Carbon neutral since 2015
We decided to become a carbon neutral company in 2021 to help stabilise the climate as fast as possible. Given the climate emergency, we also wanted to compensate for our historical carbon emissions since 2015.
The whole team has enthusiastically and humbly taken on this new status, which we think of as a starting point rather than an end. This page tells you how we became carbon neutral!
Why is it important to become carbon neutral?
To implement the Paris Agreement: The Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) and set the goal of climate neutrality for the global economy by 2050. Now ratified by over 180 countries, it aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by reducing the overproduction of CO2 (carbon dioxide).
To limit global warming: The overproduction of CO2 (carbon dioxide) due to our production methods and consumption patterns is the main culprit in global warming. This temperature increase devastates the Earth and causes a range of climate disasters: droughts, flooding, cyclones, melting glaciers, extinct animals, etc.
The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon needed for life on Earth. Without it, the planet's temperature would be -18°C, compared to the current average of 15°C. The Earth gets energy from sunlight. Sun rays travel across the gassy atmosphere to the Earth's surface. The air, oceans and ground absorb their energy. This energy is given out as heat (infrared rays). Greenhouse gases (including CO2) retain these infrared rays and push them back towards the Earth's surface. This phenomenon helps heat the planet naturally. However, the overproduction of greenhouse gases like CO2 generated by human activity causes a climate imbalance.
The Annual Report from the World Meteorological Organization (a UN agency) states: "The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 [above 400 ppm] was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3°C warmer and the sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now". We must act now.
"Our children must be able to enjoy the delights of hiking, running, whizzing along, climbing and exploring a healthy planet. This is why we've decided to take action and quickly become carbon neutral." Julien JEREMIE - Hardloop Co-Founder
How did Hardloop become carbon neutral?
Step 1: Calculate our emissions
To become climate neutral, first we created our Carbon Report in collaboration with ClimatePartner (an independent climate protection specialist). To begin, we looked at our direct emissions (linked to heating: Scope 1) and indirect emissions from bought energy (electricity: Scope 2). Then, we added indirect emissions over which we have less control (business travel, servers, homeworking, etc: Scope 3). Emissions associated with products (packaging and customer delivery) were also assessed and included.
Our carbon emissions were calculated in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Step 2: Reduce our emissions
To reach the COP21 goal and achieve a climate neutral world, we all need to reduce our emissions. This is why we're doing various things to decrease our emissions: commuting by bike, using green energy, recycling or reusing cardboard, working more from home, having 15% of products ecodesigned (with 90% to be ecodesigned by 2023)... And this is just the start! Despite all our efforts, we still generate some emissions that we haven't been able to eliminate. So, we have to offset them if we want to be climate neutral.
Step 3: Offset our CO2 emissions
Once we had our Carbon Report, to compensate for our emissions, we looked for projects helping to reduce the amount of CO2in the atmosphere to protect the climate. Having been doing our bit to look after the planet through recycling and tree planting since we launched, we naturally decided to support three projects to help offset our CO2 emissions:
What is a "carbon neutral company"?
A carbon neutral company is a business whose CO2 emissions have been calculated and offset via internationally recognised climate protection projects. CO2 offsetting comes after prevention and reduction, and is a key stage in any comprehensive approach to climate protection.
Greenhouse gases like CO2 are distributed evenly through the atmosphere, so their concentration is roughly the same everywhere. This means greenhouse gas concentrations and the overall greenhouse effect aren't impacted by where emissions are generated or eliminated.
As a result, you can offset emissions that can't be avoided locally with climate protection projects in another location.
What is a climate protection project?
Climate protection projects play a key role in combatting global warming by reducing greenhouse gases through a certified process. These projects can help protect forests, contribute to reforestation, or help develop renewable energies. They also contribute to sustainable development in countries where they operate, such as by improving the provision of safe drinking water or developing local infrastructure by creating jobs or preserving biodiversity.
The UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an internationally recognised tool for assessing these benefits. They cover different areas from ending poverty and hunger to accessing education and employment, and developing clean energy that's accessible to all.
Climate protection projects selected must meet internationally recognised standards and so be certified and verified against stringent standards like the "Gold Standard" and "Verified Carbon Standard" (VCS). This way, the projects can be guaranteed to be in line with and regularly checked against the climate protection goals. One of the main principles is that projects should have a tangible effect and help reduce CO2 emissions measurably in the atmosphere.
The following criteria must be met for an initiative to count as a climate protection project:
Additionality: Only projects dependent on extra financial assistance are eligible. This means they must only be possible thanks to compensation received in exchange for CO2 reductions. Projects must be entirely funded by emissions quota sales and it must be proved that no other funding options are available. Projects that are profitable and can also run without this revenue do not meet the criteria and so can't be used to offset CO2 emissions.
Double counting exclusion: CO2 reductions must only be counted once and shouldn't have been counted elsewhere. The project owner is responsible for this. As a result, a solar power plant producing green electricity can't be involved in a climate protection project because the electricity generated using renewable energy is already counted in national emission reduction goals in Germany.
Permanence: Emission reductions should last for a certain time. This is particularly important for reforestation and forest protection projects: the project owner must ensure that locations are protected for several tens of years. Forests that are going to be cleared using fire and converted into pastureland in the short term can't be involved in a climate protection project.
Checks by independent auditors: Climate protection projects must receive regular audits covering all these criteria and carried out by independent third parties like TÜVs, PwC or SGS. Auditors make sure standards are met and measure CO2 reductions achieved. Projects regularly issue progress reports as a result.
"But we know this isn't enough and we're far from perfect. While there’s still a long way to go with you and with our partners, we’re sure we’re going in the right direction... We all need to consume less, but better!" Guillaume RICHARD - Hardloop Co-Founder