Carbon neutrality has quickly become one of the fastest growing movements around the world, and for good reason: to help combat climate change
. There has been a continual rise in the world population with more and more humans added annually to the nearly 8 billion people already on earth.
Meanwhile, our limited number of natural resources have continued to become depleted due to everyday use of virgin resources with little recycling/reusing of these materials occurring.
This is important because population continues to rise and we keep using natural resources as if we have an unlimited amount – we will
run out of resources. It’s not a matter of “if” but rather “when.” This is a serious problem that does not get nearly the attention it deserves.
At Garden of Life
, we recognize the growing concern around climate change and that is exactly why we took action in June 2021 and became the first ever vitamin and supplement brand to become certified Carbonfree
® on both a brand and product level.
We understand that we are fighting for a world beyond ourselves. We are fighting for the generations to come. If we don’t steward the resources that we have been given, then there may be nothing left for the many who come after us. That is why we challenged ourselves at Garden of Life to become certified carbon neutral and reduce our carbon footprint. You may be asking yourself, “what does carbon neutral mean? Or how did you achieve it?” Let’s take a closer look.
What is carbon neutrality?
To be carbon neutral
means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. There are many ways to achieve this status, but the end result must always be that you have released zero carbon emissions. It is almost impossible for a company to eliminate their carbon footprint completely, so, companies instead can purchase what we call “carbon credits” to offset the amount of carbon emissions that their company has remaining after first reducing their emissions with other factors.
How does a company become carbon neutral?
The journey to carbon neutrality can be summed up in three steps.
Step 1: Determine the carbon footprint
This step is the most tedious of them all. It includes reaching out to every farm, manufacturer, and distribution center to calculate their carbon footprint. Then, we dissect the transportation, corporate offices, and even corporate travel to determine the carbon footprint of the company. In due course, all the carbon emissions are added up to form the total carbon footprint.
Step 2: Carbon reduction
Once we know where we stand regarding our carbon footprint, we then identify opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. This step can range from switching the kind of light bulbs we use, to completely changing the way we ship products.
Step 3: Carbon offsetting
Here is where we purchase the carbon credits needed to offset or “cancel out” any carbon emissions that cannot otherwise be fully neutralized by our improvements. Finally, a third-party certifier comes in and validates that your company is in fact carbon neutral. For Garden of Life, that organization was Carbonfund.org
In partnership with Carbonfund.org, we offset our remaining emissions by purchasing carbon credits sourced from a renewable energy project in India supporting hydroelectric operations. We chose to support this project because of our existing collaboration with India in the form of sourcing our botanicals from the country. Purchasing these credits not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but also provides local employment, technology transfer, and reduces local air pollution all throughout India.
How to track carbon emissions
Thanks to our partnership with SustainaBase
, and their innovative approach to tracking carbon emissions, we’re able to continually monitor hotspots and opportunities in our supply chain and operations so we know where to focus our carbon reduction efforts.
We are committed to continually reducing our carbon footprint even more by choosing carbon neutral shipping methods, eliminating plastics from our packaging, and releasing sustainable products like our new Dr. Formulated MD Protein line.
This new Mediterranean diet line is sourced from some of the most sustainable proteins on earth
. In fact, each of these products is made with upcycled ingredients.
The upcycled movement
is an exciting new initiative that takes disposable ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption and brings them back into the supply chain for use in other products.
Each of us holds responsibility for the resources that we choose to use in our daily lives. At Garden of Life, we believe that to empower extraordinary health in our communities, it starts with us as individuals making small changes like choosing sustainable options when available. That’s why we have made it a point to make each of our products with sustainable ingredients, packaging, and shipping methods in mind.
It’s easy to think that significant environmental change can only take place when large businesses get involved, but that’s not true. The truth is, change starts with you and I and stewarding each product we bring home. Making sure that after we enjoy the product, we dispose of it correctly. It’s simple changes like these that make the big impacts.
Garden of Life is continually looking for ways to implement sustainable initiatives. In this next season, we will be launching additional products containing upcycled ingredients, adjusting our packaging to move toward our goal of being 100% recyclable, and we will continue to come alongside companies in their pursuit of joining GOL as being certified carbon neutral.
We’ve already come such a long way on our sustainability journey, but there is still so much more to do. Join us in our continued pursuit of sustainable living. Alone our impact isn’t much, but together, we make a mighty dent in helping combat climate change. This is the call to carbon neutral living. Will you answer?