HairPeople Sustainability Philosophy
At HairPeople, we believe that great hair doesn’t need to cost the Earth. With the climate crisis becoming an existential threat, we’re proud that HairPeople is Ireland’s first truly carbon neutral salon.
Our Sustainability Philosophy has three pillars: Carbon neutrality; Minimising plastic; Respecting each other and nature.
Ireland’s first truly carbon neutral hair salon
Since the Age of Industrialisation began, in around 1860, we’ve added huge quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere as a result of burning the fossil fuels coal, oil and gas. The CO2 in the atmosphere prevents solar radiation from bouncing back into space, causing the planet to heat up. This is global warming. Carbon neutral means that we are responsible for putting no additional CO2 into the atmosphere. Every country, business and person needs to become carbon neutral, and quickly. We’re in a hole, so we need to stop digging until our society divests from fossil fuels completely.
We’ve partnered with Irish greentech company, Tao Climate, to buy Hemp Carbon Credits from a vital infrastructure project in Ukraine.
Hemp Recover Ukraine is a non-profit fund, working to rebuild Ukraine using hempcrete. They’re currently building a 30-unit apartment complex specifically to house internally-displaced people. This remarkable project deserves all our support. Purchase their Hemp Carbon Credits from Tao Climate and watch a video about the project on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iVQlUEkHu8w
For more information on Tao Climate’s vision of a sustainable world, free from the threat of climate change, visit: www.taoclimate.com
Tao Climate has worked with us through three steps to measure, minimise and manage our carbon emissions:
1. Calculate and measure emissions
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol divides greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into three areas or scopes:
Scope 1 is direct emissions from sources an organisation owns or controls. We are not directly responsible for any Scope 1 GHG emissions.
Scope 2 is indirect emissions from electricity, steam, heating and cooling resources an organisation buys. Our main source of emissions was, until 01 March 2023, the electricity supplied to us from the national grid. We use electricity to heat our water and to power our hair equipment. We also use it to run our internet connectivity and our website. We have recently switched to 100% renewable electricity.
Scope 3 is other indirect emissions that come from an organisation’s value chain. Our main suppliers are aligned with our position on carbon neutrality and we will continue to work closely with them to minimise emissions, including in transportation and delivery of stock to our salon.
The emissions are expressed in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and include other GHGs, such as methane and nitrous oxide. We regularly assess our carbon footprint and will include it in our sustainability reports and other financial reports.
Ireland’s electricity generation fuel mix is heavily dependent on fossil fuels (gas accounted for 57% of energy inputs to electricity generation in 2020, coal and peat accounted for 9%, and oil 2.4%). The fuel mix is key to the footprint.
The contribution of each energy source to C02 emissions is as follows:
- 0.986 t CO2 eq/MWh for coal-fired plants.
- 0.777 t CO2 eq /MWh for oil-fired plants.
- 0.486 t CO2 eq /MWh for gas-turbine plants.
So we measure our electricity use and use the data above to calculate its carbon footprint. We’ve measured our electricity and transportation carbon emissions during salon setup, and we have projected our operational electricity use up to the switch to renewable, and an estimate of our Scope 3 emissions, resulting in a carbon footprint of 4 tonnes to the end of 2023. We have now switched to 100% renewable electricity, so we are using Hemp Carbon Credits from Tao Climate to offset our total, historical carbon emissions and Scope 3 emissions, while we work with our partners to minimise these.
2. Reduce emissions where possible
Now that we have measured our emissions and identified the sources, we can develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Guidelines for reducing emissions are detailed in the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), which aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The SBTi advises companies to use 80% renewable electricity by 2025. Carbon reductions can also be achieved in smaller ways by individual action, like changing to a more sustainable diet or switching to greener transportation, such as electric vehicles, bikes and walking. By switching to 100% renewable electricity, we have achieved this goal of the Paris Agreement.
3. Offset remaining emissions
Emissions that cannot be reduced outright can be offset. Reduction projects are ones where carbon dioxide is absorbed or removed. A project must be certified to issue carbon credits. Our partners at Tao Climate work with licensed industrial hemp growers in Ireland, and all over the world, to capture CO2 using the amazing power of nature’s photosynthesis. Hemp also benefits pollinators, like bees, as it supplies pollen, a valuable food source, well into the Autumn when few other sources are available. The carbon trapped in the hemp fibre is safely and permanently sequestered in hempcrete, a sustainable building material. Hempoffset’s carbon offset products are a new and innovative solution to global warming, and their operations in Ireland are validated, verified and certified by the Dept of Agriculture. A carbon credit is measured as one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, CO2e. We have bought 4 tonnes of carbon credits, based on our emissions, historical and projected, and we can increase the amount of carbon we want to offset at any time. Industrial hemp is a Nature-based Solution (NbS) to climate change. The legacy NbS, forestry, is widely discredited because forests can take up to 40 years to show net carbon benefits, and many such projects are lost to fire or logging within 10 years.
Minimising plastic and water waste
Virtually all plastic in use today is made from fossil fuels. It lasts for hundreds of years, kills wildlife and destroys the natural beauty of the world. Single-use plastic is especially toxic. It is HairPeople policy to avoid the use of plastic as much as possible, to recycle what we do use, and to work with our suppliers to do the same. Of the 319,082 tonnes of plastic packaging waste generated in Ireland in 2019, only 28 per cent was recycled (Source: EPA Ireland). Bioplastic (which can be made from industrial hemp) degrades quickly and has no negative effect on marine life, so that’s the only long-term solution. Our sustainable gift vouchers are plastic-free, and now carbon neutral.
Water is a vital resource, and essential in our industry. We’re using Easydry towels in the salon. These luxurious towels are made from sustainable materials and are composted after use. It’s estimated that laundering a single towel uses 5 litres of clean water, so this strategy will add up to significant water savings, which we will measure.
We also use eco tap heads on our basins, saving around 600 litres of water, per basin, per day.
Respecting each other and nature
At HairPeople, respect, equality and inclusion are core values. We will live by these values, in every interaction with our team, our customers, and everybody we do business with. We believe that happy people, with a sustainable work/life balance, make a successful business. Respect for nature is critical to our survival as a species, so reducing carbon emissions and minimising our use of plastic also help with the bigger picture.
We’re on a sustainability journey together
We want to work with our customers, our team, our suppliers and the wider community to help achieve a sustainable world. We’d love to hear your ideas. To learn more about our Sustainability Philosophy, please get in touch with Bernadette, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about our carbon neutral certification and methodologies, contact our partners, at email@example.com.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Learn more about how to measure, minimise and manage your carbon footprint at TaoClimate.com.
This is the reconstruction project in Ukraine that we’re assisting. The hempcrete in the walls sequesters the carbon captured by the locally-grown hemp plants for hundreds of years.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates
Joke of the Month explained: When the man asked for ‘H2O too’, the barman crazily thought that he was referring to the chemical notation for hydrogen peroxide, which is H2O2. H2O2 is great for lightening hair, but don’t ever drink it! Isn’t it wild what an extra oxygen atom can do to water?