Measuring Impact with Green Story – by Akhil Sivanandan

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Who are Green Story?

We launched Green Story in 2015 with the goal to get every consumer on the planet to ask “What’s my impact?” before they make a purchase. By working with pioneering eco brands, we have helped over 10 million consumers make greener choices.

Real change stems from collective action. But collective action is a misleading term. It implies that a greater “group” must act, when in reality it is the culmination of each individuals’ actions that snowballs into material change.

In today’s world, we often feel too distant from the production of what we consume, even if it’s something as simple as a t-shirt. That makes it hard to know exactly how and where buying a green product is helping. Through credible data (more on that later), and visuals that are easy to understand, we can accurately and precisely show the impact you can have by choosing green.

Our message is simple: a lot of the power to make the world greener lies in you, the consumer’s hands. Regardless of your income or budget, there is something you can do to play your part. Recycle, repurpose, advocate or vote with your wallet. Be part of the change.

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What is an LCA?

When we talk about data what we’re really talking about is gathering impact information through a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). A recent study from McKinsey discovered that between 40% to 60% of a company’s footprint actually comes from its supply chain. So, it’s crucial to understand your supply chain and what is causing this impact, each step of the way.

Life Cycle Analysis is perhaps the most effective and common method for determining the “greenness” of a product or service. For doing an LCA we need to know 3 main things:

  1. Where each stage is produced (from raw material to warehouse). Each country’s energy grids affect the overall ‘greenness’ of a product, as some grids are more polluting than others.
  2. Who the suppliers are at each stage and what major production processes they have. Each product type will have different processes, just think of making socks versus denim!
  3. How materials are transported between each phase up to the warehouse. Transporting via ship, air, road, or rail will all significantly vary the total footprint of a product.

By looking into this using a comprehensive ISO process, we can ensure the data shown by our brand partners, like BAM, is credible, verified and transparent. Now, you can make greener decisions.

Working with BAM

BAM already knew how important measurement was and they had identified each step of their supply chain. This is not an easy task – in BAM’s case it took two years to complete – but it meant that we had the information we needed to start the measuring process.

Measurement isn’t the goal, it’s the starting point. BAM get this. In their own Green Story blog, they say:

Whilst it’s heartening to see the savings we’re making, in truth, this is just the springboard to the next step. If we’re going to be impact positive by 2030, we have to do more. We have to look at where we still have an impact and we need to reduce it. When we talk about sustainability, it isn’t just talk.

And that says it all for us.