Reforestation & Carbon Offsetting

Today’s environmental challenges require collaboration. Collaboration of solutions, individuals, governments, and businesses. Nothing or no one can do it alone but we all have a responsibility to do what we can. That is why we are redoubling our efforts to become a more sustainable brand.

One key solution that is widely agreed to be a key ally in our global challenge against climate change is forestry. Here at Urban Veda we’ve decided to focus our climate action on responsible reforestation, not as a way of excusing our emissions but as an effective way of making a genuine contribution to building a sustainable future.

Our first priority is to reduce our environmental footprint in the first place and we have done this through this through using recycled packaging, offering recycling services, using sustainable and ethical ingredients and focusing on producing in deficits but we acknowledge that there are certain emissions that we cannot yet entirely remove from our business. Our suppliers create emissions when our products are made, and our own employees create emissions every time they commute to work, for example. This is where carbon offsetting comes in. Carbon offsetting is an activity which compensates for greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the equivalent amount of emissions from the atmosphere. For example, a CO2-absorbing tree can be planted to offset the emissions that arise from delivering one of our products. We hope that technology advances to remove these emissions as soon as possible but, in the meantime, we are taking action to compensate for the emissions we cannot avoid today.

There are a several different methods available for offsetting carbon emissions such as renewable power generation, clean cooking stoves and landfill gas capture. However, we have decided that our preferred approach is transparent and responsible forestation. Forestation involves planting new trees on sites that have been previously deforested or are otherwise degraded. These new trees absorb CO2 as they grow, directly reducing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Trees are extremely affordable, they are available now, they are scalable, and they have a whole host of other positive benefits for local ecosystems and employment opportunities. Major international bodies from the UN to NGO Project Drawdown agree that they are a vital in our goals to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and for biodiversity protection.

Responsible forestation is extremely important to us and our reforestation partner, Selva, ensures that all our trees are planted to the highest standards of sustainable reforestation and transparency. Only native, non-invasive trees are planted and local communities are employed and correctly incentivised to plant and protect the trees for the long run. For example, we are contributing to plant mangrove trees in Madagascar where, as well as through direct employment, local communities benefit from the restored forest through an increase in fisheries and the formation of microenterprises.

We specifically chose mangroves because they make excellent climate change mitigators in tropical and subtropical regions: they grow and reproduce quickly, are carbon-hungry plants, and their roots help to stabilise vulnerable coastal areas from soil erosion, tropical cyclones and tidal surges as well as slowing salination (salt-logged soils due to rising sea levels which affect agricultural productivity in low-lying coastal areas; aggravating food insecurity).

This is just our latest step in our efforts to become a sustainable business and we continue to look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and contribute to a thriving future for the natural world. Our tree planting initiatives have been facilitated by our partner Selva who help individuals and businesses take effective and transparent climate action by planting trees on their behalf.

As well as Mangroves, we plant 75 different indigenous and native tree species across Southern India, East Africa, and Madagascar. These offsetting projects are based on planting food-bearing species in poorer communities to create food forests, and include plants such as Mango, Guava, Cashew, Avocado, Baobab and Macadamia among many others.

We’re proud to say in 2021 we achieved Carbon Net Neutrality, surpassing our goal and becoming a Carbon Negative workforce by offsetting all our employees’ emissions (by +120%), and all carbon emissions for our deliveries & transport through our new permanent partnership with Selva Reforestation.

Now with every online order, we also plant a tree: in the last 6 months alone*, we have offset 269 tonnes of carbon emissions and planted 2920 trees!

Track our progress here