Sorewards achieves its first carbon footprint!

March 27, 2024

Sorewards' carbon footprint

In 2023, Sorewards achieved its very first carbon footprint with the Toovalu Impact® solution.

After mapping the company's flows, collecting and analyzing the figures, we arrived at this result:

Sorewards' overall carbon footprint in 2022-2023 was 217 tonnes of CO2e.

That's as many emissions as it takes to drive 1,001,838 km in a combustion-powered car, produce 477,308 kg of grapes or manufacture 1,226 laptops!

These 217 tCO2e are broken down as follows:

  • 92% linked to the use of our solidarity gift card, i.e. 199 tCO2e (excluding associative donations) ;
  • 7% related to purchases, i.e. 16.2 tCO2e (services, office equipment);
  • 1% miscellaneous emissions, i.e. 1.56 tCO2e ;
  • < 1 % liées au numérique, soit 0,43 tCO2e (hébergement web).

As committed players in the social economy, we have been determined from the outset to minimize our company's carbon footprint and make it resilient.

Each of our actions is thought out in terms of the waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle.

At Sorewards, our hardware is second-hand, our website and application are eco-designed, we optimize our resources stored in the cloud, we promote soft mobility (and never fly), our team is human-sized, as are our premises, and our household waste is minimized.

We are pleased to note that our carbon footprint within the company is only 18.2 tCO2e!

Obviously, it's still too much, and we could have done less or better, but it's encouraging.

As we tell the recipients of our gift card: our aim is not to teach lessons, but to raise awareness and responsibility around giving and responsible purchasing.

How we calculate our carbon footprint

In partnership with Toovalu and the independent consulting firm Veracy, we used the ADEME Bilan Carbone® version 8 method, based on the international ISO 14064 standard.

We have studied all our emissions generated through scopes 1, 2 and 3 (upstream and downstream) over the fiscal year from October 2022 to October 2023.

Sorewards carbon emissions

Our emissions are calculated using a common unit of measurement, the kilogramme C02 equivalent (kg CO2e), a unit created by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to compare different greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Where emissions data were not available, we used the methodology of monetary ratios (kg CO2 / k€), based on national averages.

We are aware of the limitations of this method, which lacks precision.
While some partners have been able to provide us with their carbon footprint or the precise emissions of our purchases, this is not the case for all of them.
Concerning the use of our products, it would be inconceivable, for obvious privacy reasons, to know precisely the products and services purchased with our prepaid gift cards.

Why didn't we calculate the emissions generated by donations to associations?
We decided not to include the carbon impact of donations made via Sorewards.
Simply so as not to negatively count a positive action.
Our mission is to encourage generosity and solidarity, without devaluing it. For us, donations are not a means of offsetting our carbon footprint.
We are aware of this limitation, and are considering how to overcome it for our next carbon footprint.

Reducing our carbon footprint: a continuous improvement approach

Our aim is to reconcile purchasing power and responsibility, without constraint, by encouraging generosity.

An analysis of our carbon footprint shows that the use of our products generates 92% of our carbon footprint, or 199 tonnes of CO2e.

Our major responsibility is therefore to encourage responsible and sustainable consumption by the beneficiaries of our dematerialized gift cards.

Two angles of action then became apparent.

On the one hand, we want to raise awareness among our gift card recipients of the need to consume responsibly.

Whether we're raising awareness through public or individual communications, or encouraging sustainable purchases within our application, we have a duty to promote gifts that are good for the planet, with our card valid in all partner stores in the Visa® network.

Secondly, while we don't like to give lessons, we are looking into the possibility ofexcluding certain high-profileonline platforms offering environmentally unfriendly items and engaging in unethical business practices.

We're not short of ideas!

We can go even further to empower the recipients of our dematerialized gift card to reduce the footprint of their business rewards.
Let's take the time to study and develop them so that we can offer them to you in due course.

Does the gift card industry pollute?

Is the dematerialized gift card the new standard?

The dematerialized gift card itself offers ecological advantages. Of course, this solution requires no paper, no cutting of trees and no transport, but it does rely on an IT infrastructure, the use of datacenters and the design of web applications.
Sectors with a high carbon footprint, where the choice of committed service providers can make all the difference.

The subject of responsible digital becomes central, and fortunately, industry players have not waited to take an interest.

IT service providers such as Scaleway and OVH, whom we trust, are aware of the ecological impact of their activities, and have already taken steps to limit their emissions, whether for technical, economic or legislative reasons.

Their actions, coupled with our own, enable us to emit less than one tonne of CO2e in digital terms, despite the fact that most of our business is paperless.

Finally, to analyze the overall carbon footprint of gift cards, let's look at how the amounts are spent.

As with the results of our carbon footprint, the impact study of the gift card sector reveals a number of difficulties, as the sums spent via gift cards are diverse and varied in nature.

Textiles, leisure, travel... all these sectors have a carbon footprint to analyze.

The textile industry in focus

After receiving a gift card, the purchase of clothing is the main item of expenditure for the French. We have verified this in our carbon footprint, as we have for other players in the sector.

A boon for the French apparel sector, which in 2022 will account for 26.2 billion euros. Demand remains stable, however, due to rising prices - up by almost 5% in 2023 - and the context of national inflation.

In terms of carbon footprint, the figures are frightening.

The textile industry is the world's third-largest consumer of water, and accounts for no less than 4 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.
That'smore than the impact of international air travel and maritime traffic combined!

As for the fibers used to make our clothes, the picture isn't pretty either.
70% of textiles are made from polyester, a petroleum-based material that disperses billions of micro-particles into the oceans each time it is washed.

What about cotton? Not much less, since cotton cultivation requires the use of pesticides and large quantities of fresh water.

And that's without mentioning the transport, mainly by air, of clothes manufactured on the other side of the world and delivered quickly to our boutiques to keep up with the frenetic pace of new collections.

Nor will we go into detail about the social impact of the textile industry and the working conditions, some of them akin to slavery, of the little hands who make our clothes.
But it goes without saying that the environmental impact must be set against the social and societal impact generated by an activity.

Now that the facts are in, whether in terms of our carbon footprint or sustainable consumption, it's time for action!
Let's commit to improving, step by step.

There are no small actions, no paradoxes to be had, no judgments to be made.

Every day is an opportunity to do a little more to preserve our planet.

💌 Don't hesitate to send us your ideas for action at hello@sorewards.com!

Read also