superzero shampoo bars are certified climate neutral! But what does that mean?
At superzero, sustainability, a reduced carbon footprint, and climate neutrality are extremely important to us. We are proud to announce that in addition to being plastic-free, certified microplastic-free, size-optimized for a minimal carbon footprint during shipping, and a member of 1% for the Planet to support the fight against plastic and for ocean conservation, our shampoo bars are now certified climate neutral by Climate Partner, an organization that helps companies to calculate and offset their climate footprint following the GHC Protocol (Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard).
How is superzero working to reduce carbon emission in beauty?
With this certification, we are NOT trying to greenwash our way out of wasteful production and packaging processes or “paying off” our environmental debt. Which, sadly, many cosmetic companies do. Given that we are designing and engineering all our products and packaging with the highest sustainability standards in mind, our internal analysis showed that our full-size shampoo bars already have approximately 90% less carbon emissions than comparable liquid shampoos (based on analyzing differences in packaging, size, weight and transportation while assuming like-for-like ingredients). Thus, by going climate neutral we are not hiding anything but we are instead just taking yet another step towards helping change the world with better hair and body care.
What does it mean to be Carbon Neutral or Climate Neutral?
Climate neutrality means that all emissions generated by our products have been reported and compensated through recognized carbon offset projects. You will often hear the term carbon neutral instead of climate neutral – but strictly speaking the term climate neutral is the more accurate term given that not only carbon but also other greenhouse gases are considered in the analysis and offset. In fact, the assessment by Climate Partner considers all relevant greenhouse gases as defined in the Kyoto Protocol but for easier comparison converts all of them into so-called CO2 equivalents. A “cradle-to-customer plus waste” approach was used by Climate Partners to assess the entire life cycle of our shampoo bars from the extraction of raw materials to packaging (all of our bars have compostable packaging) to logistics to manufacturing to delivery to our customers, all the way to the disposal of products and packaging. In addition, general emissions were added to cover the “footprint” of our team members.
The result of the extensive analysis was a quantified carbon footprint of our shampoo bars that is amazingly low at just 0.3402 kg of carbon emissions for a full-size bar that lasts you for months. To provide some reference points, this amount equals the amount of carbon emissions caused by driving a distance of only 1.056 km by car, doing a total of just 0.366 washing machine cycles at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or the carbon sequestration of only 0.027 beech trees.
To make our shampoo bars climate (or carbon) neutral, we are offsetting our remaining carbon footprint through so-called carbon offset projects. Such offset projects make decisive contributions to combating global warming by demonstrably saving greenhouse gases. In addition, they often promote sustainable development in project countries, for example by expanding local infrastructure, creating jobs, or preserving biodiversity. To become climate neutral, the greenhouse gas removal impact achieved through the contributions made to offset projects have to at least equal the cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions caused by a product.
How is superzero offsetting its carbon footprint?
All of our superzero bars are 100% plastic-free. Since not everyone is buying our bars just yet, we chose our carbon offset project carefully to help clean up after our plastic-loving competitors and other plastic polluters. To do that, we are supporting the Plastic Bank in Haiti which aims to stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of those who are most affected by it. Our oceans store a quarter of the CO2 from the atmosphere and 93% of the heat caused by the greenhouse effect. Thus, they are a major “break” on climate change. Warming, overfishing, pollutants, and waste endanger this balancing function. Preventing plastic waste from entering the sea – in our case both by avoiding it at the source and by supporting ocean cleanup - thus indirectly protects the climate. With the help of the Plastic Bank, people in Haiti collect plastic waste and exchange it for money, food, drinking water, or even school fees at local collection points. The plastic is then recycled and turned into so-called “Social Plastic”, which serves as raw material for new products. In addition to supporting the Plastic Bank, we are supporting global wind power projects for a complete climate neutrality offset.
What is the sustainability vision of superzero?
We are very proud of where we are and of our positive impact through being plastic-free, carbon optimized and now climate neutral. But even with all that, we still aim to do more for a more beautiful tomorrow. Therefore, with our 1% for the Planet membership, we are supporting additional organizations in their fight against plastic and for ocean conservation. An example is our collaboration with the Plastic Soup Foundation and their fight against microplastics.