How We Calculate Our Products’ Waste and Climate Footprint
Did you know that some refillable and reusable solutions are actually worse for the environment? For example, reusable totes, depending on the material they’re made of, may need to be used more than 20,000 times to provide an environmental benefit above single-use plastic bags. That’s right, it could take 20,000 trips to the store for that organic cotton tote to truly be “eco-friendly”.
The same holds for refillable beauty products. While they look great on paper, it’s important to do some research and fact-finding on what the items you’re purchasing are made of and how many times you need to commit to using them to have an environmental benefit. How do you do that? Look at savings for climate emissions and landfill waste. And if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to ask the brand. It may inspire some much-needed discourse.
We launched our product refills with this exact strategy in mind. By purchasing a Weekend Glow or Just Breathe refill on versedskin.com, you save both climate emissions (CO2e) and cut back on waste with every single use. And considering Just Breathe’s refill has 286 uses and Weekend Glow’s refill has 190, that’s a lot of savings.
How do we determine just how much we’re saving, though? With the help of Carbon Calories and a calculator. Learn more about our method below.
HOW WE CALCULATE A PRODUCT’S FOOTPRINT
Our product footprint includes its material, recycled content (PCR), recyclability, climate emissions per use, and waste generated per use. While the first three are determined when creating a new product, the waste and emissions are calculated manually.
Climate Emissions Per Use (CO2e):
We used primary data for our products’ raw materials, componentry, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, and direct to consumer sales channel and used secondary data analysis from various publicly available databases, including government organizations, academic institutions, and through collaborative efforts such as the open-source wiki engine WikiCarbon, where we are unable to provide exact data.
We calculated all greenhouse gas emissions and converted them into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) using global warming potential (GWP) conversion factors developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Lastly, we used the following equation to calculate the total climate emissions per use:
Total emissions ÷ number of uses = carbon emissions per use
Waste Generated Per Use:We used the below equation to calculate waste savings of the primary packaging:
Total Componentry Weight - Total PCR Weight = Net Waste
HOW MUCH PLASTIC AND CLIMATE EMISSIONS DO OUR REFILLS SAVE?
We designed our refills to be compatible with our existing lightweight, PCR componentry. That means that with every Versed refill you use, you’re creating 32-39% fewer climate emissions and up to 85% less landfill waste than if you had purchased the regular item.
Here’s how we calculate the savings for our product refills:
Climate Emission Refill Savings (per use):
(CO2e of full size bottle - CO2e of refill pouch) = Carbon Emissions
(Carbon Emissions ÷ CO2e of bottle) x 100 = CO2e savings
Plastic Waste Refill Savings (per use):
(Net waste x number of uses per refill) - refill net waste ÷ (Full size item net waste x number of refills per pouch) x 100 = Net waste savings
In 2022, we’ll be sharing more transparency into our products’ environmental footprints. In the meantime, read more about our efforts here.