We work with the Norwegian Development Fund to reduce our CO2 emissions. The fund is a pioneer in development and environmental work, and the combination of these two complex areas. Therefore, it was natural for us to work with them. With each product sold, we give a sum of money to their tree planting project in Africa. This means that every time you purchase a product, you are helping plant trees that can absorb CO2.
In other words: A self-imposed environmental tax.
So how is the money spent?
In short, The Norwegian Development Fund plants trees in close cooperation with local communities around the world so that both the environment and local development go hand in hand. In Malawi, a seedling costs 5 kroner if purchased from a nursery. If the locals themselves produce the seedlings, it costs less than one krone (around 10 cents).
Calculating our emissions
It is no easy operation to calculate the CO2 footprint of a product. We asked specialists if they could help us. The organization "the Future in our hands" came to the rescue. To figure out exactly what each Northern Playground product releases of CO2 from production through shipping and to your home was obviously difficult. The Future in our hands made an approximate estimate based on price, where they used previous studies done on price vs. Co2 emissions. They calculated, for example, that a Ziplongs of 130 Euros probably emit 62 Kg Co2. See the calculations here.
How are we to "catch" these 62 pounds of CO2 that the Ziplong-production releases? A good measure is to plant trees that absorb the CO2. That is not for free of course. So how much should we pay per Ziplongs? We chose to use Future in our hands CO2 calculator that calculates a higher price than the commonly used stock price. In this calculator it costs 10.90 kroner to remove 62 kg of CO2 by planting trees (calculation from 2016).
Obviously, this is not a precise exercise. But we can, according to these calculations, think that if we send 11 kroner per sale to a tree planting project, it will reduce the emissions equivalently (an average purchase in our online store is about 1000 NOK). That's exactly what we do, but to be on the "safe side" we add almost the double and send 15 kroner per purchase to the Development Fund. As of today we only do this for products we sell on our webpage at full price. We are working with our retailers on a similar deal.