There is only one way to change climate change: moving beyond greenwashing and actively reducing our emissions.
We don't "believe" in a human-caused climate crisis, because it's a fact, not an opinion. This means we need to act now, in everything we do, and with everyone we work with. It includes our service providers, clients, and extends to their stakeholders too. Less blah, blah, blah, here's our contribution.
In 2020, the French Citizen Convention for Climate proposed to the Parliament that advertising about industries heavily emitting carbon emissions should be ruled illegal and forbidden.
It doesn't make sense for us to try to change the behaviours of the biggest emitters (and moreover, to promote them). We're too small and they're simply too big to exist in a sustainable world. We'd rather focus on organisations that do good already and help them strive in accordance with their values.
In this spirit, we have pledged to work only with brands and organisations striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. We verify the depth of that commitment to the best of our knowledge and abilities.
As Julia Faure said in her TEDxUniversitédeTours Talk, success can't be defined any longer by a revenue growth rate, but by the positive impacts an organisation has on the world. We strongly support that. Unlimited profits are not our goal and we won't encourage overconsumption to the audience of our clients. We keep in mind that sustainability is first and foremost about consuming less, not consuming more efficiently (if that still reflects an increase in emissions).
Growing within planetary boundaries, with strong social foundations. That's what the brilliant economist Kate Reworth means with her Doughnut Economics model. It's what we're trying to integrate in all of our services.
Growth is not a bad thing in itself, especially when it's the "good" things that are taking more market shares. But just like the second-hand clothing industry has become a problem too, we need to define ecological ceilings so our virtuous innovations don't turn against our mission in the first place.
As much as our office should be convincing in terms of design and functionality, considering its environmental impacts prevails.
Room in a box, a German company (not affiliated with us yet, though we would highly enjoy to!), lives by those criteria. Their beautiful modular products are made of recycled and recyclable cardboard, designed to last at least a decade, and shipment is efficiently compensated.
As much as being a climate-neutral company does not make sense scientifically (only the planet, or to some extent a country/continent, can claim they're actually climate-neutral, but we understand it can be an umbrella expression summing up a contribution), their factful efforts speak volume and our office looks so cool thanks to them, while having the smallest impact ☺️.
As for our other equipments, we will not replace our perfectly working appliances as soon as the brand offers a new, supposedly-more-amazing version. Marginal comfort is not our lifestyle. We'll use our equipment for as long as they can last and repair them when possible.
The food industry – driven by our individual consumptions – is responsible for a large part of our carbon footprint. It's often advised that to reduce those emissions, one should eat more local, but this is a really misguided piece of advice that does not grasp the problem.
Just have a look at the chart bellow, put together by the fantastic Our World in Data team:
Eventually, it is what we eat that matters. Transport, retail, and packaging do have an impact, but they are insignificant compared to the nature of our diet. Growing some food products generates much bigger greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than others. Animal products top those emissions.
One could think that "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem" is a bit cheesy (cheese is quite a part of it actually), but with food, it really shows. The opportunity cost of a plant-based diet literally saves lives on the long run.
This means we don't have the choice but to stop eating the products at the top of this chart, which we've been doing for a few years already. These rules are a core element of our Responsible Events service.
No need to add that when it comes to cutlery, if it's really not possible to use durable one we already own, then we'll use compostable one (the kind that can degrade by itself in your organic trash bins, not under high temperature at an industrial facility).
If you want to explore further whether one should eat local or not, we recommend the very complete article "Should You Buy Local?" (Carson Young, 2022).
If you do not have access to Springer, please unapologetically use Sci-Hub (you might need a VPN, the free version of ProtonVPN does the job!) or kindly reach out to the author. However, spoiler alert about the article's conclusion: "none of the most prominent reasons offered in favor of buying local — protecting the environment, promoting the health of local communities, supporting small business, helping ensure access to high-quality food, promoting the prosperity of regional economies — provide strong ethical justification for buying local. If the values underlying the locavore movement are as important as locavores claim, then the practice of buying local fails to do them justice."
If there's one positive thing the covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that holding some professional meetings remotely is possible. No need to travel hundreds of kilometres for meetings that can be replaced by conference calls. We have even chosen early on in our career not to get a driving license, so we'll never be incentivised into buying a car or using someone else's.
However, should we decide to travel, it will be done via public transportation. Trains (or a bike/bus/metro ride if close enough) will prevail as much as possible over flights. If there are no reasonable alternative to flying, we will consider: - holding that meeting remotely, - and then... no wait, we have stopped flying 😉
2% for the Planet
In a continuous effort to learn and do more, our team has also taken the time to complete courses about 'Sustainable Development in the 21st Centure' and 'Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact'.