Our Responsibility: climate action, water health, biodiversity

Our planet is perfectly balanced to sustain life. Lucky us!

A tree branch in the sun with a blue sky background
Image by PANGAIA

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.

Our focus

Climate Action

  • Combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3.
  • Investing in innovative solutions to sequester GHG emissions to align with progressive thinking on science-based targets.

Water Health

  • Reducing our water footprint and improving water quality across our value chain.
  • Transitioning away from harmful pollution, including chemical, plastic, and microfiber waste.

Biodiversity

  • Protecting and restoring biodiversity through initiatives like regenerative sourcing.
  • Evaluating the impact of the business on our environment and ways of mitigating it.

Environmental Footprint

A group of tree tops
Image by PANGAIA

To understand where we must focus our efforts, we begin with mapping and measuring our environmental footprint using the following methodologies:

  • The implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) to track Energy supply and use, water consumption, and waste across our business operations.
  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) of our main material and product ranges, tracking 13 metrics including Global Warming Potential, Blue Water Consumption, and Energy Demand.
  • GHG Emission Accounting and reduction roadmap, where we leveraged information from the EMS, LCAs, and additional data shared by our partners to set targets aligned with science-based targets.

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.

Climate Action

Water
Image by PANGAIA

While Greenhouse Gases (GHG) 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.

Our carbon commitments

  • Net-zero across our own operations by 2025 (scope 1)

  • Reduce our emissions by half by 2030 (scope 1-3)

  • Achieve Net Zero by 2040 (scope 1-3)

Our climate action journey

We’re outlining our climate action journey:

So, how will we reduce our overall emissions by half by 2030 and to net zero by 2040?

Our 2021 impact assessment identified our biggest hotspots. Our climate strategy will, over time, phase out non-renewable energy and increase energy efficiency, investment in carbon sinking projects, and other initiatives. Finally, any unmitigated carbon emissions will be addressed by using good quality offsets.

Understanding our GHG footprint

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.

PANGAIA scope 1, 2, 3 Emissions 2021

Our partners on this journey:

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.

38%

Goods For Resale

36%

Downstream transportation and distribution

21%

Goods Not For Resale

3%

Retail Pop Ups

2%

Upstream transportation and distribution Business travel

0,4%

Gas Electricity Employee commuting

Scope 1-2 emissions

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.

Scope 3 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.

Balancing the need for action

We are under no illusions. We know our new plan will take time to achieve and will require engagement with suppliers, business partners, and customers to innovate, disrupt and influence.

Image by PANGAIA

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.


These are the criteria we reference when selecting carbon offsets.

1. No Harm

  • The project does not result in any environmental damage or detrimental impact on local communities.

2. Co-benefiting

  • Projects should support more that just GHG reduction, for example for PANGAIA this may be nature-based solutions, with elements of ecosystem and biodiversity regeneration or restoration.
  • They generate a tangible and demonstrable socio-economic benefit for local communities in which they are based.
  • Benefiting 'partners' should be identifiable and specific, and engaged members of the local community.

3. Quantifiable

  • Volume of GHG gases removed are measurable, on a frequent and regular basis (at least annually).
  • Methods of quantification are well understood and scientifically aligned.

4. Additional

  • No double counting. Project would not have occurred without specific funding, ideally with project specification and design input from purchasing company.

5. Verifiable

  • Third-party, independent assurance against an agreed verification protocol.
  • Gold Standard or VPS is a good place to start.

6. Leakage

  • The net result of the project is not an increase in emissions elsewhere in the value chain.
  • The project does not lock in emissions or long-term fossil fuel consumption.

7. Permanent

  • Emissions removal should seek to be as permanent as possible.
  • The longevity of the project is carefully considered before procurement and as part of portfolio planning. Long-lived storage is preferred.
  • Risk of reversal is mitigated, e.g. through a buffer mechanism and switching projects where necessary.
  • Project performance is continuously monitored, following internationally recognized protocols.

Water Health

The essential element for our survival.

While the majority of our focus was on GHG emissions in 2021, we are aware that our environmental footprint is much broader than this, and over time we will hold ourselves accountable across many metrics, including our water footprint.

We have begun building our Water Stewardship program. We still have a long way to go to accurately benchmark and report on the full picture, but here is what we can share of our commitment so far.

Our Goals

How is water material to PANGAIA?

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.

A note on Microfiber Pollution

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

Water risk 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 water scarcity The lack of freshwater resources due to human water consumption. , water stress 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.

This knowledge guides our conversations with our partners regarding their own water stewardship programs and will help us build collaborative programs across our water stewardship goals. The Roadmap to get there:

Biodiversity

A pledge to all living things

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).

What do we mean by biodiversity?

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.

How we are thinking about biodiversity

  • Embrace organic and regenerative practices.
  • Actively restore ecosystems, and protect wildlife and local habitats.
  • Ensure animal welfare standards are respected.
  • Support soil health.
  • Conscious land use and forest management moving away from irresponsible conversion.

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.

Key progress markers

  • Upgraded our Environmental Management System (EMS).
  • Measured and quantified GHG emissions across scope 1-3.
  • Developed our decarbonization roadmap in line with science-based targets.
  • Started mapping our water footprint, evaluating water risk, and building our Water Stewardship program.
  • Started collecting biodiversity data to inform our biodiversity strategy.
  • Ensured that all our retail pop-ups were carbon neutral.

Going forward

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.

Climate Action

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.

Water Health

We will further develop our Water Stewardship program and expand the scope of our water footprint measurement.

Biodiversity

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.