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[Climate change success story] Luxury soapmaker charity cuts carbon by 3.4%

[Climate change success story] UK's oldest social enterprise cuts its carbon footprint by 3.4% per employee in major sustainability drive company-wide


  • CLARITY-The Soap Co, ‘Ethical luxury handmade in the UK', the social enterprise creating employment for blind and disabled people, celebrates having cut its total operational carbon emissions by 3.4% in its second year of carbon footprint reporting.
  • The reduction means CLARITY has retained The Planet Mark™ Sustainability Certification. It was first awarded the Certificate in 2017 based on its commitment to year-on-year improvements in its sustainability performance.
  • CLARITY is a registered charity that creates high-quality toiletries, soap and cleaning products. It is the UK's oldest social enterprise, having produced soap for 80 years, and 80% of its staff are visually impaired, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. The Soap Co is CLARITY's premium luxury brand first launched in 2015.

CLARITY-The Soap Co's carbon footprint in year ending March 2018 was 124.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), a decrease of 3.4% from 2017.

On a per employee intensity, the charity's carbon footprint was 0.88 tCO2e, also representing a 3.4% reduction compared to 2017.

The reductions are based on emissions from energy use in the building (natural gas and purchased electricity), from waste disposal, water usage, paper produced in the office and courier services procured across four UK sites: London, Keswick, Portsmouth and Scotland. They have been normalised because of the introduction of emissions from paper and courier services for the first time in the organisation's 2017-18 reporting period.

The reductions follow a major sustainability drive by those working at CLARITY - The Soap Co include:

  • streamlining the charity's manufacturing process to encourage efficiency and reduced wastage
  • upping its efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle cardboard and other outer packaging resulting in a cut its in recycled waste emissions of 12%
  • purchasing 100% renewable energy across all its London manufacturing site
  • improving its carbon footprint data quality
  • introducing new sources in its Scope 3 reporting, namely paper and courier travel
  • setting up a Green Team.

Commenting on the figures, Camilla Marcus-Dew, head of Commercial and Green Team member at CLARITY-The Soap Co, said:

"At CLARITY-The Soap Co, our social and environmental responsibilities work hand and in hand. Reducing our carbon footprint is part of our ongoing commitment to make planet friendly decisions and has been achieved alongside a 14% increase in annual production to 1.3m units. Our partnership with The Planet Mark™ will only grow from strength to strength."

Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™ added:

"CLARITY-The Soap Co. has much to celebrate. Not only does it continue to create and manufacture beautiful products that make a positive contribution to the environment and to society, but it has made the bold move to tackle the sustainability impacts of its operations - and achieved a total reduction in its carbon footprint, which is difficult for any business to achieve (even the most experienced at sustainability).

"The culture at CLARITY-The Soap Co shines through via the actions it has taken in the last year. These include choosing to buy green electricity, which supports the ‘greening of the grid', a hugely significant measure required to tackle climate change."

To demonstrate the charity's commitment to ongoing environmental improvements, The Planet Mark™ logo already appears on a number of new Clarity - The Soap Co. product labels, including The CLARITYECO+ range - with an eco-foaming, biodegradable hand wash made with 100% eco certified ingredients - and The Soap Co. luxury Eco & Bee Friendly collection.

"This summer, BECỌ, a range of feel good, socially enterprising and better considered hand care products will hit supermarket shelves across the UK, " said Camilla. "Not only does BECỌ help save water, it is also vegan, hypoallergenic and free from chemical nasties. We're really excited by the change this will create in the hearts and minds of supermarket shoppers, and have included The Planet Mark™ logo on the label - putting sustainability right into the hands of millions of consumers across the country."

The Planet Mark™ Certificate recognises CLARITY - The Soap Co.'s good practice in sustainability, including:

  • measuring carbon emissions from electricity, natural gas, waste, water, paper, courier services
  • 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 acres of endangered rainforest through the charity Cool Earth
  • committing to engage employees and suppliers to drive improvements.

To hit its 2018-19 carbon footprint reduction target, CLARITY-The Soap Co. said it planned to invest in:

  • water saving systems
  • lagging of manufacturing vessels
  • printer management to reduce paper usage

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.

Holders of The Planet Mark™ have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year.

Further information:

Amanda Ruiz PR

Tel: 07711 419595