We worked with the Carbon Reduction Institute to quantify and offset our carbon footprint, and create an ongoing strategy for carbon neutrality. We conducted both an operational review (day-to-day running of the business) and a life cycle analysis of our products to get a complete picture of Seljak Brand’s impact, from when we first started Seljak Brand in 2016 until July 31, 2020.
Last financial year we emitted 7.12 tonnes of CO2e (tCO2e) from an operational perspective and 3.44 tCO2e based on blankets manufactured and sold.
Recycled wool compared to new wool
Using recycled materials in the creation of new products does indeed make a big difference to carbon footprint. Because we work with recycled materials, our product footprint was very low. In fact, we got the Carbon Reduction Institute to measure exactly what the difference is when making a blanket from new wool vs recycled wool.
Using recycled wool saves 13 times the carbon emissions of new wool.
A new wool blanket (with a weight of 1kg) has a carbon footprint of 45.5 kilograms of CO2 emissions (kgCO2-e). A recycled wool blanket of the same size (which is the equivalent of a Seljak Brand blanket) has a carbon footprint of 3.4kgCO2-e.^
Offsetting carbon emissions
We offset our carbon emissions through the Rimba Raya project in Indonesia, which conserves 65,000 hectares of peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan in Borneo. Originally slated for a palm oil plantation, Rimba Raya has avoided more than 130 million tonnes of carbon emissions, while creating meaningful job opportunities for the communities living in the area, and protecting the highly endangered orangutan population.
As well as offsetting last financial year’s carbon footprint, we offset for the previous years we’ve been in business. This is equivalent to taking 10 cars off the road for one year.
But is carbon offsetting really helping global warming? Offsetting emissions while continuing business-as-usual is NOT going to respond adequately to the climate crisis. But it’s a step in the transition to a more sustainable and just world and encourages carbon emissions reduction industry-wide.
^Resource use and greenhouse gas emissions from three wool production regions in Australia. Wiedemann, S.G., et al. 112, s.l. : Journal of Cleaner Production, 2016
^Barber, Andrew and Pellow, Glenys. LCA: New Zealand Merino Wool Total Energy Usage. 2006
^Cardoso, Albino Andre Moreira. Life Cycle Assessment of Two textile Products. 2013