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E-commerce, Offsets, and… Toilet Paper?

Customer Story: Who Gives a Crap — How a forest-friendly toilet paper company launched their carbon neutral shipping initiative

Photo courtesy Who Gives a Crap

Carbon, the Elephant in the Room

Who Gives a Crap’s passion for sustainability started with the founders and early team, and grew into a shared responsibility across all parts of the business. “Sustainability has been a core motivation for us since day 1,” said James. “We’ve tried to put sustainability at the heart of every one of our product choices. That’s why we make our toilet paper out of either 100% recycled fibres or 100% bamboo — both of these materials have lower carbon footprints than paper made from trees. We’ve also eliminated almost every piece of single use plastic from our supply chain.”

Photo courtesy Who Gives a Crap

“We embarked on our recent carbon neutral shipping initiative first and foremost because we felt it was the right thing to do for the planet. We believe that offsets have a real impact and are a heck of a lot better than doing nothing.”

Detailed Measurement Reveals Ways to Reduce Emissions

Once Who Gives a Crap decided to offset shipping emissions, James began his research. First, he read everything he could find about carbon neutrality and carbon offsets. Then, he sought out a variety of opinions from environmental experts to better understand the landscape.

Photo courtesy Who Gives a Crap

Who Gives a Crap Offsets Emissions by Protecting Forests

James heard about Pachama from some of his industry contacts and from Shopify, the e-commerce store provider for Who Gives a Crap. “We loved that Pachama uses really cool technology to verify and vet carbon offsets,” said James. Pachama’s focus on forests also resonated with the ‘forest-friendly’ focus of Who Gives a Crap’s products. “Protecting trees and forests is something we really connect with as a company and we know is really important to our customers,” said James.

View the full impact page to learn more about how Who Gives a Crap is supporting forest protection.
Time lapse of deforestation (in black) vs the Brazil Nut Concessions Project using Pachama technology.

“We’ve also received thousands of emails, comments and shares in support from our customers and that makes us even more motivated to keep making our products even better, and even more sustainable!”

With their support of the project, Who Gives a Crap received a web page about the impact of their support. They’ve also shared about it on their blog and social media accounts. “We knew our customers would love it and we were excited to be able to do more to help protect the world’s forests with our carbon offsets,” said James. Indeed, the carbon neutral shipping initiative has been well received by customers and employees alike. “It’s been incredibly well received by our team,” James told us. “We’ve also received thousands of emails, comments and shares in support from our customers and that makes us even more motivated to keep making our products even better, and even more sustainable!”

Advice to others: Do it, then do better.

When we asked James what advice he would give to other organizations considering taking climate action, he said he would urge them to go ahead and do it and caution them not to let perfect get in the way of good. “Sustainability is incredibly complex and it’s easy to think that it’s too hard or find flaws in any approach you pursue,” he said. “What’s important is to start, to make a genuine effort to do the right thing, and be happy with an outcome that’s better than today. Nothing’s ever perfect, and you can always iterate, improve, and get better over time.”

“What’s important is to start, to make a genuine effort to do the right thing, and be happy with an outcome that’s better than today. Nothing’s ever perfect, and you can always iterate, improve, and get better over time.”

What’s Next? Making the supply chain more sustainable

With that spirit of iterative improvement, Who Gives a Crap is continuing to reduce emissions and improve the sustainability of its products and supply chain. They are working on a couple of sustainability initiatives based on insights from the Life Cycle Assessment. This includes working to move many of their supply chain partners to renewable energy, and after learning that Who Gives a Crap produces more emissions from road freight than sea freight, they’re also thinking about how they can further optimize their distribution network to maximise sea freight miles. But what is James most excited about? Soon Who Gives a Crap will be able to focus even more on sustainability — because they’re planning to hire a dedicated Sustainability Manager!

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