Sustainability 101: what is a carbon label?
It's been almost two years since we introduced carbon labels, or sustainability facts, on the boxes for our products. Below, we're breaking down why we have carbon labels, what they measure, and how they help us set and achieve our sustainability goals.
What is the point of a carbon label?
By measuring a product's carbon footprint, we're able to better understand its environmental impact and set tangible sustainability goals.
Greenwashing (claiming to be clean, carbon neutral, eco-friendly, or sustainable without research and data to back it up) is quite prevalent in the beauty industry. Cocokind is different than other brands because we will never claim to be these things without a deep understanding of our impact at a product and company level.
What does a carbon label measure?
A carbon label evaluates the overall environmental impact of a product by breaking down its life cycle. These are the life cycle stages we measure:
- Pre-manufacturing: Understanding the environmental impact of producing our raw material ingredients and packaging components, and being intentional with how we source. This work helps us select what suppliers we choose to work with, based on alignment with our ethical and environmental standards.
- Production: We produce our products using ethical labor, fair pay, safe manufacturing, and with a continuous effort towards minimizing waste, energy, and materials used.
- Distribution: Our distribution includes our online store and retail partners, and we look to create efficient distribution routes to the end consumer to eliminate unnecessary emissions.
- Disposal (end-of-life): We consider the end-of-life impact when making supply chain decisions, such as evaluating an ingredient or component’s ability to be upcycled, recycled, or reused. This includes prioritizing:
- Using upcycled materials
- Using recyclable materials
- Using materials that reduce carbon emissions as compared to virgin plastic counterparts
- Encouraging consumers to reuse our containers
- Educating how to properly recycle
How is the product's carbon footprint calculated?
A product's carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced or used throughout its life cycle, from pre-production through end-of-life.
We work with a third-party research firm to audit the footprint of our products:
- We provide data and details regarding our products' raw materials, components, packaging, manufacturing processes, transportation, and sales channels.
- A third-party audit firm completes the life cycle analysis and carbon conversions for a product based on the data provided. This research also leverages published scientific research and public databases on the carbon emissions of materials, such as the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database (USLCI). When we do not have exact data, we use data from comparable materials that we can find from publicly available resources.
- All greenhouse gas emissions are converted into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) based on conversion factors published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- The total emissions from the product are then divided by its lifetime number of uses to generate the carbon emissions per use
How to read our sustainability facts:
With sustainability, there is no final destination. It is an ongoing journey of measuring, goal setting, and improving practices, and we're committed to going the distance! Thank you for being on this journey with us.