Each product has a certain CO2 emission. Because of the energy that has been used, the transport that has been used or the raw materials that have been used. That is also the case for mouth masks. The Alsico Mask stands out because it is CO2 neutral. But what does that mean exactly?

By making a product CO2 neutral you make an effective contribution to the fight against global warming. That goes for clothing, but just as much for masks.

Why is it also important to reduce CO2 emissions? We would almost forget it now that one crisis is at the feet of another. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases is today at its highest level in 3 million years. The last time there was 415ppm CO2 in the atmosphere was during the Pliocene when it was three degrees warmer and palm trees were still growing in Greenland.

Today we are in the Anthropocene, thus geologists indicate that the Earth’s climate and atmosphere are affected by human activity. Unfortunately, negative consequences. But it also means that humans have control over whether we can reverse climate change. Only the time that remains for us has become particularly tight.

The latest report from the international climate panel IPCCC shows that our “carbon budget” to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming will be up by 2030. The alternative is not pleasant. All warming scenarios higher than 2 degrees indicate uncontrolled domino effects that endanger the quality of life on Earth.

Measuring CO2 emissions and effectively reducing them is therefore not just an act of goodwill, it is a moral obligation for everyone who is committed to the future of the only place where human life is possible, the earth. Alsico took the first CO2 footprint of its entire activity three years ago. This means that we measure the emissions that the company itself emits (scope 1), the emissions via the energy we consume (scope 2) and the emissions throughout the production chain of the raw materials we purchase (scope 3).

After that initial measurement, Alsico did two things: actions were put in place to reduce emissions where it was highest; eg transport, energy, movements, packaging, but especially also the raw materials themselves. And the measured emissions were compensated. Not by purchasing certificates – which is the most commonly used form of CO2 compensation – but by investing in a tree planting program on the island of Madagascar.

Alsico has planted more than 100,000 trees in the past two years. Moreover, we have our own tree nursery (photo) where the local population can cooperate and be trained. In exchange for their work, they receive yield trees such as lychee, cocoa or coffee, which is a worthy alternative to arable farming that has killed as much as 90% of the island’s virgin forest and caused erosion that is disastrous for soils and ecosystems.

In this way, the emissions of substances, production and transport are offset. That is, if a kilo of polyester fabric emits 20kg of CO2, we plant a tree for every five kilos we purchase. So for your mask – which weighs 15g – we planted 0.003 trees. Like a twig. But an important twig. One that is part of a larger whole, which strives for a low-carbon economy and a liveable world for everyone.

#carbonneutral, #CO2emissions, #climatechange