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Why we care about sustainability.


Climate change is one of the biggest threats we’re facing, and it will change the world as we know it. Governments, individuals and companies all have a role to play in order to stay under the 1.5 °C limit set by scientists – so we can all keep living and not destroy entire ecosystems.

We care about sustainability.

 

The world we live in

In 2018, the United Nations’ Secretary General warned us saying that Humanity and life on Earth now face a “direct existential threat”. [1] Human activity is having a greater impact on Life on Earth than any other species has ever had, ever. This is leading us towards the sixth mass extinction. By 2100, many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction.

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - There is no planet B

 

Cool & not so cool facts

1 trillion: Number of trees Swiss climate ecologist Tom Crowther says must be planted to effectively fight climate change.

$1.2 million: Electricity saved by 500,000 trees planted by a utility company in Sacramento, California - lowering the outside temperature through evapotranspiration and providing shade.

143,000,000: People the World Bank predicts will become internal climate migrants, having been driven from their homes to other parts of their countries due to climate change.

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - man watching the world burn

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - thin line of animal rights

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - plastic mass in the oceanPlastic straws account for 0.03%.

 

What we decided at Minor Figures

We’re a coffee company. We asked ourselves what impact we could have in our industry to be more sustainable. And what we found was milk. The best companion for specialty coffee. Dairy is the status quo for coffee - not the gold standard.

Our team of baristas developed our Oat M*lk to allow the brightness and natural character of the espresso into your cup of latte, flat white, mocha – while having a smaller impact on the environment.

Better for your coffee.
Better for the planet.

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - Environmental impact of different milks - GHG emissions

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - Environmental impact of different milks - land use

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - Environmental impact of different milks - water use

 

Other things we do to be sustainable

While we believe this is a move in the right direction as a company, Minor Figures is made of individuals who all personally care for the environment.

As a team we take turns to cook vegan meals for each other every day. It’s a great contribution to reduce our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as livestock and their byproducts account for at least 51% of annual worldwide GHG emissions. [3]

A person on a plant-based diet can run their shower and washing machine 24/7 and still be more eco-friendly than a meat eater. [4]

 

We also try to limit our use of plastic, as there’s clearly way too much that ends up in landfill and the ocean, so we shop directly to wholesaler and recycle all the plastic that actually ends up in our kitchen. Random fun fact: some of the team have recently bought some running shoes and socks made of recycled plastic ahead of a team run!

We're looking at improving the environmental impact of our packaging, using recycled paper instead of plastic, soy-based ink instead of petroleum ink, and eco-friendly shipping packaging wherever possible. 

And since we produce oat milk we don’t drink cow’s milk either and that’s great to reduce our water consumption as it takes 1020L of water to produce 1L of cow’s milk.

Why we care about sustainability - Blog - It takes 1020L of water to produce 1L of cow milk
What would you rather? [6]

We're on our way to get B Corps accredited because we align with the values of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We'll write more about this as we go along.

 

—— Notes ——

[1] The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
 

[2] Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic, Nature, L. Lebreton et al., 22 March 2018.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w
Who? Nature is one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world.

[3] Livestock and Climate Change, what if the key actors in climate change are… cows, pigs, and chickens?, Goodland and Anhang, World Watch, 2009.
http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pd
Who? The Worldwatch Institute is a globally focused environmental research organization.

[4] A meat eater requires 19,100 litres of water per day (for animals drinking water, crop irrigation, processing, washing, cooking, etc.), whereas a person on a plant-based diet requires only 1,350 litres a day, 14x less. [5]

An average shower uses 65L for 8mn, that’s an average of 8L/mn. If you left it on all day (note: don’t do it it’s bad for the environment) you’d use:

8L * 60mn * 24hr = 11,520L
That’s still ~6,200 litres less than if you ate meat

An average washing machine uses 150L per wash, with an avg duration of 2hr. If you left it on all day (again, don’t do it…) you’d use 150L * 24hr / 2hr = 1,800L
That’s still ~4,400 litres less than if you ate meat.

Not too sure what you’d use that on to be honest since you’ve already taken 18 showers and washed all your clothes 12 times. Maybe you could water your garden, or flush your toilets over and over? But it’s all a bit ridiculous by now…
 

[5] Judaism and Vegetarianism, Richard H. Schwartz, 2001.

[6] Infographics by gotdrought.info, based on data by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
https://www.imeche.org/policy-and-press/environment-theme

 

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