A small business can offset carbon emissions too

Why are we sharing this?

Transparency is a core principle of ours, and when it comes to impact as an ethical brand, we’re not just talk. See below our methodology to offset the carbon from our supply chain. Caution: this content is only for the die hard eco-warrior.

Calculating our CO2 offsets

What may sound like a simple research task is actually extremely complex and time-consuming. To simplify things, we’ll look at how we calculated the carbon footprint of our glass soap dispensers.

Our Methodology

To calculate our CO2 emissions, we use the cradle-to-cradle methodology. It’s the most stringent calculation method as it includes everything from the fuel used to mine limestone used to make glass, to the electricity emissions associated with recycling the bottles, and everything in between. This is what’s known as a Life-cycle Assessment (LCA).

The Complications

The calculation challenges arise throughout the cradle-to-cradle process.

Let’s start with the mining of the raw materials. Were trees cut down to make way for the mine? How much fuel was used to extract the minerals?

During manufacture. Is the factory running on coal-fired electricity? Does the factory use efficient machines?

When shipping the bottles to our customers, did the product ship via plane, ship or truck? How far did the product travel from the distribution centre?

And finally, how many glass bottles will be recycled? How many will be thrown into landfill?

Our Solution

Performing a full cradle-to-cradle analysis on each of products would cost more than US$200,000 and would take 3-6 months. We’d rather spend this on our Tirtyl Tip Program. Thankfully, much wealthier organisations have conducted their own cradle-to-cradle assessments on similar products, leaving us a series of benchmarks from which we can estimate our emissions.

In the case of our glass bottle. We used two benchmarks and some simple math to estimate the CO2 footprint.

Bottle WeightCradle-to-cradle CO2 emissionsEmissions FactorSource
1kg1200g120%Glass Packaging Institute
1kg1090g109%AIGMF India
Tirtyl Glass Bottle
190g * 114.5% = 217.55g114.5% (Avg.) 

We then performed the same benchmarking with every component of our product suite to calculate our total CO2 emissions.

After subtracting the CO2 offsets from our office solar system, we offset the remainder of our CO2 footprint through our partnership with Greenfleet Australia who perform reforestation initiatives in Koala habitats close to our Australia HQ.