Updated: Apr 19
Confused about the tag? Here is why our samples have the tags attached.
Have you recently receive one of our sample envelopes and wondered what this tag is?
We've started sending samples to anyone who wants one. If you want one, visit https://www.automedi.co.uk/contact and let us known you want one. They show a sample of a particular recyclable bioplastic (in this case, flexible) with different infills and one with 50% of a brim around it to show how thin we can go.
However, before we explain why we've added this tag, it's best to talk about post.
The Climate Cost of affixing a Stamp
Postage, in whatever form, transports physical goods from point A to point Z, via several other intersecting points of handover and processing by sorting machines and people, who make their way to delivery and fulfilment centres, as well as collecting post from post boxes.
Every journey consumes and emits a significant amount of CO2. 59.76 million tonnes of CO2 are produced by people and businesses sending 2.8 billion parcels averaging 21g of CO2 per parcel.
Many businesses claim to be carbon neutral. If we only consider what happens within the walls of a business, this may be true (though there are many cases of greenwashing and offsetting of harmful climate impacts). However, every business in the chain does this and each, may well individually be truly carbon neutral. But systemically, it almost always isn't.
The reason? Delivery!
Consider the climate impact of logistics through their supply of equipment to the care sector. Carrying 1kg of equipment just 1 km, results in 7g of CO2 and Nitrogen Dioxide being emitted. Delivery doesn't have zero carbon impact.
The race to minus
In order to offset the amount of emissions that a parcel has, we need to do a calculation.
The weight of our package plus the climate impact of the paper processing and print, is 21g and travels an average of 80 km, which has an average Carbon footprint of 1.2g of CO2 for the entire journey.
To maintain carbon neutrality, as with all organisations, we have to ensure that we offset this into something which has a greater than 1.2g climate benefit. It must be net negative.
How do seeds help?
You may be familiar with the way tree planting is often cited as a way to replenish paper industry consumption and offset the Carbon footprint of some other products. Or worse, as greenwashing. Fully grown trees are not offset by 23 saplings and crucially, they take decades to start to consume the same amout of CO2 as the fully grown tree they replace. Placing CO2 even further ahead.
However, offsetting small items is viable this way. Not only that, but it turns out that seeds and wildflowers, offset more total climate impacts than shrubs and trees for the same volume, despite the lower CO2 consumption, due to their propensity to create monocultures and fill more of the space, while also providing greater pollination sources for bees. An essential actor in all the world's ecosystems.
Each wildflower meadow can offset up to 11 tonnes of CO2 per hectare annually, compared to 33 tonnes of CO2 on average for trees. However, customers can't plant trees and trees struggle to consume this throughout its lifetime because in their early years, they consume less.
So, the tags?
The seeds implanted in our tags cover an area of 6cm x 7cm and contain 19.2 seeds on average. Only 6 of those will be viable germinators and this means the maximum amount of CO2 this tag can viably eradicate is 28g of CO2 per year. More than the weight of the package and its contents combined. The 7 extra grams help us to account for any non-renewable electricity used our in digital footprint to order the samples too.
These sorts of net-negative packaging are going to be essential if we are to truly offset our own footprints and develop a net neutral supply chain. If we don't, we risk fooling ourselves into adding to climate woes without knowing we are doing it.
Happy to receive samples? Get in touch telling us when and where and one of our team will be get in touch with you today
Want to know how Automedi can help reduce your carbon footprint and help you open a channel into primary care? See our brochure here.