SUSTAINABILITY IS WHAT DRIVES US
We understand that on this finite planet, the happiness and health of humans, animals and nature are inextricably linked. We are all dependent on each other to survive, which is why sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Despite being a small start-up of two, we are committed to do everything we can to minimise our environmental impact and make it easier for you to do the same.
For us, sustainability is not an endpoint, but a constantly changing journey. We never deem a product fully finished because we know that there is always more we can do to reduce its environmental impact. As infrastructure, technology and consumer behaviour changes, so does sustainability. That's why we are continually redesigning and improving our products.
We certainly don’t claim to be perfect because we know that this is rarely ever the case with any ‘eco-friendly’ product or service. Instead, we believe in progress over perfection, honesty and transparency. We are committed to constantly challenge ourselves to do better year on year and be up front and honest with our customers about our products, giving you with the full picture so you can make up your own mind as to whether you think we've achieved a low impact product or not.
Areas of Focus
- Avoiding single-use plastic altogether. Where it cannot be avoided, use recycled or bio-based plastic.
- Using renewable materials, and if inappropriate, recycled or upcycled materials.
- High quality and long lasting materials to reduce the need to buy less.
- Creating products that can be reused.
- Plastic-free, compact and nothing unnecessary.
- Most of our cardboard is FSC but we aim to have 100% of our products in FSC packaging by the end of 2023.
- Continually re-evaluating, modifying and improving existing products to reduce their environmental impact.
- Working with sustainability experts, such as the Rubbish Project, to help develop our products and find solutions to sustainability challenges.
An Overview of Our Impact
In a circular economy we need need to go right back to the start, preventing waste and pollution from being created in the first place. Whilst recycling is also a crucial part of the circular economy, it won’t be enough to overcome the immense volume of waste we generate in the first place.
Consider food waste, which accounts for 10% of global green house gas emissions. The waste generated from meat production is staggering, with up to 55% of the carcass being thrown away despite being incredibly nutritious. Therefore pet food offers enormous potential to solve this problem and that of providing quality nutrition to a growing pet population. This is why we choose offal and other animal by-products as dog treats and chews.
All our products are packaged in compact, recyclable boxes, to minimise non-recyclable and unnecessary waste. We never send our products in excess packaging. The majority of our cardboard is FSC, however we’re aiming for 100% by the end of 2023.
We are always looking at ways to reduce our waste. One large source of non-recycable waste has been our release liners from our labels. So more recently we changed to labels which have recycable release liners, helping us to dramatically reduce the quanitity of waste going to landfill.
Responsible Materials and Circular Products
To maintain the intrinsic value of goods, we need to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible, whether that’s as a product itself or its constituent materials.
To achieve this, we endeavour to create high quality and durable products that are built to last, and are designed to be reused multiple times.
In fact our first ever product was based on this principle, that being the reusable pee pad. Each pad can be washed over 300 times, thereby greatly prolonging it’s life compared to the alternative (disposable pads) and also enabling a dramatic reduction in waste. We then moved onto reusable dog nappies, which also work to this circular principle.
We eneavdour to pick our raw materials responsibly. This may mean choosing renewable, biodegradable and low impact materials such as hemp, cork or bamboo. Sometimes it means re-using waste or by-products, such as recycled plastic or offal. Where possible, we use are organic ingredients, such as for our conditioner and shampoo bars.
Finally we never use single-use plastic. If we do have to use plastic it will be recycled or bio-based - whichever is most appropriate.
Regeneration of Nature
By moving from a economy that relies on extraction of finite resources and waste to a circular one, we allow more space for nature to thrive. Instead of continuously degrading nature, we can enable nature to rebuild itself through regenerative farming practices and renewable energy.
We try to work within this framework by powering our home (which currently acts as our office and brand hub!) with renewable energy. Our accounts are with ethical banks who invest in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels (e.g. Triodos and Starling bank).
We choose organic materials where possible and source over 90% of our treats from the UK, and the remainder from the EU. We are proud to support UK farming as we have some of the highest welfare standards in the world. Lastly, through our membership with Mossy Earth, we help fund important re-forestation and re-wilding projects across the globe. We also donate regularly to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Our Supply Chain
We currently work with manufacturers in the UK and China, but we are also currently exploring alternative suppliers in Europe to reduce the emissions associated with our supply chain.
While we recognise the aspiration to source locally, we found that with certain products this is not actually possible and may be counter productive if the raw materials are sourced far from the manufacturing country. We’ve also found a big barrier to people choosing more sustainable products is affordability. So it is important to us to achieve a balance of sustainability and affordability when choosing suppliers.
However, we remain highly selective in the way we choose our manufacturers. For example, we send all prospective suppliers a questionnaire to gauge their social and environmental commitments before buying with them. We only work with suppliers that understand and share our core values of social and environmental sustainability. The majority of our Chinese suppliers are BSCI compliant, which ensures they are free from issues such as child or forced labour, health and safety risks and unethical practices. The BSCI audit includes 13 performance areas overall, including protection of the environment. For the few suppliers that aren’t, we are encouraging them to do so and aim to have 100% of our suppliers BSCI compliant by the end of 2023.
We are excited to announce that we are also currently working towards B Corp status. B Corps use the power of business to do more than seek profit. They use their profits and growth to positively impact their stakeholders — and the planet. Achieving B Corp is a marathon not a sprint but we're determined to get there, with our target being of 2024.
Our Carbon Footprint
As a small start-up, our carbon footprint is still small, with the majority of our emissions stemming from our supply chain.
To keep our emissions down, we always ship our products via sea freight rather than air.
We have also joined the Race to Zero campaign and have committed to go carbon neutral by 2040 - 10 years ahead of the EU’s deadline! This means that we will be measuring and reporting our carbon emissions year on year and working across our supply chain to reduce emissions in line with this target. Instead of simply carbon offsetting, we are actively working to reduce our emissions at source, as this is the only hope we have of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.
We also appreciate the need to go beyond carbon neutrality and towards restoration and re-wilding of the natural world. So we are hugely excited to partner with two organisations who are working to restore wild ecosystems and support biodiversity: Mossy Earth and The Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
We know that going carbon neutral and re-wilding is not all we can do as a brand. As passionate environmentalists and animal lovers, we are committed to raising awareness on environmental issues and encouraging action in wider society. We share the knowledge and experience we’ve gained on our sustainability journey to inspire wider conversations on pets and sustainability.
We do this through our Facebook group ‘Pets Behaving Sustainably’ which is the first Facebook group to bring together a community of like-minded pet owners tackling environmental pawprints.
There, we promote sustainable pet ownership by regularly posting free advice, resources and support, as well as encouraging action through fun challenges.
Tackling these issues can feel daunting at first, but there are so many ways in which we can minimise our pet’s environmental impact and we are here to help you every step of the way! We hope that by building this support network of pet owners and environmentalists we can enact greater change together.