It is the perfect distance from the sun to support life. It also has the essential life-giving gaseous atmosphere and the Moon’s steadying gravitational ‘pull.’ Earth as we know it was shaped by a series of events over its 4.6 billion year history, but human generated industrialization in the last 2 centuries has triggered new conditions that are shaping the Earth in a different, unintended way.
There is no doubt that accelerated efforts are required to address the current environmental crisis. Our response to this crisis is to act as a vehicle for change and show how protecting our natural environment can be embedded in the fabric of decision-making. That doing business needs to be doing good.
As our mission is to accelerate and inspire an Earth Positive future, we are committed to taking responsibility across 3 planetary pillars; Climate Action, Water Health, and Biodiversity.
To understand where we must focus our efforts, we begin with mapping and measuring our environmental footprint using the following methodologies:
We prioritized the measurement of GHG Emissions in 2021 to align ourselves with industry standards, such as the Science-Based Targets, which is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). We were also able to start mapping our water footprint and evaluate water risk across our value chain. Through our environmental footprint calculations listed above, we also began collecting data that will inform our biodiversity approach for the years ahead.
While Greenhouse Gases (GHG) A group of gasses contributing to global warming and climate change. There are currently seven greenhouse gasses covered by The Kyoto Protocol: the non-fluorinated gasses: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the fluorinated gasses: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Converting them to carbon dioxide (or CO2) equivalents makes it possible to compare them and to determine their individual and total contributions to global warming. occur naturally and serve an essential role in regulating heat and making this planet livable, human activity has disrupted this delicate balance and our planet has reached a tipping point. To protect habitable levels, scientists call for a reduction in emissions to limit global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees by 2050. * IPCC, Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 degrees, Summary for Policy Makers.
As part of our Earth Positive philosophy, we are committed to embracing a low emission future and decoupling our growth from climate impacts.
Climate science recommends we focus on reducing our most significant footprint first. Therefore, our biggest efforts in 2021 have been pinpointing our biggest sources of emissions and creating a decarbonization roadmap.
We’re proud of this:
We benchmarked our GHG Emissions across scopes 1, 2, and 3 in 2021, estimating we emitted over 10k tonnes of CO2e. From here, we defined our decarbonization roadmap that takes us to Net Zero by 2040, aligned with Science-Based Targets.
Greenhouse gas emissions are categorized on a scope 1-3 basis.
Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those we have direct influence and control over, such as our offices. We discovered these emissions accounted for just 1% of our total footprint in 2021.
Scope 3 emissions are those associated with our value chain, including raw materials and manufacturing, which we are indirectly responsible for. This is where the vast majority of our GHG emissions take place, accounting for 99% of our total footprint in 2021.
To assess our current emissions and define a reduction strategy we work with external experts. Carnstone assesses our emissions data using recognized methodologies and Carbon Footprint helps us calculate the associated GHG emissions of our retail events. We also partner with Green Story to identify accredited carbon token projects to offset carbon as an interim solution on our way to reducing our footprint to net zero by 2040.
We’re proud of this:
Mapping and quantifying our scope 3 emissions during our first year of GHG accounting was a great achievement for us* Scope 3 quantification is not required under the GHG Corporate Protocol. as it quantifies the largest proportional impact and guides our strategy to reduce this footprint.
A large portion of our emissions in scope 1-2 in 2021 was from gas heating and electricity for our offices, with only 12% of this electricity from renewables. We have committed to increasing this to 100% by 2025. Although this portion doesn’t dominate our footprint, all of these efforts count towards our commitment to achieving net zero by 2040.
We’re proud of this:
We upgraded our Environmental Management System (EMS) to capture more facilities and expanded the reporting of our GHG emissions.
Transport and distribution make up 38% of our scope 3 emissions. Our main logistics provider is DHL Go Green, which delivers PANGAIA items to our customers using a carbon neutral service.
What we learned:
Currently, most of our products travel to customers by air, which is 100 times more carbon-intensive than by sea. By diverting just 10% of our products to sea, we could save 400 tons of Co2e - we're working on that!
The products we make and the supply chains attached to them also account for 38% of our scope 3 footprint, particularly in the stages of dyeing and processing, followed by yarn production. We are currently working closely with our innovation arm, PANGAIA Science to bring solutions to market.
Every other activity in the business, including packaging, marketing, samples, and consulting, accounts for 21% of our emissions. This ‘other’ bucket had a greater footprint than we imagined. The primary areas of impact were found across marketing materials, consultancy relationships, packaging, samples, design, accessories, and events. This was a good reminder that absolutely everything has an associated footprint and that collaboration and active engagement with our partners is required on a systemic level to reduce emissions.
