What Does it Mean to be Planet Friendly?
By now, most of us have probably seen David Attenborough’s “witness statement” on Netflix. It is a stark reminder of the damage the planet has already suffered at the hands of humans. We thought the most powerful message was towards the end. This is where Attenborough pointed out that the planet will go on with or without us. But, it is still not too late to make changes. As a society, this means a trade off between convenience and sustainability. It’s time we got more planet friendly.
We began GreenBox with an ethos around natural health and wellness. But we also encircled this with a mission to always do what is right for the planet. The word “Green” in GreenBox doesn’t just reflect our focus on incredible plant based products. It also reflects the fact that everything we do in business has to respect our planet. It has to be green!
We’re excited to share with our community that GreenBox is officially “planet friendly”. We’ve done this with the help of innovative upstart BeZero.
How Can we Do Better?
The starting point for almost all of us is that everything we do, every single day, contributes to the globe’s carbon emissions. So, we can all do better. At GreenBox we are excited to be on that improvement journey and contributing to our planet’s recovery.
Now, there are a growing number of companies claiming to be “carbon neutral”. This can be accomplished by offsetting the carbon it emits by purchasing carbon credits and reducing its existing carbon generating activities. Unfortunately, “carbon neutral” is not enough to halt the damage to the environment and restore biodiversity to the planet.
If we want to effect real change, we also need to strive for “carbon negative”. This means that we take more carbon out of the environment than we add to it. We like to think of this as one component of a planet friendly organization.
At GreenBox, we have committed to offsetting 1.5x our annual footprint. While in parallel running a strategy to reduce carbon in our supply chain. What is “planet friendly”? We think it means not only reducing carbon in the atmosphere, but also eliminating waste wherever possible.
What is Our Carbon Footprint?
GreenBox commissioned BeZero to calculate its June 2019 – June 2020 carbon footprint. BeZero estimated it as 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t/CO2e). This approach is in line with the internationally recognised standards and will be carried out annually. So, GreenBox’s emissions breakdown by scope are:
- Scope 1 (25%, e.g. heating)
- Scope 2 (7%, e.g. electricity)
- Scope 3 (68%, e.g. flights and hotels)
The inclusion of Scope 3 emissions, which are emissions indirectly linked to GreenBox, reflects our commitment to minimizing our overall footprint. Not just what we control directly. BeZero’s approach raises industry standards and promotes best environmental practices. As a result, GreenBox has committed to using BeZero’s innovative framework to offset 1.5x our 2019/20 emissions. This means, for every tonne of carbon our operations creates, we are offsetting it with 1.5 tonnes! And hence, it makes GreenBox a carbon negative business, and more planet friendly.
What Else are We Doing to Be Planet Friendly?
For us, it starts with the green box showing up at your door with all your plant-based goodies. We have gone to great lengths to ensure our packaging is entirely sustainably sourced and fully recyclable. We have tried to think of everything too. So the GreenBox labels, the tissue paper, the kraft tape are also all made from recycled materials and recyclable. Even the packing nuts are fully biodegradable and dissolve in the sink for added fun.
What Does the Future Look Like at GreenBox?
We know it’s not enough for GreenBox alone to be planet friendly. We have to help the brands we sell on this journey too. So, we are partnering with two of the best in the industry, EthicallyBe and BeZero. Together we have created a Brands Sustainability Programme to help brands on GreenBox along the path towards becoming more planet friendly. It covers three main areas:
1. More Sustainable Packaging
It seems we have all ditched plastic straws, but what next in the battle against plastic? It is not always practical to eliminate all plastic in the products we sell. There could be health and safety reasons for plastic in the packaging. For example, the child-proof caps used on the CERIOUS products. So, the key is getting on a path to more sustainable and planet friendly packaging. At the basic level, this means ditching excess plastic packaging or switching to alternatives like glass. We try our best to work with brands who embrace sustainable packaging or are working towards a plastic-free future.
2. Reducing Carbon Footprint
It can be daunting to even know where to start with a reduction strategy. Our view is that it starts with measuring. At GreenBox, we use BeZero to help measure all corporate activities, from travel to heating bills. You have to start somewhere! It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. Estimates are fine and 80% right is better than not doing it at all. So, once you have measured your carbon impact, you can work towards strategies for reducing carbon use. For example, GreenBox is looking to switching to more renewable energy providers at our HQ. While air freight continues to be a disproportionate amount of carbon usage. As a result, we are always on the hunt for locally sourced brands.
3. Replenishing Resources
The loss of biodiversity on the planet is getting more public attention. Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms and brings together the different species and forms of life. However, it is not as simple as just planting more trees. In fact, paying more on your bill for “tree planting” could just be an example of what is called “greenwashing”. This is the process of leading the consumer to think the service/product is more environmentally sound than it is. For planting trees, what if it were palm oil trees? Not exactly what you would call great for the environment or something encouraging biodiversity.
We are in an age of measurement. It’s important for the consumer to understand the impacts of the brands they choose. Our long-term goal is to be the best planet friendly wellness brand for our customers. So, let us support each other in the journey to reverse the damage we have caused to our planet.
Please reach out if you would like to learn more or have feedback on our planet friendly plans!