We want to produce CONFIDENT? as sustainably as possible and to ultimately have a positive impact on the planet. So far, we've planted 260,000 trees and we use recycled or sustainable paper and cardboard. But that's not enough. So in early 2021, we measured CONFIDENT?'s carbon footprint. We now know the emissions each game produces along its entire lifecycle, and we're offsetting the whole thing for every game globally. The next step is to reduce that carbon footprint so that there's nothing left to offset.
Everyone says it, but what does it mean? Well, it's a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases that a product, company or process produces. The bigger the number, the worse it is. It's measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent, or kg CO2e for short. Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how much different products produce.
There are many stakeholders and steps in producing a product. For our games, we outsource the vast majority of the production and logistics to suppliers. Different companies do different stages of the process, so the game's emissions are mostly produced by our suppliers since our company is just a few people on laptops.
Some firms just offset their own footprint and stick a carbon neutral logo on the product, even though they've ignored most of the supply chain. But that didn't feel right to us - people want to know that all the emissions of the whole process are offset. So that's what we've done. The assessment complied with PAS-2050:2011 and we got it independently reviewed by an expert.
Each copy of CONFIDENT? produces 2.1 kg of CO2e. That's roughly the same as a litre of milk or 12 eggs or driving 10 miles in a petrol car. Basically, the footprint is relatively small.
This is the average based on the games we sell globally. Some produce less as they don't need to travel as far, while others produce more as they're shipped across the world.
We've partnered with non-profit Carbonfund.org. They ensure we've measured the emissions accurately and then they offset them using third-party verified carbon offset projects. We're offsetting the 2021 emissions by contributing funding towards wind turbines in India. This new source of carbon-free energy wouldn't have otherwise existed so it offsets the emissions our games produce.
Kinda! CONFIDENT? is the first board game to be certified as carbon neutral under Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly Program, and we're hoping it will inspire other publishers to do the same. The trees we plant aren't included in the offsets as their carbon impact is hard to measure. So the positive impact of the trees is in addition, which means that we're not just carbon neutral, we're carbon negative!
Manufacturing: Our main supplier runs its factory with renewable energy. We can push the rest of the supply chain to do the same.
Distribution: As technology develops, we'd like to move to electric trucks, vans and ships to transport the games.
Disposal: Urge people to donate, share or recycle old games so they don't go to landfill.
How do we minimise our impact on the planet? The first option is to stop producing games entirely, as that would wipe out our footprint. But, people will continue to buy board games, and since other games might not be sustainably made, this could actually have a negative overall impact. So we want to produce CONFIDENT? as sustainably as possible so that it has a positive impact. We hope to inspire others too!