Spark just hit $150k on Kickstarter and tomorrow is Earth Day! As we begin producing a new product, we wanted to give you an inside look at how we operate and what we do to leave the world better off than how we found it.
In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve taken a new step this year and conducted an environmental impact report for Alpine Labs, as well as offset our greenhouse emissions so that we are fully carbon neutral. Though very few companies of our size take account of their emissions or report them, we feel that it's the right thing to do.
We do our best to create photography gear of lasting value that improves people’s lives. The better your gear, the less you need. Throughout our design process our ethos is to reduce waste and increase efficiency and we rely on product designs and production tools that accomplish this. Especially being a hardware company, we are proud of how small our 2016 impact was. We hope that this report inspires other companies and the community to question and reflect on their own impact and what they can do about it.
In total, our actions were responsible for just over 250 metric tonnes of CO2e. That equates to the emissions from 27 houses over the course of a year, or burning the coal carried in one and a half train cars.
Considering that Alpine Labs both makes hardware electronics and that we ship our products to over 90 countries around the world, we are excited about how efficient our operation is. Seemingly small things add up when you do them tens of thousands of times - like working with UPS and our warehouse to design packaging that is lightweight, fits their ideal transport characteristics, and is plastic free and recyclable.
For the first time ever, we are carbon neutral! We worked with Natural Capital Partners a world leader in protecting biodiversity and offsetting emissions. We chose two projects to support, one in rural China to match our manufacturing efforts there and another in New York to offset our US operations. By purchasing these offsets, we are able to reduce the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
In China, our offsets provide solar cook stoves to low income families that otherwise burn coal to cook. The solar cookers hugely improve both indoor air quality and the families health and allows them to save about 10% of their annual income that is otherwise spent on coal. In New York, our offsets are used to capture methane gas released by a landfill which is then burned for energy production. These offsets also support wetland conservation in the areas surrounding the landfill and the creation of more than 140 construction and energy jobs.
To see the complete Alpine Labs Sustainability Report, click here.
As a company born through crowdfunding, we feel empowered to think about our impact broadly - from product, to people, to the environment. Our origins also give us the freedom to manage our company as we see best and to do what we think is right. Your support allows us to keep moving forward. Thank you for being a part of the journey.
-The Alpine Team