"Climate-neutral, what does that actually mean?" - that's a common question. That is why we would like to explain to you what this term is all about and why it is relevant to us at fairafric. You will learn how we have been able to achieve a climate neutrality certification for the second time and how we have significantly reduced our emissions per bar of chocolate.
Climate neutrality 1x1
Every action (be it business or private) has its consequences. Climate neutrality deals with the carbon dioxide emissions from our daily endeavors.
The so-called CO₂ footprint is the sum of all CO₂ emissions associated with a particular action (e.g. the production of chocolate in Ghana).
If the CO₂ footprint is negative, the action causes considerable and often irreversible damage to the environment and thus to our ecosystem.
Unfortunately, a negative CO₂ footprint is often unavoidable.
That is why compensation service providers like our partner natureOffice offer the possibility to compensate for negative footprints.
By financing projects with a positive CO₂ footprint, the so-called climate neutrality can be achieved.
In summary, the meticulous calculation and balancing of emissions is a great solution for companies that would simply not be able to carry out their activities without any CO₂ emissions. fairafric is such a company. For example, in order to guarantee the quality of our super-fair and delicious chocolate, we have to use cooling systems. The cooled container that we use for shipping has been criticized from time to time because it emits more than an uncooled container (which is used to import cocoa beans). We are well aware of this and this is exactly why we work together with natureOffice.
The fact is that it is incredibly difficult for a company - if not impossible - to excel in all sustainability-related matters at the same time. Social sustainability is our strength and our passion. By producing in the country of the cocoa origin, in our case Ghana, we have an enormous social impact and thus create long-term opportunities with local perspectives. In addition, we also have a lot to offer in terms of ecological sustainability. For example, we always aim to pack our containers to capacity before being shipped. In our Munich Office, almost everyone goes to work by bike and uses public transport to attend Business meetings. We cooperate with a green bank, refill our printer cartridges, and much more. In our blog, you can read more about sustainability in our office.
Since 2017, we have been offsetting all environmental influences that cannot (yet) be avoided because they are "technically impossible or economically difficult to achieve" (natureOffice, fairafric: Studie 2018 - Klimaneutrales Unternehmen, p. 5) by using natureOffice to invest in two projects in West Africa that are close to our hearts. Of course we would like to share them with you:
The idea for this project was born in 2010 and supports reforestation of natural forests in Togo. Since 2013, natureOffice has already planted more than 1.5 million trees and built 4 water wells with the help of our funds (more information here).
TOYOLA Clean Cookstoves
This project supports energy efficiency of households in Ghana. Toyola Coalpots, i.e. stoves that can reduce fuel consumption by around 30% per year, have replaced conventional stoves. Another great advantage is the reduced emissions which have a positive impact on public health of the local community (more information here).
The compensation of emissions summarized
First, the so-called Corporate Carbon Footprint is calculated taking all CO₂ emissions generated by fairafric GmbH during the last year (2018) into account. Relevant data is required for the calculation. In our case, the calculation included, among other things, operational resources (e.g. our office), shipping of raw materials and chocolate, business mobility (e.g. trade fair visits) and also packaging material. After calculating the emissions, we then acquired CO₂ certificates, which offset the amount of emissions by investing in the two above-mentioned projects.
61,272 tons CO₂e
That's the amount of CO₂ we've been compensating so far. It is difficult to imagine how much this really is, so natureOffice illustrates the amount with various examples. For example, 61.272 tonnes of CO₂e are equivalent to the following:
Figure 1. Tracking information of the natureOffice on fairafric
In order to compensate this amount, this would have to happen:
Figure 2. Tracking information of the natureOffice on fairafric
These and many more examples as well as further information about our certificate can be found here.
More chocolate and less emissions - how is this even possible?
In 2018, we produced and sold significantly more chocolate than in the previous year. It goes without saying that this resulted in increased emissions: CO₂ emissions have doubled. Packaging, transport of raw materials and the chocolate itself played an important role in this. This also makes sense, because the more chocolate that is produced, the more raw materials etc. are needed. However, through more efficient production, we have also been able to achieve a 16% reduction in CO₂ emissions per chocolate bar! This is due to the fact that the larger quantities of chocolate require less administrative tasks and the raw material was also delivered in larger quantities (and thus more efficiently). In addition, we have significantly reduced business mobility compared to 2017, as the cooperation with our local partners runs more smoothly every year.
Figure 3. 2018 study by natureOffice about fairafric (p.10)
For all those who are now curious and want to deal with this matter in more detail, we recommend taking a look at our climate neutrality study. You can find it here. There you will find many more graphs on fairafric's CO₂ emissions in 2017 and 2018, as well as useful explanations on the Corporate Carbon Footprint. In the meantime, we are making plans on how we can further reduce our CO₂ footprint and hope that we could inspire you to think more about climate neutrality.