Preserve worked with Climate Neutral to Measure our Carbon Footprint…so what does that mean?
Climate Neutral helps companies identify recognized business impact areas and then use established “emissions factors” to estimate the CO2 that is attributable to activities within those impact areas. Depending on the category, estimates can be based on volume of material used, on spends, or on distances. These measurements are based on averages. As you can imagine, unless you own your own vehicles (which Preserve doesn’t) or continuously monitor a partner’s operations, it can be hard to directly measure an exact footprint. An example is that we don’t measure how long a truck idles with our product on it, instead the approach is to use an estimate of how much fuel is used on average to deliver a certain weight a certain distance. Because we know that there is some uncertainty, our goal from the beginning was to overestimate areas whenever possible.
Any footprint has 3 “scopes” and this is how we looked at ours:
Direct Brand Emission
Direct emissions come from the burning of fuel that directly releases CO2. This can include fuel burned by company vehicles and fuel burned to heat corporate buildings.
- Preserve does not own company vehicles, but heats our offices with natural gas. For this scope, we collected our gas bills and information on therms used.
Indirect Brand Emissions
This includes electricity used at company facilities since that electricity may be generated through carbon-emitting means.
- For the electricity used in Preserve’s office for lighting, cooling and powering our devices, we purchase solar through renewable energy credits. This step makes our scope 2 footprint zero.
Supply Chain Emissions
Not surprisingly, this is Preserve’s largest “bucket” of emissions. Because we work closely with manufacturing partners and don’t own the manufacturing facilities ourselves, the creation and delivery of our products fall into Scope 3. To measure this, we collected data on:
- Purchased goods and services – the materials we buy to make our products
- The purchase of capital goods - any machines or other durable equipment we buy
- Upstream emissions from fuel and energy – the energy used to run the machines to make our products and power the buildings in which they are located
- Upstream transportation – moving our products in the supply chain before they come to us
- Waste from operations
- Business travel – any travel undertaken by Preserve employees on behalf of Preserve
- Employee commuting - some members of the Preserve team take the train to work, while others bike, walk, drive or work from home. We gathered information on office trips made, modes of transport, and distances traveled.
- Downstream transportation and distribution – delivering our products to our customers
Scope 3, under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, goes a bit further, but as things get further into Scope 3, the measurement of them can become more blurry. Here are Scope 3 areas that we did NOT measure at this time and are not included in the Climate Neutral certification. As may be obvious, not all of them apply to Preserve.
- Upstream leased assets – not applicable
- Processing of sold products – not applicable
- Use of sold products
- End-of-life treatment of sold products
- Downstream leased assets – not applicable
- Franchises – not applicable
- Investments – not applicable
For the two on this list that do apply to Preserve, our products continue to have an impact once they are out of our hands and we currently do not measure this. The water someone heats to shave, the soap someone chooses to do dishes, whether dishwashers are run full or nearly empty – all of these have external implications for how the use of our products can contribute to CO2 emissions. We also haven’t included, for now at least, the impact of the disposal (or recycling) of our products. These are areas that we will continue to consider and address as part of the next steps in our Net Zero journey.
Our hope is that by overestimating our footprint within the boundaries laid out above and through working with partners like SeaTrees, we can not only offset the minimum of our footprint, but also go beyond and make a climate positive impact.
Our 2020 footprint, calculated within the boundaries, totaled 712.86 metric tonnes of carbon. You can see our footprint and the breakdown here.