Carbon Footprint FAQ
My Boutique is 100% committed to identifying and measuring its carbon footprint and is taking steps to become a carbon neutral business in 2020.
But, what does this mean?
By lighting and heating our stores; by using cars, trains and occasional air travel to see new collections and visit stockists; and even by just coming to work each day, our activities produce climate impacting CO2. Plus, every time new stock is sent to us (by air, rail, boat or road) climate impacting CO2 is generated in differing quantities based on shipping method (air is worst) and package weight. And, every time you order online, there is an environmental cost in dispatching your order to you in addition to the “carbon cost” of the packaging materials we use - even recycled packaging and efficient delivery carriers requires energy (e.g. diesel fuel) and this carries a carbon footprint.
We began by listing all of our individual activities, recording their type and counting how often these occur - it has been a bit of a big job! By using established carbon emission data and formulas for measurement, we have been able to determine our current business net carbon footprint is about 71 tonnes of CO2 for the 2019 year.
Is 71 tonnes a lot?
Compared to other small & medium sized retail groups, large corporations or in cases, countries, our impact is far too small to be able to measure - but we think anything over zero is bad as this represents an (avoidable) contribution to climate change.
Are these measurements accurate and what isn’t counted?
We measure and record all the activities that are part of our business and so, for example, we don’t count the cost of manufacturing mailing bags we use to dispatch online orders to you – that is something the manufacturer does and because of this, we “prefer” to buy from manufacturers who use recycled materials, are most local; and who also have a published commitment to measuring and reducing their own carbon footprints. In this example, we do, however, record and measure the carbon footprint of getting the mailing bags to us (and everything else we buy in) and then we add on the carbon footprint of getting your orders to you.
Because we undertake tens of thousands of transactions, we are not currently able to carbon footprint measure every single individual record – so instead we measure distinct blocks (e.g. Lysse leggings or Italian made knitwear or clothing hangers) and generate sensible averages (e.g. average delivery distance and/or average weight of stock per box received and/or average weight of cardboard sent for recycling) to generate carbon footprint figures. We have run various tests and believe that our blocks are sufficiently distinct with any necessary assumptions cautiously sensible so that our total business carbon footprint is really very close, if not perhaps a little overstated.
How can Customers help?
With a proportion of our carbon footprint due to the delivery of online orders, it was immediately obvious that we need to take action to counteract this impact - which is why we have started our Tree-planting initiatives – and we also recognise how important it is to encourage shoppers of all goods to buy more from environmentally aware businesses (who are carbon neutral, or better) rather than shop with those who are not and to combine orders, when possible.
Because we have a carbon neutral plan and plant new carbon-busting trees for every store and online shop sale (and fund the extra protection of existing forests), it is becoming easier to shop & save… the environment, every time you shop at My Boutique.
When will My Boutique be Carbon Neutral?
We have been generally reducing our carbon emissions for some years (please visit https://myboutique.online/pages/social-responsibility for further details) and as part of our Shop Carbon Neutral initiative will be arranging the planting of new carbon-busting trees in UK & in South America (to off-set our CO2 via the Verified Carbon Standards scheme). The first plantings are planned to start in February 2020 and will continue to plant new trees every month - but the actual final numbers depend on your shopping volumes with us plus any voluntary checkout contributions you make to help us plant even more – thank you.
We ought to be Carbon Neutral around Easter and should have entirely removed our carbon footprint – i.e. we will no longer be contributing to climate change as a business at all - before Halloween 2020 – scary! During the final months of the year, our plan will see us actually start to fight back against climate change by removing more CO2 from the planet than we generate in our business – happy days!
Please contact us at CarbonNeutral@myboutique.online if you have thoughts, questions, advice or suggestions on what we do, what we are planning or what we could be doing better. It would be great to hear from you if you support us, but we’d still like to hear from you even if you don’t.