Measure, Reduce, Offset
We have a plan to eliminate our products’ carbon footprint, and it’s already in action. First, we measure the emissions of everything from their raw materials to their end of life. Next, we reduce our impact by incorporating things like natural and recycled materials. And finally, we offset the little bit that’s left with carbon offsets, making Allbirds a completely carbon neutral business. But our goal is bigger—emit no carbon in the first place. We can create a sustainable future, but only if we hold each other accountable.
What’s In A Footprint?
Well, our carbon footprint is the kg CO2e emitted to create our products. That stands for kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. And it means we’re tallying all greenhouse gases and converting them to CO2 when measuring the environmental impact of all our products from now on. So when we say the average footprint of our products is 7.6 kg CO2e (reminder: that means “carbon dioxide equivalent emissions”—a mouthful, we know), we’re saying we’re keeping tabs on things like methane emissions, too, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
We measure four different things to get the numbers that end up on our products: materials, manufacturing, product use, and end of life. We measure transportation, too, but report that separately in our company-wide emissions.
Still curious? Our friend Bret McKenzie helped us go a little deeper in our What’s In A Footprint video breakdown.
Our Carbon Footprint
The result of those measurements? Our products’ Carbon Footprint. The total amount of CO2e (remember what that stands for? hint: it’s “carbon dioxide equivalent emissions”) emitted to create each Allbirds product, before we offset that number to zero. We’re putting our numbers on display for the world to see, just like nutrition labels on food. Because knowing our footprint is the first step towards driving it to zero.
How Does Our Footprint Measure Up?
A standard sneaker has a carbon footprint of 12.5 kg CO2e. And the average carbon footprint of all of our products is 7.6 kg CO2e. Okay, well, what’s all that mean? We hear you, the numbers don’t say all that much without some context. So if you’re curious how our average footprint of 7.6 kg CO2e stacks up with your everyday life, it’s about the same amount of emissions emitted by…
・Driving 19 miles in a car
・Running 5 loads of laundry in the dryer
・Making 22 chocolate bars
Our ambition is to be like a tree, leaving the environment cleaner than we found it. That's why we believe in the power of natural materials, and their potential to transform ecosystems. We’re looking beyond carbon neutrality, which means eventually, our business will be carbon negative.
As we work to drive emissions to zero, we believe that we—and all businesses, really—should be held accountable for our environmental impact. So until we reach our goal of zero, we’re taxing ourselves for the carbon we do emit, and investing in offsets to fund projects that neutralize our footprint.