Even while facing an unprecedented global pandemic (and everything else 2020 and 2021 threw at us), climate change remains the single biggest threat to humanity—and we have the tools to stop it. The process to become Climate Neutral Certified is a months-long effort to measure, offset, and reduce our carbon footprint. These are actions that all brands—and individuals—can and should take now to “flatten the curve” of carbon emissions.
We are proud to announce that we are now a Climate Neutral Certified company.
Publishing Standart in print has been important to us since day one. The ever-present glow of devices shatters our focus and raises our anxiety levels. We believe good content is worth sitting down for, and engaging with, on multiple levels. Reading Standart should be enriching. It should help you to relax from all the surrounding noise, and ignite conversations—just as coffee has been doing for centuries.
But we also understand that print publishing comes with a cost and has a carbon price tag attached to it. Sustainability in the coffee industry and the environment have been part of our content-DNA since our first issue, and today we’re thrilled that we’re able to join 300+ other Climate Neutral Certified brands in taking meaningful action for the climate.
It’s no secret that 2020 and 2021 were challenging years for business. In the face of unexpected obstacles, radical pivots, and new ways of working, we’ve learned that we are able to face big challenges as individuals, a team, and a society. Globally, we emit almost 60 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. These are the carbon emissions that cause climate change, and the publishing industry is responsible for a considerable chunk of these emissions due to the resources required to make and publish magazines.
If we don’t take responsibility for this problem now, then there’s no way we’ll hit the 2050 goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. These are make-or-break goals. Reach them, and we avoid the devastating effects of climate change. Miss them, and life on Earth will change for billions of people.
We’re acting now because scientifically-vetted solutions to climate change exist, and they are accessible to brands like ours. As a publication covering the good, bad, and ugly of the coffee world, we consider sustainability one of our core themes and values. As Luke Adams, Editor at Standart put it, “We believe in supporting and highlighting the importance of sustainable practices in coffee—not only in ecological terms, but economic, social, and technological—and will brazenly defend our right to fill our pages in this dictatorial fashion.”
How did we get here?
We are connecting the dots by doing our share, in partnership with Climate Neutral, to measure, offset, and reduce last year's carbon emissions. This process took time and resources from our team, but ultimately it’s a reasonable cost compared to the threat climate change poses. Bella Todaro, Certification Manager at Climate Neutral, told us that “Our brands dedicated thousands of hours to understanding and addressing their climate impacts through the certification process.” We were among them.
We measured our 2020 carbon footprint at 300 tonnes. It's a tiny speck in the ocean, we know. We are already saving emissions by working remotely, using wood-free paper, but there is still a long way to go. To arrive at this number, we looked at all of the emissions created from making and delivering our magazines, including our supply chain emissions, team member commutes, business travel, and utility bills.
We “zeroed out” these emissions by purchasing carbon credits. These credits we’ve invested in three nature-based, 1% for the Planet eligible, projects.
Project 1: Mangrove Restoration in Myanmar
The Sea of Change project aims to restore an important mangrove habitat in Myanmar by replanting 6 million mangroves along the coast. While Myanmar used to support a thriving mangrove population, the trees are often cleared for use as firewood or to create space for agriculture, and currently only 16% of those original mangrove forests are still intact. Mangroves have impressive carbon sequestration potential, with the ability to capture 5 times the carbon of a terrestrial tree at a rate that is 4 times faster. Mangroves also have a number of important ecosystem benefits, including protecting coastlines from storms, reducing coastal erosion, and supporting biodiversity by serving as a nursery for small fish. In addition to rehabilitating the mangrove population in Myanmar, this project is also working with the local community to develop sustainable fisheries around the mangrove's replenishing fish population to support the economy in new ways and reduce deforestation pressure. You can read more about the project in this link.
Project 2: Forestry in Brazil
The Envira Amazonia Project commercializes sale of açaí, rubber and medicinal plants to create an alternative income source and reduce deforestation pressure for over 494,000 acres of endangered tropical rainforest near the city of Feijó in Brazil. This area is currently at risk to deforestation because cattle ranching and subsistence agriculture are an important source of income for local communities. By developing new forms of income that rely on sustainable use of the rainforest, communities have an incentive to keep the ecosystem intact. Additionally, the project includes agricultural extension training for local landowners to learn how to harvest these products in a way that supports the ecosystem. Overall ecosystem benefits of this project include improved water and soil quality and conservation of rainforest habitat. More on this project here.
Project 3: Forestry in China
The Inner Mongolia Wu’erqihan project seeks to modify logging practices in the town of Wu'erqihan in China in order to prevent unnecessary logging and protect an important forest ecosystem. In addition to maintaining an important forest carbon stock, the project will help preserve biodiversity by maintaining an important habitat. Tree roots will also contribute to soil erosion control in the forest. Read more here.
Last, but not least, we created Reduction Action Plans to help lower the emissions we produce over the next 12–24 months.
- We introduce environmentally-friendly packaging across our supply chain.
- We switch to using 100% recycled paper inside the magazine.
- We embrace distributed teamwork and production.
I’m sharing the details of our process for two reasons: 1) Our readers deserve transparency, and I want to show how we’re working to live up to our claims of climate responsibility. 2) I hope that other brands will see what we did and become inspired to take action. I’m happy to address any questions about what it takes to become Climate Neutral Certified.
What does it mean to be Climate Neutral Certified?
Starting today, all issues of Standart and Standart Japan will bear the Climate Neutral Certified label. Climate Neutral is a nonprofit committed to solving climate change by making carbon neutrality simple and accessible. The label is essentially shorthand for the process outlined above. Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral says, “Consumers hold massive power to shape the economy, and their power is exerted through the actions of the brands they support. With our climate label, we’re helping consumers find the brands that are willing to invest immediately in climate solutions.”
The 300+ brands certified so far this year all went through the same process to measure, offset, and reduce their emissions, neutralizing about 700,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. These companies offer products and services across a wide range of industries, from apparel to independent print magazines about coffee.
To the future
We’re thrilled to be in good company with this year’s Climate Neutral Certified brands. We believe in Climate Neutral’s mission of taking action now to solve a problem that we understand to be an urgent threat. We’re glad you’re with us for the journey. Let’s work together to tackle climate change faster.
Thank you for reading Standart!