From Parachute’s beginning, we’ve created a product assortment centered on choosing natural materials and ensuring they’re produced in a way that restricts the use of harmful chemicals both for people and planet.
But now: we know that choosing “natural” isn’t enough. Not enough to be a sustainable business; nor enough to avoid the impacts of climate change.
So our new choice? To be Climate Neutral Certified.
A certification that every year means we carefully, diligently assess and compensate for our operations’ carbon emissions and set vital, tangible targets to do better.
Our first year as a Climate Neutral Certified brand was in 2022. It was the first time we’d attempted to estimate our brand’s carbon footprint, the first time we’d purchased carbon offsets, and the first time we set clear, actionable carbon reduction goals – including one aligned to the Paris Agreement to reduce our emissions by 2030. A huge year of celebratory firsts and learning curves.
So when we jumped into 2023 and our second year of certification, we saw it as an opportunity to go deeper than before. To make the first step (measuring our carbon estimates) cleaner and smarter. And I say “we” because it’s a cross-functional effort: we have team members working on measuring our carbon footprint across Finance, Creative & Brand, Logistics, and Sourcing & Design. This year we had to double (!) the number of folks pulling our data, all so we could get a more nuanced accounting of our carbon emissions.
And each team has a different focus. For Finance, it’s digging into things like our business travel and the fuel and energy used to power our stores. In Logistics, it’s tracking how and where our products travel – from global manufacturing locations all the way to customers.
And before stores and packages get filled with cozy things: Sourcing & Design goes a layer deeper by engaging 1:1 with our top suppliers on the fuel, energy, and raw materials used in our production. Think things like weighing the cotton and linen purchased to make our percale and linen sheeting and the weight of lumber it takes to support our furniture.
Through all that: we’ve started to get passionate about our hot spots. That’s step two of Climate Neutral’s Standard. Each year, we set two short-term targets to reduce our business’ reliance on carbon, which is where the real impact of Climate Neutral Certification comes in. Because we’re not doing this alone.
Being part of a cohort of certified brands taking small steps every year to reduce means every action is part of something much bigger!
Which leaves us with compensating for our annual carbon emissions with carbon credits: step 3. We know that this isn’t (and can’t be) the final solution to managing our climate impact.
So, instead, we consider purchasing high-integrity, verified carbon credits as a consistent investment we can take to reduce the harm of climate change now – not later. It’s how we balance being responsible for the business impact of “yesterday” while focusing on reductions by the ever-approaching “tomorrow” of 2030.
So it’s one step to measure, a whole lot of small and large steps to reduce, and one step to compensate. That’s it, that’s being Climate Neutral Certified – and we’re proud to be it.