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Our Carbon Footprint

CameraCrate are proud to be carbon negative

But what does that actually mean? How have we calculated that? Is this greenwashing? I heard carbon offsetting isn't really all that great and is all just hype.  Is this greenwashing? ARE YOU GREENWASHING??

Woah.

This isn't some hollow PR campaign designed to make ourselves feel better or to sell more cameras but a meaningful and ongoing effort to improve how we operate. We've educated ourselves by speaking to experts, reading reports and researching how we could improve ourselves. Over the past 6 months, we've created a detailed audit that covers the entirety of our business and the resources we use. From that audit, we have located and implemented multiple improvements which are detailed below and are based around the following 4 cornerstones:

REUSE

Where possible, our orders are fulfilled using reused packing materials. We source suitable used materials such as bubblewap, packing nuggets and newspapers to use as packaging materials. We estimate that over 80% of our orders are fulfilled using primarily reused materials and are working to increase that figure.

REDUCE

We are in the process of totally eliminating the purchase of new non-biodegradable packing materials. All the new packing materials we purchase are recycled and biodegradable. Where possible we make sure they’re compostable too. We have a surplus of plastic-based packing tape and documents enclosed labels which we estimate will be replaced with sustainable alternatives by Spring 2022. All other new materials used are recycled and fully biodegradable.

RECYCLE

Where possible, all new items purchased are made from recycled or repurposed materials. This includes items such as our desks and storage containers. In addition we actively separate and recycle our waste. 

OFFSET X2

There are a lot of people that are skeptical about the value of offsetting carbon emissions for a variety of reasons. What’s commonly agreed is it’s best to offset as a last resort and to find offsetting schemes that show good outcomes. Whilst planting a tree today is lovely, it won’t offset any carbon for many years. That’s why we’ve diversified our offsetting portfolio to include clean and renewable energy schemes, social and community development programmes and yes, planting some trees too.

We’ve calculated our carbon footprint and reduced it where possible. What can’t be reduced has been offset, twice.

Why twice?

We believe that if we’re truly interested in improving our impact and reducing the impact of climate change, then we need to have positive impact. To us, the term Carbon Neutral simply means no impact and we believe we can do better than that.

OUR FOOTPRINT

AREA 2021
(KG Co2)
2022 forecast
(KG Co2)
Reduction
(%)
COURIERS
14802
16836

+14%

ONE-OFF PURCHASES
3659
161

-96%

PACKING MATERIALS
607
376

-38%

UTILITIES
464
464*

0%*

CONSUMABLES
302
113

-63%

PETROL / FUEL
273
54

-80%

TOTAL

20107

18004

-10.5%

*see below for details

COURIERS

How we calculated our total

In 2021 we sent and received approximately 2037 parcels with an equal split between domestic and international shipments. It is not possible to calculate each parcels journey so we’ve made generous estimates on average shipments:

  • We’ve estimated that each UK shipment has weighed on average 2kg, been 36x28x16cm in size and travelled 250 miles by ground.
  • We’ve estimated that each international shipment has weighed on average 2kg, been 36x28x16cm in size and travelled 5000 miles by air
  •  

Why has the 2022 forecast increased?

We expect our business to grow and that we’ll send and receive more parcels in 2022.

How do you plan to improve this?

By far, sending and receiving parcels contribute the largest impact of our company to the environment (approximately 74% of our total footprint). As size, rather than weight, has a greater impact on determining the carbon cost of a parcel we came to the realization that it made more sense to rely on using new boxes (made from recycled cardboard) in a variety of sizes rather than rely on reusing older boxes that were on average larger and therefore incurred a higher carbon footprint. Although we still reuse boxes that are a suitable size and quality, having new boxes in a variety of sizes has allowed us to reduce the average size (and the carbon cost) of each parcel.

What do you mean?

If we place a 1kg camera in a smaller box, it takes up less space in a van/plane, allowing for more items to be sent per journey. Although we might have to use a new box rather than reuse an old one to do this, it’s actually better for the environment as vans and especially planes emit a lot of carbon into the environment. 

ONE-OFF PURCHASES

How we calculated our total

In 2021 we moved into larger premises which required making one-off purchases to make it fit for purpose. This included desks, chairs, racking and storage and various IT equipment.

How did you reduce the carbon cost of those purchases.

Where possible we tried to purchase items made from reused, repurposed or recycled materials. For example our desks are made from repurposed scaffolding, our racking uses recycled MDF boards and our storage boxes are made from recycled plastic. 

PACKING MATERIALS

How we calculated our total

Our total includes a generous estimate of the carbon cost of packaging used in both the items we send and the items we receive. We work on the assumption that the packaging used on parcels we receive is not biodegradable but all the packaging we purchase is fully recycled and biodegradable.

Where have you made improvements?

Where possible, our orders are fulfilled using reused packing materials. We source suitable used materials such as bubblewap, packing nuggets and newspapers to use as packaging materials. We estimate that over 90% of our orders are fulfilled using primarily reused materials and are working to increase that figure.

We are in the process of totally eliminating all non-biodegradable packing materials. New all materials purchased are made from recycled materials and biodegradable. Where possible we make sure they’re compostable too. We have a surplus of plastic-based packing tape and documents enclosed labels which we estimate will be replaced with sustainable alternatives by Spring 2022. All other new materials used are recycled and fully biodegradable.

UTILITIES

How we calculated our total

Our total combines the carbon cost of hosting our website alongside the gas/electricity used in our offices.

Where have you made improvements?

We’ve switched our website and banking provider to a hosting provider that runs on 100% renewable energy and has a clear climate policy and goals.

Although our offices currently use the power grid, our landlords are in the process of installing solar panels nationwide. Although a timetable for installation hasn’t been given yet, we expect an update soon and will update our 2022 forecast when this is provided.

Is that what the asterix is all about?

Yes.

CONSUMABLES

How we calculated our total

Our total combines the cost of items used to clean and repair cameras including chemicals.

Where have you made improvements?

We’ve switched to using biodegradable cotton buds and lens wipes and are phasing out the use of single-use plastics in our warehouse storage system.

PETROL / FUEL

How we calculated our total

This total combines the cost of staff driving to/from the office, parcel collections and drop-0ffs.

Where have you made improvements?

We’ve switched to a cleaner, more economic car and continue to reduce unnecessary trips.