technology is killing our planet
A bit intense? Sorry about that but we think it’s time we had an honest conversation about our relationship with technology and the impact it’s having on our planet.
the honest reality
the technology industry is responsible for around 3.7% of greenhouse gases – that’s around the same amount as global aviation.
We rarely think about the infrastructure powering a small device and it can be easy to underestimate its impact.
As more money is invested into tech its carbon footprint is only set to grow. This means more energy and more raw materials. By 2040 communication technology will account for 14% of the global environmental footprint (Journal of Cleaner Production, 2018).
But no-one’s talking about it.
We don’t think that’s very honest.
honest in action
We’re proud to be the UK’s first carbon negative mobile network. We remove double the CO2 we emit using high quality carbon removals.
We’re a member of 1% for the planet and donate 1% of our revenue to initiatives fighting the climate crisis. We’re working on a mission to plant One Million Trees.
We’re a certified B Corporation which means we’re legally committed to consider people and the planet in every decision we make as a business.
our carbon footprint
What does carbon negative mean?
We’re proud to be the UK’s first carbon negative mobile network and we hope others will join us soon.
The term carbon negative aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) definition of net negative emissions: “where more greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere than are emitted into it.”
At Honest we go one step further, removing double the amount of CO2 that we emit. That means we remove double the CO2 emissions created by your phone, including the daily charging and manufacture of your phone.
Why is carbon negative important?
The Science Based Targets Initiative (STBi) encourages companies to support beyond value chain mitigation (BVCM) to help contribute to societal net-zero and urges them to do it now. The IPCC pathways to achieve a less than 1.5*C temperature rise in 2100 require businesses to become carbon negative or net-negative. Meeting the world’s ambitious climate goals by 2050 will require CO2 emissions to fall below zero in the second half of the century and encouraging business to reach net-negative emissions ASAP will help to remove the legacy CO2 emissions and also help compensate for businesses and industries where decarbonisation is more challenging.
This is why we’ve chosen to be a carbon negative company and why we think it’s essential that businesses aim to reach net-negative emissions.
How we remove CO2 from the atmosphere?
Carbon offsetting has a bad reputation, mainly when cheap, low quality offsets are used as an excuse not to reduce emissions. The most important thing that we do is reducing our emissions.
At Honest, we’ve reduced our emissions where we can and we use high quality carbon removals to address the remaining emissions in our supply chain, in line with the Oxford Offsetting Principles.
Carbon removal methods actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Direct Air Capture
Uses large fans to suck CO2 directly out of the atmosphere. Captured CO2 is either stored permanantly in rock formations under the ground or reused for other materials.
Ocean Blue Carbon
Ocean Blue carbon sequesters CO2 by growing ocean biomass (seaweed) on the surface of the ocean before sinking it to the seafloor where it is stored for centuries.
Heating waste biomass to high temperatures without oxygen turns it into carbon-rich biochar. The carbon is safely stored for hundreds of years and can also be used to increase agricultural productivity.
carbon removal methods
Direct Air Capture
Direct Air Capture (DAC) is the most expensive technology we use to capture carbon from the air. Even though it’s pretty early in its development, companies like Honest Mobile are leading the way in its early adoption. As a tech company we think it’s important to invest in new tech that will help stop the climate emergency. Combined with a safe and permanent storage solution, DAC is an incredible form of CO2 removal.
We work with the Swiss company Climeworks whose DAC technology captures CO2 from the air. The CO2 is then mixed with water and pumped deep underground. Through a process of rapid underground mineralization provided by Climeworks’ partner Carbfix, the captured CO2 is turned into stone and removed from the air safely and permanently for thousands of years. We use Climeworks’ service to remove 1% of our emissions. DAC is well worth the cost because it’s very permanent and it’s easy to trace – and as more people invest in it the cost will go down.
Image source: Climeworks
Ocean Blue Carbon
Ocean blue carbon taps into the carbon sequestration potential of ocean biomass and moving carbon from the fast carbon cycle to the slow carbon cycle where it is safely stored for hundreds of years.
We’re investing in Running Tide’s pilot project in the North Atlantic. Running Tide distributes carbon buoys made from forestry residue and limestone, seeded with kelp onto the surface of the ocean. CO2 is trapped by seaweed growing, creating carbon-rich biomass through photosynthesis. Ocean currents move the carbon buoys into the open ocean before the seaweed hits a critical mass (after about 3 months) where the floatation device hits a critical mass and sinks to the seabed. The biomass is stored for hundreds of years on the seabed, 1000’s of meters down where it is put under immense water pressure.
Image source: Running Tide
Biochar is created by heating biomass (green waste) to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. This process is called Pyrolysis. Biochar, a charcoal-like substance, is produced by this process creating a carbon rich substance that helps store the carbon permanently for hundreds to thousands of years.
We produce Biochar in partnership with Carbonfuture. Once produced, the Biochar is primarily applied to soils to increase agricultural productivity. This technique also produces byproducts – pyrolysis oils or process gases – that can be used to generate energy and heating. But people have also started using it to create paints, building materials, insulation materials, textiles and other high-tech materials. This is great news because this could replace scarce resources like sand.
Biochar is still pretty expensive and the Biochar industry isn’t the only one with an eye on plant waste (biomass) from agriculture or forests. The dawn of new technologies, such as Bio-energy or BECCS, is increasing the competition for waste biomass.
Image source: Carbonfuture
TAKING ROOT – CommuniTree
Forests are our nature’s CO2 capturing machines helping to draw down CO2 and releasing life sustaining oxygen into the atmosphere.
We support CommuniTree – the largest reforestation project in Nicaragua. It uses reforestation to restore ecosystem, improve livelihoods and reverse climate change and has been featured by the UN and EU for its best practices in reforestation.
The project uses FARM-TRACE, a software platform using satellite data to measure and quantify the number of trees and the amount of carbon stored in then in near-real-time. This makes this project highly transparent and traceable.
Image source: Taking Root
we declare a climate emergency
Honest Mobile is proud to have joined the Business Declares network. A collection of businesses that acknowledge the climate emergency and the need for urgent action to mitigate its effects.
Building a mobile network that puts people and our planet first has been part of Honest’s mission since Andy and Josh launched the company.
As a B Corp, we’re legally committed to consider people and the planet in all decisions we make, (we’d do it anyway, but it’s nice for you to know!). We’re carbon negative, removing double the carbon created across our business and by our members’ phones. As a tech for good start up we invest in innovative carbon capture technologies Direct Air Capture and Biochar to do this. We’re also a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of our members bills’ to our tree planting projects with TreeSisters. We’re the most ethical mobile network voted for by The Good Shopping Guide and top rated by Ethical Consumer.
We never claim to be perfect, but as a business we’re always looking for ways to become more sustainable and take action to stop the climate crisis. We’re always glad to find other likeminded businesses to share ideas and take action with.
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