What does it mean to be carbon neutral?
As a refresher, let’s define what being carbon neutral means, “Essentially, it means that we are removing the same amount of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere as we are producing. This not only means reducing our own emissions, but also offsetting the ones we, as a business, can’t do without,” Prose’s Product Innovation Manager, Anja Stefanović, explains. To determine what efforts are needed to reach carbon neutrality a company’s carbon footprint must be calculated. The footprint is the sum of all carbon emissions tied to company activities such as electricity use, product sourcing, shipping, etc. Once we know how much carbon we’re emitting, we know how much to remove so that our overall carbon output has a sum of zero, rendering us carbon neutral.
How has Prose offset its carbon emissions?
Typically, once a company’s carbon footprint is calculated the offsetting process can begin. But, Prose’s VP of Finance and Operations, Cyrille Deschamp, explains how Prose has had sustainability on the mind since inception, “Something important to note is that Prose’s very existence as a company is an impactful industrial shift when it comes to the reduction of carbon emissions. Why? Simply because we are made-to-order. Instead of guessing how much product our consumers will demand, our consumers tell us exactly how much product to produce. This means nothing goes to waste at Prose, unlike at a traditional beauty brand where 10 to 30 percent of their production goes to waste.” So, by just existing Prose has made an impact, but of course we had no plans of stopping there.
To become carbon neutral we localized our manufacturing and supplier network in the US to ensure our transport of raw material (ingredients, packaging, etc.) is as short as possible, which has contributed to a 15-20 percent reduction in carbon to produce each of our products. We also implemented changes such as:
- Offering an employee relocation bonus to limit the amount of public transportation our employees have to take to arrive to their offices
- Favoring boat shipping as opposed to air for inbound logistics
- Not offering express shipping to our customers
- Continuing to iterate on our packaging to reduce the amount we use and make it all-around more sustainable
Additionally, we worked with Native Energy to fund four carbon offset projects for the remaining emissions we couldn’t do without. Through Native Energy, the public benefit corporation we used to find and fund the carbon offset projects our employees chose, we helped fund the following organizations:
- Memford Springs Grassland Conservation – biodiversity and wildlife protection, carbon sequestration
- Dempsey Ridge Wind – renewable energy
- Laurelbrook Dairy Compost Project – farm methane avoidance
- Capricorn Ridge Wind – wind projects development
Nicole Rosmarino, Executive Director of the Southern Plains Land Trust (Memford Springs) explains the benefits of partnering with Native Energy, “Native’s unique investment structure provides finance when we need it most, enabling us to purchase Jager’s Ranch and accelerate our ability to preserve shortgrass prairie in southeast Colorado, a biodiversity hotspot.”
Mr. Jacquier who oversees the farms at Laurelbrook has this to say about their organization, “We believe the composting operation is the best way to take full advantage of the nutrients in the waste stream while significantly reducing the environmental threat posed by manure decomposition and nutrient run-off. It’s a difficult time to operate a dairy farm, but we take pride in taking the best care of our animals and being good stewards of the land. We’re not the only dairy farmers who are compositing, but it is this sort of innovation that farmers need to consider.”
Prose is proud to support such great causes that work towards a healthier environment and a better future for all.
What’s up next for Prose’s carbon neutral efforts?
We want to ensure we remain carbon neutral through reducing our carbon footprint from the start and offsetting what we cannot, but as a step further we’ve begun working with the non-profit, Climate Neutral to become Climate Neutral Certified. Stay tuned for an announcement when we reach this next milestone.
To celebrate Earth Day this year, Prose will be hosting its first annual sustainability focused panel with other like-minded, eco-friendly brands to have an honest conversation about what it means to be sustainable in today’s society and innovations across fashion, beauty, and wellness. The panel will be hosted by marine biologist and self-proclaimed policy nerd, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. Be sure to tune into Clubhouse here on April 22nd at 5:15PM EST to get in on the conversation.
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