered and tracked and accepted by reputable organizations in the voluntary markets and verified by third parties. Gold Standard, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the American Carbon Registry (ACR), and other internationally recognized organizations ensure the quality, accuracy, and integrity of the offsets. These entities ensure that the carbon savings would not have happened without the offset project and that the project would not have happened without the ability to sell carbon offsets.
How do you calculate carbon emissions?
Most companies calculate carbon emissions and corresponding offsets in real time, using inputs tailored to the type of activity. For example, distance travelled and fuel consumption would be added to determine emissions for fleet delivery trucks, aircraft, or other vehicles. For shipping and ecommerce applications, consider the package weight and origin and destination locations.
Then what is Greenwashing?
Greenwashing has become a phrase used by companies since the 1980’s that places blame on companies that are falsifying their sustainability practices for financial gain. However, there are many types of greenwashing. For instance, a company who is offsetting their carbon emissions, but still using child labor to create their products are still greenwashing; regardless of whether or not they know it is happening. This buzzword has been attributed to many companies in the recent past whether they deserve it or not. This is why clarity and transparency of company sustainability practices encompassing aspects of human, financial, and environmental are the key to a more sustainable future.
After listening to you, our customers, and your needs and wants, we are incredibly proud to take our next step to become the most sustainable option in personal and professional sanitation out there. Through your feedback and our continued growth, we hope to offer you even greater sustainable products and experiences. This is why Simpleaf has joined Cloverly as our next step in understanding and mitigating the carbon we produce; we know we can continue to do better, and we encourage you to take a step back and reevaluate your own personal impacts. Only then can we realize a better future for all. We invite you to follow along on our journey; we have many updates and improvements to come!