The activewear market has a great deal of power over how we shape our fitness routines, attitudes about ourselves and can inspire us to live more active and healthier lives. It also shapes our climate and the species that depend on it. And that’s the very reason why we created Tripulse - to make activewear that’s not only good for our bodies, but also for our planet and all the species that live on it.
Our journey towards becoming Climate Neutral meant carefully building our supply chain from the ground up to ensure that it’s not only ethical, but also with the lowest environmental impact possible and with very low CO2 emissions from the very start. We then measured, offset and further reduce our emissions throughout our entire supply chain to arrive at net zero carbon emissions that made us Climate Neutral.
But the work doesn’t stop here and we have to keep on putting in the efforts to reduce our emissions to the lowest point possible and to offset the remains - a work in progress that will and should never end, especially as we grow as a brand.
What does Climate Neutral mean?
Through our holistic sustainability approach we have brought the CO2 emissions connected to our brand to a very low level from the very start. But there are still CO2 emissions that occur as part of running a business and producing products.
Climate Neutral refers to taking climate action by removing our carbon footprint throughout our company’s activities, from raw materials extraction all the way to delivering our clothes.
Specifically, we had to balance the greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain so that we were releasing equal to or less than the emissions that are removed naturally through the planet’s natural absorption. And we did this through offsetting our emissions, purchasing carbon credits and investing these in nature-based projects that capture carbon.
Why is becoming Climate Neutral so important?
Because we simply don’t have time to waste.
Globally, we emit almost 60 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. These are the carbon emissions that cause climate change, and the fashion industry, including the production of all the clothes which people wear, is responsible for around 10% of these emissions due to the resources and energy required to make and deliver the products (read more details about it here).
How can forests help reduce climate change?
Forest ecosystems are particularly important for helping reduce climate change.
They sequester carbon dioxide right out of the atmosphere and store it in their mass through photosynthesis. The IUCN reports (1):
- Forests are vital for the carbon cycle through stabilizing our climate and enabling ecosystems to thrive.
- Limiting deforestation and restoring the forests that currently exist may help one-third of all climate action initiatives set to be achieved by 2030.
- 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2 could potentially be absorbed from the atmosphere by restoring 350 million hectares of land that has been lost to deforestation.
Uncontrolled and unsustainable deforestation from logging is an increasing threat to our planet’s climate and forest biodiversity. Given that our materials originate from the forests and forests are the lifeblood of our planet, we feel a big responsibility to do everything we can to help minimise unsustainable deforestation, protect old growth forest and to restore forests by planting new trees.
But there's also a social aspect to protecting forests. Local communities often depend on timber harvesting for their livelihood in some of the world’s most biodiverse regions.
To tackle this puzzle, we offset our 2020 emissions by supporting projects in Papua New Guinea, Peru, Colombia and Mexico that both helped diversify local economies, provide a livelihood for the locals, and at the same time reduce unsustainable deforestation and capture carbon.
We will go into detail about these projects and their impact further along, but first we need to clarify what we mean by ‘offset emissions’.
How does offsetting emissions tackle climate change?
Climate neutral means reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Given the technology available today, producing products and running a business requires energy, and the current state of technology innovation in the fashion industry is not that advanced yet that all can be achieved through purely renewable energy that brings the CO2 emissions down to zero.
While we already do as much as we can with the resources we have to bring the CO2 emissions to a minimum, such as working with suppliers who use renewable energy and working mostly remotely, we’re still releasing CO2 emissions. In fact, our 2020 emissions are 16 tonnes.
Since our aim is to be net zero or even carbon negative, we decided to partner up and get certified with the NGO Climate Neutral that helped us invest in global emission reductions outside of our company which focus on nature-based offsetting solutions.
First, Climate Neutral required us to calculate our 2020 emissions. We then purchased carbon credits, equal to one metric ton of carbon emissions removed or avoided from the atmosphere, to help us become neutral. This, of course, demands a strong verification system by third parties to ensure that Climate Neutral is accurately helping us offset emissions.
Who verifies carbon credits?
