The Story Behind Our Carbon Negative Analysis
ReCORK has grown from a small Napa-based initiative to North America’s largest natural cork recycling initiative in just five years. As the demand for our service has grown, we’ve scaled our operations to meet those needs. With that growth we realize our carbon footprint — even in the name of recycling — has grown. The good news is we’ve been strategic and used common sense from day one to minimize our environmental impact. What we didn’t know, was exactly how to quantify our input and output. So we sought expert advice.
Bonneville Environmental Foundation is a trusted, full-service provider of corporate energy, carbon and water footprinting services based out of Portland, Ore. BEF has a ten-year track record of helping companies in different industries assess their environmental impact. We commissioned BEF to study ReCORK’s operations and assess our carbon footprint. After an exhaustive process, BEF did a terrific job in helping us quantify the impact of our operations and tree planting and made some recommendations (some tough love) on how to further improve our process. The report in its entirety is available to the public.
There are three key take-aways from this assessment:
1) ReCORK is carbon negative.
We didn’t know if this would be possible (within reason) when we first started ReCORK. But as we developed our systems and learned more about the long term benefits of the cork forests, we realized we might have a shot. In the end, when we factor in both our operational footprint and our tree planting initiative, we’re thrilled to announce that ReCORK is carbon negative.
2) We have a long way to go.
We know we’ve done a lot of things right up to this point and we’ve made our share of mistakes. There are probably more missteps in our future but for now, we know how to avoid the major landmines. As ReCORK scales and the dynamics of world economics change, we realize we will need to be agile in adjusting our process to match those changing needs.
3) Transparency is on our side.
As noted, the report is available in its entirety for everyone to read and dissect. We welcome feedback, criticism and words of encouragement. It’s not easy to stick your neck out there like this but as noted, we believe transparency is on our side.
You can support ReCORK now on Kickstarter.