Sometimes it’s okay to remain neutral. Like do you really wanna get involved when your in-laws are fighting over the color of their new curtain?
But every now and then a cause or problem comes along that is too big for us to just stay out of it. A time when we need to take a stand.
For us, one of these key issues is climate change. Because when it comes to our warming planet, being carbon neutral is not enough.
Perhaps you’re wondering what ‘carbon-neutral’ means, a word that seems to hijack the narrative everywhere we go. In the simplest of terms, being “carbon neutral” means that you continue business as usual- and then pay someone else to compensate for it elsewhere. By buying carbon credit for example and calling it a day.
To make matters worse, most companies only focus on reducing the emissions from the last stages of their operations: Their own offices and retail outlets (This is what we call Scope 3 emission, more on this below), which can be as little as merely 2% of their entire emissions.
It sounds nice, but in reality it doesn’t work. The problem: Emissions just keep growing as “climate neutral” companies continue to pollute – while offset projects often fail to live up to their promises.
That's why at SukkhaCitta, we decided to take what is perhaps our hardest world-class certification yet: Having our ambitious emission reduction targets verified by the Science-Based Targets initiative – the gold standards for companies taking climate action.
Because the truth is that the biggest chunk of fashion's emissions come from raw materials, dyeing and the process of turning them into finished products. And addressing this problem – the actual work to change how your stuff is made and consumed – is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.
Here are our approved goals:
- Until 2030, SukkhaCitta has committed to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 42% – from a 2022 base year, and to measure and reduce our Scope 3 emissions.
- We have committed to reach net-zero by 2040, reducing reduce Scope 1+2+3 emissions 90% by 2040 from a 2022 base year.
Taking full lifecycle responsibility
It would be easy to just measure and offset/reduce emissions from our office and store. But the beauty of science-based targets is that we take into account the emissions from our entire supply chain – plus the emissions from how our products are used and even their end-of-life (a.k.a. when you throw them away).
What does that mean?
Scope 1: Emissions we create directly
- That’s emissions we create by burning something to create heat, for example, to boil our natural dyes or heat up the wax we use for your beautiful batik pieces.
- It also includes coolant for fridges and ACs in our office, our store and, yes, the fridges our Ibus use in Rumah SukkhaCitta to store their drinks.
Scope 2: Emissions from energy we buy
- In our case, Scope 2 is exclusively electricity. For our office, store and all our Rumah SukkhaCittas.
Scope 3: Emissions from Materials, Use and End of Life
- Scope 3 is the trickiest, because it involves everything else, from employee travel and field trips to shipping, materials (e.g. the emissions needed to make lyocell), the electricity emitted to maintain our website – and even toilet use (we’re not kidding you, look it up) and the emissions of making the sofa in our store.
- It also includes the use phase – a.k.a. everything you emit by washing our clothes. And end-of-life, which is the emissions your clothes emit as they decay.
As you can imagine, reducing our carbon footprint will require a lot of work. Starting with better electricity for our office, store, and village communities – all the way to further strengthening our re- and upcycling programs.
Stay tuned as we share our journey of learning, failing, and reducing our emissions in many creative ways. You can learn more about what we’re doing for a better climate – and what you can do to be part of the solution – here.
As always, thank you for being part of this crazy dream. Never doubt what a small group of nerds can do!