Carbon credits are achieved through specific offset projects that help the removal or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Neutral follows strict verification methods when selecting these offset projects in line with the following standards:
- Verified Carbon Standard (2)
- American Carbon Registry (3)
- Gold Standard (4)
- Clean Development Mechanism (5)
- Climate Action Reserve (6)
The criteria for generating carbon credits requires that they are ‘real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable, and additional’ by these independent third parties. These peer-reviewed standards oversaw the three steps we took towards reaching climate neutrality realized over a period of 1-3 months. Read our previous blog post about how we measured, offset and reduced our emissions here.
What’s the impact of offsetting our emissions in developing countries’ forest ecosystems?
Regions in the tropics hold some of the largest biodiverse forest ecosystems in the world.
A 2018 study of biodiversity in the tropics shares that tropical latitudes in ‘their terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems hold more than three-quarters of all species, including almost all shallow-water corals and over 90% of terrestrial birds’ (7).
But these high impact areas are being affected severely by socio-economic pressures from both local and global communities as they develop, such as deforestation and land degradation.
The projects through which we generate carbon credits help high impact areas get revenue through sustainable development. In essence, it helps the local economy to grow while letting the forest do the same.
Which projects did we invest in?
Here are the projects through which we offset our emissions and that create a positive impact for our planet and people:
Project 1: Avoided Deforestation in Papua New Guinea
We’ve invested in the NIHT Topaiyo Project in Papua New Guinea as a way to reduce the local economy’s reliance on industrial timber harvesting. The country is one of the world’s largest sources for tropical timber wood, which means the locals rely heavily on deforestation to help grow their economy. The project helps to diversify their work into more sustainable agriculture, while reinvesting 81% of net revenues into green energy, their institutions and scientific research. (8)
Project 2: Brazil Nut Concessions
The Brazil Nut Concessions Project helps protect the local forest ecosystem in the Peruvian Amazon Forest, a region highly affected by deforestation and the knock on effect of biodiversity loss. Brazil nuts cultivation depends on old growth rainforests, and the local community depends on Brazil nuts for revenue. Here again is another way local economics, forest ecosystems and community efforts can work together to create sustainable growth. The project’s goal is to create incentives for the locals to implement more sustainable cultivation practices through education about the Amazon rainforest’s ecosystems. (9)
Project 3: Avoided Deforestation in Colombia
The Mutatá Project is based in Colombia's Chocó-Darién ecoregion, where illegal logging is threatening the rich biodiversity. The goal is to change the local economy’s dependence on timber harvesting and putting more emphasis on making local fisheries and cocoa plantations a new source of income. Investments are being made into forest management practices as well as into the local institutions to promote better health, education, infrastructure and gender equality. (10)
Project 4: Avoided Deforestation in Colombia
The Bajo Calima y Bahía Málaga Project aims to eliminate deforestation in Colombia’s Pacific coast through helping the local community develop sustainable forestry, silviculture and mollusk farming. This would reduce their need to negatively impact the rich biodiversity in the region through deforestation. Landowners in the region are deeply involved in the project as project management needs to be done locally. Community improvement programs are included in the project to develop better local health and infrastructure. (11)
Project 5: Forestry in Mexico
The Los Bancos Improved Forestry Management Project is a community-led effort to protect Northern Mexico’s pine tree forests. The plan is to avoid timber harvesting, up to 30% in the coming decade. The project employs the local community, invests in local infrastructure and gives vital knowledge about forest management, encouraging conservation and forest fire prevention.
Our carbon offsets drive immediate investment into climate change solutions, like tree plantings or renewable energy projects, while we constantly work on further reducing our emissions from our supply chain down to delivery.
Our goal is not only to reduce our own carbon emissions but to help create a sustainable activewear industry where everyone’s consumption choices are benefiting our climate.
Interested in learning more about the sustainable materials we use in our activewear? Learn how we use a very functional and eco-friendly stretch called Roica 550 to avoid conventional elastane and use a biodegradable high-performance Tencel fabric that leaves no microplastic in the environment and elevates your workout experience.