For Rebel Kitchen business as usual is not an option. We are here to show that business can, and should, be a force for good. At the heart of our Purpose Manifesto is our pledge to be radically honest, so we made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2025.
To do this, we knew we had to measure our carbon footprint - how on earth do you do that, right? And as if by magic, the universe connected us to Carbon Analytics, a company that helps businesses measure their entirecarbon footprint, and we joined forces. It was time for Rebel Kitchen to embark on a journey of CO2 self-discovery.
So, what did we find out?
When analysing your business-wide carbon footprint, everything’s out on the table. Not one item of business expenditure is left out of the carbon equation. This stretches from the obvious like purchasing ingredients, transporting goods, manufacturing etc, to the coffee cups we used at one of our trade shows. The sustainability warriors at Carbon Analytics have a clever way to allocate carbon value to anything and everything, which saved us a lot of head-scratching!
We learnt a lot and it started to make a lot of sense: as our business has grown, so has our carbon usage. There are complexities for small businesses, as the numbers can be deceiving if you’re looking for linear reductions. For example, if you’re always innovating new products, like we are at Rebel Kitchen (yes, there’s still more to come!) it can impact your year-on-year improvement. Say we developed a product one year, but it didn’t go to market until the next, it’s likely to affect the carbon to revenue in a way that’s not a straight decline.
So now what?
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the environmental impact of the dairy industry, but we’re using this to shine the light on our plant-based ingredients, too. Dairy alternatives are receiving negative backlash particularly when it comes to ingredient sourcing. Some other forward-thinking brands are starting to share their climate impact, including noting their carbon footprint on their packaging. We’ve taken this a step further - we’re not just stating the problem, we’re determined to solve it.
This leads us to the most electrifying part of all. What we’ve all been waiting for. The Rebel headline. Thought it would take us 5 years? Think again... it took us 6 months! We acted BIG and we lived up to our rebellious namesake. We offset our entire business-wide footprint immediately and we have officially been certified as carbon neutral by Carbon Analytics. We do this by investing in certified Gold Standard projects like wind farms, that remove the need for carbon in the atmosphere.
The entire economic ripple required to get you our products has been offset. You can now feel confident that every pound you spend on Rebel Kitchen is netting nothing to the environment. This doesn’t include what the retailer emits of course, or the package disposal - although we’re working on these too. We are proud to be part of a growing network of businesses across the world, who all see the importance of going carbon neutral. We’re committed to going further, exploring the edge of what’s possible and challenging convention to keep on improving.
Until there is a centralised list of carbon neutral businesses we can’t know for sure, but we believe we were the FIRST plant-based alternative brand in the UK to take such a step. But rest assured, at the very least, next time you’re slurping some Mylk, or chugging back our Organic Coconut Water you’re safe in the knowledge that we are a carbon neutral business…
And we didn’t stop there…
We wanted to have direct connections with our carbon offsetting projects to build relationships and ensure efficacy. That’s why we’ve also partnered with two incredible Verified Carbon Standard projects in Peru (PUR Project and Ecosphere). Both organisations are working tirelessly to protect high-value Amazon rainforest under threat, to regenerate degraded ecosystems through agroforestry and to support community-driven programmes that help tens of thousands of people access basic services such as sanitation, healthcare and education. Through this work, additional income is generated, helping to improve local livelihoods.
We know some of our favourite ingredients are sourced from around the world, but you can be sure that we are determined to take ownership of our footprint and look to avoid the day that coconuts, cocoa, dates and cashews grow in UK gardens.
We still won’t settle…
We’re not in denial. We know there is a lot of work to do and off-setting isn’t everything. We know we need to re-imagine our consumer society. The next step for us is conscious packaging. While we have to use plastic, we want to ensure our packaging is not going to contribute to our climate emergency. We won’t stop until we’ve found solutions to everything in our Purpose Manifesto. We hope you’ll join us on our mission to revolutionise the food system.
Remember Rebels, there is always an alternative.