We're proud to announce that as of April 22, 2020 — which is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — we are now Climate Neutral Certified! Annually, we've committed to measuring and offsetting 100% of our carbon footprint while working to reduce emissions. When you see the Climate Neutral label, you can trust that that brand is doing the same thing.
In honor of this milestone, we partnered with Seattle artist Claire Giordano to launch the special release Earth Month Collection. Featuring a custom design and brand new color, this cup honors the seasonality and rhythms that keep our world turning.
While the world is a different place now, COVID-19 has strengthened our resolve to drive toward a better future and take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our global community.
What it Means to be Climate Neutral Certified
Being Climate Neutral Certified means committing to offsetting carbon emissions produced by your company as you manufacture products and run a business. In addition to actively reducing carbon emissions, brands with a Climate Neutral Certification also use carbon offsets to make a positive environmental impact to offset damage caused.
The thing is, it's impossible to engage in business activities of any type without somehow impacting the environment. Using materials and resources— including energy— will always take a toll. Yes, you can use renewable energy sources and sustainable product design to help, but putting business leaders on an airplane to meet with a potential business partner still causes indirect emissions.
That's where the term "neutral" comes in. The idea is to minimize your greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, then put a plan in place to make up for your consumption.
Why We Chose to Become Climate Neutral Certified
In 2019, MiiR was one of the first brands to commit to becoming carbon neutral through the Climate Neutral certification. One year later, there are clearly new concerns driving us, but the current crisis caused by the pandemic has strengthened our resolve to drive toward a better future by taking responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our planet and its people. As we deal with new levels of isolation we must remember that everything is connected. Healthier systems mean healthier people.
Fifty years ago, as Denis Hayes was coordinating the first Earth Day, people from all walks of life were banding together, galvanized by the unprecedented environmental disasters happening around them. Incidents like the Lake Erie Fire, the use of DDT, and oil spills off the coast of California were becoming more and more regular, and people were fed up. As egregious as these events were, however, the piece which arguably sparked the most lasting change was the concern about the effect that poor environmental health would have on humans. The increased awareness around the link between environmental degradation and public health inspired both the Clean Air Act (1970) and the Clean Water Act (1972), two of the most impactful pieces of environmental legislation ever created.
Unfortunately, today we find ourselves in a similar position. The world looks much different, but under-resourced communities are still disproportionately affected by both climate change and public health threats. As a company, our love for the outdoors certainly inspires us every day, but we know that climate is so much more than just an environmental or political issue. From the coffee growers of Rwanda to students in the urban core of Kolkata, to farmers in Washington’s Skagit Valley, many of the people MiiR has supported in the past are on the front-line of the world’s crises. We are committed to helping communities face today’s challenges as we do our part to ensure we all have a stable future in which to thrive.
Mary Joyce, founder and principal consultant at Do Big Good, defines impact succinctly as “benefit minus harm to people and planet.” Over MiiR's 10 year life, we have tried to provide as much benefit to the world as possible, and are now in a position to subtract the harm.
We are proud to announce that MiiR is Climate Neutral Certified.
It’s our belief that we must celebrate bright spots while continuing to work hard on initiatives that support the health of communities around the world. To us, helping empower people for a better future means a commitment to the well-being of our global community, both now, and for the long term.
How Climate Neutral Certification Works
How does an organization become climate neutral certified? In three steps:
During step one, the measurement process, MiiR submitted operational data (overhead and manufacturing costs, for example) to the Brands Emissions Estimator (BEE) to analyze greenhouse gas emissions. This measures both direct emissions (energy consumption) and indirect emissions (commuting and travel) for an overall picture of your entire carbon footprint. In other words, it gave us a number to offset.
Next, during the Offset phase, we purchased enough carbon credits to support projects with a positive environmental impact. We had to purchase enough carbon credits to cover the tonnes of carbon emissions produced by MiiR's annual business activities.
Finally, we put together Reduction Action Plans (RAP) to show that we, like other committed brands, are ready to reduce future emissions and make a meaningful impact.
The Difference Between Climate Neutral and Net Zero
While climate neutrality and net zero fall under the same umbrella of working toward a low-carbon world, they're not the same. Climate neutrality is an important first step, focused on offsetting while navigating the ongoing process of reducing. Becoming net zero means that all possible reductions have been made a top priority, with minimal offsetting because there's no longer the same carbon impact to offset.
The journey doesn't end here though. After net zero comes climate positivity, in which your organization absorbs more carbon from the world than it emits. We've still got a long way to go before we live in a climate positive world.
How You Can Practice Being Climate Neutral
You don't have to own or operate a company to contribute to carbon neutrality. Start by shopping from companies who get climate neutral certified and are transparent about their reduction efforts. You can also become actively carbon neutral at home by following the same framework as the Climate Neutral Certification process. Measure your carbon footprint, create reduction plans, and invest in carbon offsets to give back to the world around you. It's worth it.