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More Sustainable Disposables: Limiting Our CO2 Footprint

More Sustainable Disposables: Limiting Our CO2 Footprint

Earth Month is here! As a company that designs single-use, disposable incontinence products, we’ve been committed to using the most sustainable ingredients possible in our products from day one. At times, this has been an uphill battle. We’ve quite literally crossed oceans to design, source, manufacture, and package our products so that they leave the smallest possible environmental footprint while providing the high-performing solutions you’ve come to know and trust.    

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at how we think about sustainability generally as a brand and more specifically in the incontinence space. It’s a category where, for at least the foreseeable future, disposable products will remain critically necessary.

To kick us off, let’s dig into our efforts to limit our carbon footprint. We love greenhouses for jumpstarting our tomato plants this time of year, but greenhouse gas emissions are something else entirely. Greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide, or CO2) trap heat and warm the planet. They are produced primarily by emission-producing human activities, including industry, transportation, and agriculture, often due to burning fossil fuels.

There are three key ways we’re working to minimize our CO2 impact as a brand.

1. We manufacture our products in CO2 neutral factories.

Sounds good, but what does it actually mean to be Certified CO2 Neutral? The CO2 Neutral Certificate means that a carbon footprint is calculated, reduced, and offset every year by a third-party organization like CO2logic. It’s a rigorous process that manufacturing companies have to go through every year to maintain their certification. To put it simply, CO2 Neutral manufacturers have to demonstrate that their operations do not produce a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. 

When our founders, Mia and Alex, first started down the path of creating Attn: Grace, one of the first things they did was to seek out manufacturing partners who could meet this requirement. Today, we’re proud to work with a groundbreaking CO2 neutral company in the hygiene industry where our factories run on 100% green, renewable energy. It’s the first of its kind and a true game-changer.

By the way, carbon offsets get a lot of talk, but what the heck are they? Carbon offsets are activities that lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, like land restoration, reforestation (planting trees), or investing in renewable clean energy. Most factories are not able to entirely eliminate carbon emissions, so carbon offsets allow those manufacturers to compensate for the emissions they do produce.'

2. Our products arrive by boat, not air.

On average, air freight generates 47x more greenhouse gasses than ocean shipping, which is devastating to our environment. Also, these greenhouse gases aren’t created equal: because planes operate at high altitudes, they emit gases directly into the upper atmosphere, which is more detrimental to atmospheric chemistry. 

Additionally, governing bodies, including the International Maritime Organization, are working toward ambitious targets to further reduce emissions by using cleaner fuel and keeping boats free of biofouling (the accumulation of marine life on the hull) which slows them down and reduces fuel efficiency.

3. Planet-friendlier packaging.

You might be amazed at how even relatively small changes to our packaging choices can have a big impact on our total carbon footprint.

To that end, we’ve elected to keep our packaging as green as possible. In the case of our GreenPE packages, we mean that literally. They’re created from upcycled waste from sugarcane processing and are an excellent alternative to petroleum-derived plastics most conventional brands still use in their packaging. And if you’ve shopped Attn: Grace in retail stores, you’ve also seen our kraft paper bags, which are lightweight for fuel-efficient transport (and fully recyclable, of course). 

As you can see, there’s a lot to be learned about CO2 neutrality and how the choices we make as brands and as consumers can have an impact on our climate. Stay tuned all Earth Month-long  to hear more about our sustainability efforts. ‘Til then, we’ll see you in the shop.