Great examples of what we could all focus on, both personally and in the corporate world.
August 17, 2021
The conversation around reducing our carbon footprint has been around for a while, however, it really has not gained significant traction until the last few years. Today, organizations are doubling down, maintaining and increasing their sustainability efforts.
Whether it be at a personal level, in Government, or across the industry, a carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by actions. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Industrially, transportation is the worst culprit at 29% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Nationally, China is the biggest polluter, with more than 10,065 million tons of CO2 released annually.
For us at Button, it is nice we want to focus on the positive side of the conversation, to be inspired and inspire others, despite so much doom and gloom being reported as of late, especially with the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC).
Here are three organizations that are making a difference, and while it may not be perfect, they could serve as some great examples of what we could all focus on, both personally and in the corporate world.
The City of Vancouver, Canada, produces the lowest greenhouse emissions of any major city in North America and has initiatives for continued environmental improvements. In fact, climate change and an approach to reduce their carbon pollution by 50% by 2030 mean an action plan that had to happen now, thus the name Climate Emergency Action Plan. The City plan builds on their previous climate efforts and focuses on cutting carbon pollution from the biggest local sources - burning fossil fuels in vehicles which represents 39%, and in their buildings at a big 54%.
It means residents, businesses, and the City are all doing their part to transition off fossil fuels. It is designed to make it easier for citizens to live a carbon-free life. The plan will continue to be an organic work in progress as they will gather public input on the actions moving forward to make this an effective and equitable climate plan.
Within the Retail sector, athletic apparel retailing giant Lululemon is making a difference toward an equitable, sustainable future. They have partnered with LanzaTech - a carbon recycling tech company focused on recycling waste carbon emissions to make new products. Brands that choose to bring low carbon chemicals and fuels into their supply chain give consumers a choice where their carbon comes from virgin fossil or recycled. Lululemon saw the value in this and will utilize greenhouse gas produced by a steel mill recycled as the source for the Lululemon fabric, which is similar to the proprietary fabric that it uses for its leggings.
The Alcohol Beverage industry is doing some cool things as well. Air Co, a vodka company based in Brooklyn, sources waste gases and carbon dioxide from beverage manufacturing plants or ethanol factories. The gas is then liquefied and shipped to the company’s facility, where it’s converted to alcohol. Their first product, Air Vodka with natural flavors is sugar-free, carbohydrate-free, gluten-free, impurity-free, and the world’s highest quality and most sustainable spirit, and it's carbon-negative. Their patented technology transforms carbon dioxide captured from the air into impurity-free alcohols that can be used in spirits, fragrances, sanitizers, and a variety of consumer industries.
Is your organization doing anything to help reduced your carbon fiber footprint? We would love to hear about it.