CLARITY-The Soap Co., one of the UK’s foremost social enterprises creating employment for blind and disabled people, has been awarded The Planet Mark™ for demonstrating its commitment to cutting its carbon footprint year-on-year.
(Caption: Members of the Clarity-The Soap Co. team, with front left crouching Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™, back left standing, Yemi Onabolu, sales administrator and Green Team member at CLARITY-The Soap Co, and right crouching, Camilla Marcus-Dew, head of Commercial and Green Team)
CLARITY is the UK’s oldest social enterprise and has produced soap for 80 years. 80% of its staff are visually impaired, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. The Soap Co. is Clarity’s premium luxury brand first launched in 2015. This is the first year the charity has been awarded The Planet Mark™.
Certification was awarded based on CLARITY-The Soap Co.’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 5% over the next 12 months.
The carbon footprint of CLARITY-The Soap Co. in its first reporting period (April 2016- March 2017) was 96.6 tCO2e. This was based on the energy, water and waste associated with its business operations across four sites in the UK, including its head office and main factory in East London, its luxury soap factory in Keswick, as well as offices in Portsmouth and Scotland.
The Planet Mark™ recognises’s CLARITY-The Soap Co.’s good practice in sustainability, including:
- measuring carbon emissions from electricity, natural gas, waste and water
- committing to a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually
- investing in the Eden Project to support education on climate change
- storing 260 tCO2e by protecting one acre of endangered rainforest through the charity Cool Earth
- committing to engage employees and suppliers to drive improvements.
Holders of The Planet Mark™ have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year.
CLARITY-The Soap Co. has demonstrated that plans are in place to reduce emissions across the organisation over the next year. These include creating a ‘Green Team’ to find ways to make savings and hit sustainability targets, streamlining the charity’s manufacturing process to encourage efficiency and reduced wastage, and upping its efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle cardboard and other outer packaging.
For new product ranges, recycled and recyclable materials will be used for the packaging to minimise the amount of carbon emissions created, CLARITY-The Soap Co. said.
The charity is also investigating the installation of solar panels on the roof of the factory to allow for the incorporation of renewable energy into the organisation’s energy supply, reducing emissions and promoting sustainability.
The move to become Planet Mark™-certified, follows the recent launch of the CLARITYeco range and eco-foaming hand wash that is made with 100% eco certified ingredients and is biodegradable. The foaming technology makes the hand wash up to five times as efficient as liquid alternatives and requires approximately 10% less water, according to studies.
Camilla Marcus-Dew, head of Commercial and Green Team member at CLARITY-The Soap Co., said: “We have bold ambitions to not only support our blind and disabled staff but in a way that also promotes the protection of the environment. Our determination to be sustainable is highlighted by our organisation being rewarded The Planet Mark. Now we have been accredited, the hard work begins.
Yemi Onabolu, Sales administrator and Green Team member at CLARITY-The Soap Co. added: “Sustainability is key to everything we do here at CLARITY and so I was delighted to be given the chance to work on our nomination for The Planet Mark™. We are already planning a number of ways to improve our environmental credentials and I am learning more and more every day”.
Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™ commented: “This is an outstanding commitment and CLARITY-The Soap Co. is setting the example for others to follow. We know that sustainability is good for business, but it needs organisations like CLARITY-The Soap Co. to show that we can create a safer, cleaner, better world for us, our fellow inhabitants on earth and our future generations.”
The Planet Mark™ was founded in 2013 with the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, and is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Since it launched, The Planet MarkTM has certified over 100 organisations and delivered an average carbon emissions reduction of 14.5% per employee for its clients.
First established in 1854 to give employment to the blind through making baskets, today, CLARITY creates high-quality toiletries and cleaning products, as well as soaps. All the profit goes back into providing jobs and training for people with disabilities. Over 10,000 hours of employment are created annually for its staff which has helped dozens transition into full time work elsewhere.