We are Carbon Neutral!
The Organic Box is committed to achieving a sustainable business model, and being an environmental leader within our local food community. This means minimizing our impact on the environment through the prevention of chemical use in food production, sourcing local, sustainably produced food in season, and having no net impact on climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases. It is our belief that we need to be conscious of where our food comes from, as well as be stewards of our planet, so that our future generations can live healthier, and better lives.
Teaming up with organizations like Climate Smart Business, Bullfrog Power, and Less Emissions, we have defined a strategy for us to achieve our vision of carbon neutrality while minimizing environmental impact. The Organic Box achieves this through the following steps:
- Buying local, organic produce and grocery as often as possible.
- Working with local farmers and producers to extend our growing and storage seasons.
- Measuring our annual carbon emissions through the Climate Smart Business program.
- Establishing carbon reduction strategies to decrease our footprint, year over year.
- Working with the companies Bullfrog Power and Less to offset our measured emissions and become carbon neutral.
Measuring Carbon Emissions:
Through the Climate Smart Business Program (http://www.climatesmartbusiness.com) The Organic Box accurately measured it’s carbon emissions for the operating year of 2010, and for 2011. We are currently gathering data to measure our 2012 annual emissions.
The Climate Smart Business Program is an intensive look at our companies annual carbon footprint, and with their guidance we are able to find strategies to increase our efficiency. This not only helps us become sustainable, but also saves us money. Below is a description of our year over year emissions:
The Organic Box carbon emissions:
2010 - 30.41 CO2e 2011 - 115.14 CO2e 2012 - calculations in progress
Although this looks like an explosive increase in carbon emissions, it closely reflexes our growth. 2010 was reported for an 8 month period, while 2011 was a full 12 months and included an increase in delivery vans, working days, and employees. In respect to our revenue, 2011 actually saw an 8% reduction in carbon emissions! And we hope to see even more in 2012. We also saw decreases in our electricity and waste emissions, while heat and employee tranport emissions were unchanged.
Working with Climate Smart Business we have defined several areas where we can work on reducing our carbon footprint and become a more sustainable business. These include:
- Move to a new, higher efficiency warehouse, and continually improve its efficiency.
- This was accomplished in May 2012, and during renovations we installed recycled laminate flooring, resealed all windows, installed high efficiency lighting in the warehouse and office, and constructed an isolated loading bay.
- Build an online version of our weekly newsletter. This gives our customers a paperless option for our recipes and updates.
- This was completed in mid 2012 - you can now choose to have your newsletter emailed only to you and no paper copy included in your box.
- Switch to using ultra low emission paper called Step Forward. It is FSC - certified, and uses 80% wheat straw.
- Decrease the frequency with which we receive transported goods through strict inventory management and transport planning.
- Use route planning software and GPS tracking to optimize route planning for our delivery vans.
- This is something that we have done since 2010, but are continuing to upgrade and improve on. In the winter of 2012 we selected a new route planning platform and software package that is fully integrated with our website and all six of our delivery vans.
- Switch the heating and cooling instrastructure on our farm in BC away from oil and solid-fuel to natural gas and efficient electric options.
- The farm house and barn were successfully converted to natural gas heating in 2012. The outbuildings will be completed in 2013 and a new compressor and evaporators were installed in the barn fruit cooler to reduce power consumption in the summer of 2012.
- Extensive revovations of our farm outbuildings to improve insulation, windows and energy efficiency.
- Align the entire company to our vision of sustainability through presentations on workplace habits to reduce our environmental impact.
The Organic Box is bullfrogpowered® with 100% green electricity and 100% green natural gas. In 2011 alone, we offset 27.08 tonnes of carbon via the Bullfrog Power program, which helped decrease our net emissions total to 88.07 CO2e.
This means Bullfrog Power’s producers inject green electricity and green natural gas into the respective energy systems to match the amount of electricity and natural gas our organization uses. In Alberta, Bullfrog’s electricity comes exclusively from wind facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogoTM program—instead of from higher polluting sources like coal and natural gas. A clean, renewable alternative to fossil-fuel based natural gas, Bullfrog’s green natural gas is produced in Canada from biogas facilities that have met strict environmental criteria as defined by ICF International.
By choosing green energy, we are reducing our organization’s impact on the environment, supporting the development of new renewable generation in Canada and helping to create a cleaner world.
We invite you to visit the Bullfrog Power website at www.bullfrogpower.com for more information.
The Organic Box has partnered with Less Emissions to offset our 2010 and 2011 emissions footprint. After every effort was taken to reduce our emissions footprint, including purchasing 100% green electricity and 100% green natural gas from Bullfrog Power, we have purchased Canadian carbon offsets from Less for all remaining emissions for the 2011 year.
Less Emissions’ Canadian-based carbon offsets are sourced from the Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission's (FRSWC) Landfill Gas Management System, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gases created by landfill waste. These VER+-certified offsets support a project that voluntarily captures and flares the landfill gas emitted by the waste, eliminating approximately 45,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from the atmosphere each year—emissions that would have otherwise been released into the environment.
Less Emissions is Canada’s leading provider of the highest quality carbon offsets. Less Emissions flight offset program, Lessen My Flight,™ is also the only offset program certified by Environment Canada’s EcoLogoM program. Less provides businesses and individuals interested in lessening their environmental footprint with the option to offset emissions related to specific flights, or buy by the tonne.
To find out more on Less please visit www.less.ca