Raw Office is Now Carbon Positive!

Posted by Jeff Golfman on

Raw Office is Now Carbon Positive!

 

At Raw Office, we are committed to using business as a force for good. We believe that taking a leadership and ownership position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is necessary and important.

As such, we are excited to share that we have embarked on an industry first initiative to ensure that the products we sell contribute more benefit to the environment than they cause harm. We have looked at the emissions from the 82,000+ products that we offer, to do a life cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas carbon emissions throughout our value chain. 

We are extra excited to report that at no cost to our clients, we have taken full responsibility for our greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting the emissions associated with every product that we sell. Were even purchasing more carbon credits than we need to make sure we are reducing more greenhouse gas than our sales and distribution create—making us, and your products carbon positive!

Now, every time you make a purchase through Raw Office, we not only purchase enough carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions of your order, but we are also reducing emissions beyond this measure to guarantee we are reducing emissions as a company more than we create them. Best of all its at no cost to our customers. 

We actually started doing this in August 2018, yet we spent the last several months working behind the scenes to fine tune this initiative prior to today’s public release.  

Where do we see the Green House Gas Emissions?

All Raw Office customers with a Raw Switch account and a curated Favorites list will now be able to see the greenhouse gas numbers for all the products they purchase.

Every product page on The Raw Office website shows you how many pounds of greenhouse gas each product produces, and thus how much greenhouse gas we will offset upon purchase of your selection.

 

The emissions calculations we are using take into account the emissions from raw materials, processing, production, intermediate shipping, packaging and delivery to your doorstep. Our life cycle assessments have covered the greenhouse gas emissions from a product’s “cradle,” to the “gate,” or a “Cradle-to-gate” scope of calculation.

 

How does it work?

We are financing two carbon offset projects at no costs to our Raw Office clients.

One is provided by Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Bonneville is a 1% for the Planet non-profit member, and working with them allows us to honor part of our annual commitment to donating 1% of our revenues to environmental non-profits around the world.

Through Bonneville, we are supporting a number of landfill gas recovery projects throughout the American north-west, that capture methane emissions from landfills. When captured, this methane, which is a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is burned and destroyed. When methane is burned, it turns into carbon dioxide, reducing the impact of landfill gas by 30 times. In addition to simply flaring methane, some of Bonneville’s projects use the methane captured to produce energy, avoiding the need to use traditional fossil fuels for power.

We are also supporting landfill gas projects in China through Umwelt-Project-Management GmbH (UPM) Project, a renown German project developer with over 20 years of experience in carbon markets. Half of our offsets fees will be directed to UPM’s landfill gas project in Jiyuan (Northern China). The Jiyuan project not only captures methane, it also provides grid-connected renewable biogas to the local population. The local province is largely fuelled by dirty fossil fuels, and UPM’s project eliminates new fossil fuel development, by capturing naturally occurring biogas from human waste that goes to landfill and using that for energy instead. 

Together, we are helping to find more efficient, renewable forms of energy that are more cost-effective than fossil fuels and distributing them to the parts of the world most likely to otherwise use dirty energy inputs.

 

 What is the methodology?

To make this all possible we worked with Carbon Credit Capital to collect data on the individual products we sell. We analyzed emissions from the stage of the products’ raw materials, the processing of those raw materials into intermediate products, the emissions from manufacture of finished goods as well as the shipping emissions.

We have taken a deep dive into the supply chains of more than 100 of our top selling products across every category we offer to do a life cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions from raw materials, to a final product your doorstep. With these 100+ product emissions calculations, we have extrapolated the carbon calculations explicitly across over 8,500 like-products, and generally across all 82,000+ SKUs available on our platform.

We’ve tracked each products shipping emissions between each stage of production, and from warehouse, to distribution center, to your office. Our calculations were made with data from our own operations, our distributors, and our product manufacturers. Where specific data points were unavailable, such as the exact plastic mixture of a pen, we used publicly available information on materials processing, and proprietary emissions factors provided by Carbon Credit Capital to create the most accurate as possible.

 

What’s Next?

In the near future, we will release new features that will provide metrics for you to track your cumulative green house gas emissions and reductions over time on your user dashboard.

On a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, we will add up all of the emissions of every product that you buy and will show you the environmental impact of the purchases and how much carbon has been reduced through your purchases.

Soon we will also allow you to track percentage recycled content, number of locally made items and total eco items that your have purchased over time.

Stay tuned for announcements on the launch date for these exciting features.

We also plan to continue to further refine and develop specific product calculations for every one of our 82,000+ products, and we will update the calculations we have already made as more primary data becomes available from our distributors and manufacturers. As we progress towards exact product emissions calculations, we welcome collaboration with the OEMs we distribute to help us replace our assumptions with transparent data about their own emissions outputs. 

 

 About our partners, Carbon Credit Capital:

Carbon Credit Capital is a Manhattan-based carbon footprint management company with over 10 years of experience in voluntary carbon markets.

They help companies calculate the carbon footprint of their operations, products, and services, and develop carbon pricing models for brands and consumers alike to make everyday purchases carbon neutral.

The world-class carbon offset projects they support not only reduce emissions, but also provide local communities with healthier environments, economies, and futures.

Carbon Credit Capital is on a mission to increase global understanding and adoption of carbon emissions reductions strategies that help corporations, universities, non-profits, individuals and governmental bodies reduce their carbon emissions towards zero, in ways that are logistically feasible and financially affordable.

Emissions Calculations Assumptions:

If you are interested to learn more, you can find a list of our assumptions made to make the calculations that make this all possible below:

*Emissions from inbound raw materials procurement is the average emissions from all products’ point of manufacture to port of destination trucking emissions, and is applied to all products universal

* Point of origin for products is designated as capital of origin country, or most well known manufacturing hub within origin country;

* Port of origin is designated as the nearest international port to the origin city;

* Mode of transportation from city to port of origin is designated as by truck;

* Port of destination is designated as one of three potential international US ports (Los Angeles, California; Progreso, Texas; New York, New York);

* Products are shipped from their ports of origin to the nearest port of destination (Los Angeles, Progreso, or New York);

* Distances from port of destination to regional distribution centers are averages calculated as the average distance between the port of destination and all distribution centers within a designated area of the United States;

* Distances from distribution center to customer are averages calculated by taking all TRO customer locations, and averaging their distance from the nearest distribution center;

* All shipping emissions incorporate US short ton-miles as a unit of measure;
Electricity and Natural Gas use in manufacturing are based on averages pulled from similar calculations CCC has made in the past; an emissions per pound of manufactured good ratio is used;

* Because product materials and/or ingredients are not disclosed to Raw Office or CCC, CCC has made assumptions about the materials and percentages of those materials used in the total product make up on a product-by-product basis;

* Materials calculations and emissions factors use EcoInvent and CCalC2 databases;

* CCC assumes a packaging and bulk packaging weight of net 1% through 10% of product packaging, depending on the specific product (a single ink cartridge comes with a large amount of packaging, while a ream of paper comes with very little);

* Each product calculated is assigned to a product category;

* Products not subjected to life cycle assessment are assigned emissions factors based on like-products’ calculated emissions factors and weight ratios.

 


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