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Classy Climate Smart Gifts Versus Over-Packaged, Over-Done Gift Baskets Wrapped in Plastic

 

 

Our business was born with the realization that 50 million gift baskets were going into landfills every year. Why should gift experiences generate waste that cannot be re-used or recycled? What does a wasteful gift wrapped in plastic say about your relationship with your friends, family and business associates?

 

 

From day one, we have been committed to locally sourced products and recyclable packaging. At the Saul Good Gift Co., we use 100% recycled and reclaimed paper packaging that is Ancient Forest Free certified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do We Reduce Our Carbon Footprint?

 

As we maintain alignment with our core principles, we are also facing the reality of a growing business and a larger carbon footprint. Our work with Climate Smart has provided important guidance. This local Vancouver social enterprise helps businesses measure and reduce their carbon footprint while cutting costs.

 

We measure the intensity of our carbon footprint in pounds per $100K in revenue. In 2009, we measured 12.9 pounds. In 2010, we measured 5.6 pounds. Even though the total emissions increased from 2009 to 2010 so did the number of gift baskets we produced. We improved our carbon intensity so that the emissions per dollar decreased by more than 50%. Go team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is our Largest Impact?

 

Shipping is a large impact for us.To address this we’ve selected carriers that are carbon neutral and that use hybrid vehicles. For downtown Vancouver gift basket deliveries we work with Shift Delivery, a hybrid electric tricycle delivery business.

 

 

Novex is one of our main couriers. They launched Canada’s 1st 100% electric delivery trucks earlier this year and are Vancouver’s most sustainable courier. For products shipped outside the Lower Mainland we use UPS, which uses alternative fuel vehicles and have recently launched an offset program for emissions generated by shipping

 

 

Paper use is currently our largest contributor of greenhouse gases. Our gift baskets are made with cardboard. In 2009 we changed the production of all our packaging to use 100% post consumer recycled paper. Although we are proud of our practices, there is a small amount of packaging materials that are not 100% recycled. We will continue to search for suppliers with 100% recycled options.

 

 

 

How Can We Improve?

 

In order for us to reduce the intensity of our impact we need to address our packaging in a deeper way. Moving to 100% recycled cardboard was a great first step, but we do not consider this an arrival point. We are continually looking for opportunities to improve.

 

 

The next step for us is addressing paper intensity, finding ways to use less paper fibre, by weight, per gift box produced.

 

 

We are excited about opportunities to reduce our use of paper fibre through innovative design. If we can find ways to redesign the construction of out gift boxes, so they use less materials, we’ll have a solution to reduce our paper intensity.

 

As Saul Good grows to cities across Canada and down the West Coast, we will continue to work with local suppliers to keep our gifts close to home. Over this past year we’ve established an Ontario based business with all products sourced local to Toronto.