We’re proud of this:
All 5 of our pop-up retail stores were carbon neutral! We worked closely with our retail partners like Selfridges and Galeries Lafayette to ensure the associated GHG emissions of the building materials, employee travel, and energy powering the shop floor were all accounted for and offset using accredited carbon tokens.
While this plan scales, as a temporary measure, we are investing in credible and verifiable nature-based projects to offset our emissions, not only accounting for our current emissions but offsetting our footprint along the way.
We plan to build long-term partnerships so we can learn, while also creating a positive impact on the natural world as we invest in credible, verifiable nature-based solutions.
Across our supply chain, we use water for material processing, dyeing, bleaching, cooling, cleaning, and printing processes. As a result, water consumption and wastewater management (treatment and discharge) is a key concern. At the raw material stage, large volumes of water are also required for the irrigation and cultivation of cotton and other natural fibers.
Although a relatively smaller footprint, the water consumed in our offices, warehouse, and manufacturing sites must also be addressed in our water stewardship efforts.
We acknowledge that water pollution and consumption also take place during the use phase of our products. This includes the regular washing of our products and associated microfiber pollution entering water bodies.
What we’ve learned so far:
Preliminary benchmarking of our facilities and supply chain indicates that 99% of our water footprint ties back to the production of our apparel.
When textiles are manufactured, worn, washed, or discarded, they shed microfibers into the air, soil and ocean. These microfibers contain chemicals that have been found at the top of Mount Everest and in the deepest oceans* Damian Carrington, ‘Microplastic pollution found near summit of Mount Everest’, The Guardian, 20 November 2020 & Damian Carrington, ‘Plastic pollution discovered at deepest point of ocean’, The Guardian, 20 December 2018. as well as inside wildlife and humans. * Damian Carrington, ‘People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds’, The Guardian, 5 June 2019. Studies regarding microfiber toxicity and epidemiology continue to emerge * Smith M et al, Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health, Current Environmental Health Reports, 2018. and toxicity levels are unclear. Due to this lack of clarity, scientists urge action against microplastic and microfiber waste.
We have exciting innovations in the pipeline that addresses this very issue, and although we can’t say more at this stage, we are looking forward to taking part in offering solutions that reduce microfiber release.
Water risk 1) Portugal (where 87% of our apparel is produced) - Medium to High. 2) UK (no manufacturing takes place in the UK but this includes our main Warehouse & Headquarters)- Low to Medium. 3) Italy (5% of manufacturing) - Medium to High. 4) Turkey (3% of manufacturing) - Medium to High 5) Romania (1% of manufacturing) - Medium to High 6) China (>.5% of manufacturing) - High 7) Bulgaria (4% of manufacturing) - Highdescribes the possibility of an entity experiencing a water-related challenge (e.g. water scarcity The lack of freshwater resources due to human water consumption. , water stress The inability to meet human or ecological demand for freshwater. , flooding, infrastructure decay, drought). We have identified the water risks associated with our main manufacturing, office, and warehouse facilities which have indicated that we are operating in regions of medium to high water stress.
As we forge ahead with our climate ambitions, we recognize that biodiversity loss and climate change are inextricably linked, and we cannot deliver a comprehensive climate strategy without the inclusion of biodiversity loss mitigation. We aim to map and assess our biodiversity impacts, define how we can improve sourcing strategies to reduce impact, and deliver positive outcomes at field level (Tier 5, including harvesting of raw materials like cotton).
Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you will find in an area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter.
We are committed to engaging wholly with the natural systems that we depend on and aim to contribute to the health and prosperity of these ecosystems.
You can read more about our ongoing support for grassroots NGOs working in biodiversity conservation through the Tomorrow Tree and Bee the Change Funds in the Giving Back chapter.
Within our Innovative Materials & Systems chapter, we also outline the regenerative projects that we are engaged with as part of our efforts to address biodiversity loss within our cellulosic (cotton) supply chain.
2021 was driven by climate science, and focusing our attention on our biggest GHG emissions footprint. We spent a lot of time gathering data for our baseline year and laying the right foundations to help us reach our goals. 2022 will be focused on execution and tangibly get us closer to Earth Positivity across all 3 planetary pillars.
Our decarbonization roadmap kicks into action! Remember, we have made an ambitious goal to reach net zero by 2040, which is 10 years earlier than the industry standard.
We will further develop our Water Stewardship program and expand the scope of our water footprint measurement.
We will dive deeper into how we can implement biodiversity solutions within our supply chain and continue to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity protection on a global scale.