At iSB Group, we’re proud to be a stockist of U-Power’s range of carbon neutral safety footwear – the first safety trainers in the world to be certified carbon neutral.
The company’s Red Industry Green range is manufactured using recycled materials and compounds originating from renewable sources, while the carbon dioxide emitted during production is offset by the company’s commitment to the United Nations initiative Climate Neutral Now.
Businesses purchasing safety trainers from the Red Industry Green range are, through their choice, supporting a variety of sustainability projects selected by U-Power under their Climate Neutral Now obligations.
Fighting climate change and supporting the local economy in Laos
In one such project, the company is funding a hydropower plant producing renewable energy in Laos. The Xe Namnoy 2 Hydropower plant, located in the southern region of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in southeast Asia, will help the country become energy self-sufficient by reducing energy generation from thermal power plants that use fossil fuels.
The new power station uses the energy of flowing water to generate clean electricity, which is then fed into the grid. As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the project is providing jobs and training opportunities for local people.
Xe Namnoy 2 Hydropower: in numbers
- 1,048 The number of local people benefiting from the improvements brought by the development of water supply
- 83,000Mwh The amount of clean electricity sent to the grid, on average every year
- 10 jobs for local people created
- 46,000tCO2e The amount of carbon dioxide saved in a year, through replacing part of the energy generated by thermal power plants
How can safety trainers be carbon neutral?
To gain a Carbon Neutrality (CN) certificate for its product range, a company must demonstrate that it has achieved net emissions of greenhouse gases equal to zero through concerted action to reduce those emissions and – where this is not possible – through the purchase of recognised CO2 credits.
U-Power is a manufacturer committed to sustainability – to reducing the impact of its operations on people and the planet. Safety trainers in its Red Industry Green range are made as far as possible from recycled materials and using compounds originating from renewable sources.
Unfortunately, the process of producing the component materials, assembling the trainers, and the logistics and transportation involved in their distribution to market inevitably results in carbon dioxide emissions. While steps have been taken to reduce these to the minimum, it is not always possible to eliminate them altogether.
However, the remaining emissions can be offset through the purchase of recognised ‘credits’, which fund specific environmental protection projects that compensate for the carbon dioxide produced.
U-Power has chosen to do this through the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative.
Launched by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, the initiative aims to limit global warming to below 2°c (preferably 1.5MHz) compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this ambitious goal, member organisations pledge to:
- Measure their impact on climate change,
- Start a process aimed at reducing their emissions as much as possible, and
- Apply UN-recognised standards to offset emissions that cannot be avoided.
Credits purchased by U-Power to compensate for the remaining carbon dioxide emissions in the production supply chain for the Red Industry Green range equate to 4,500 tonnes. The credits fund projects such as the Xe Namnoy 2 Hydropower plant.
Why is all this so important?
Our planet is a complex ecosystem of connected parts, all delicately balanced and working together. But developments over the past 50 years threaten to disrupt this fragile harmony. Urgent action is needed, before it is too late to reverse the damage.
Reducing carbon emissions is a key target in this. Carbon trapped in the ground is released back into the air through deforestation and intensive agriculture, and added to by emissions from transportation and industrial processes.
Over the past 50 years, the Earth has changed much faster than ever before. The population has tripled, and there have been major changes in the natural world:
- Over the past 40 years, the ice cap has shrunk by 40%, as a result of global warming,
- By 2050, a quarter of all animal species could be at risk of extinction,
- Half of the world’s coral reef has disappeared, with forest vanishing at an alarming rate of 13 million hectares every year,
- Some 40% of arable land has suffered long-term damage.
By 2050, there could be at least 200 million climate refugees.
In choosing to purchase sustainable workwear and PPE such as safety trainers from U-Power’s Red Industry Green range, businesses are demonstrating their own commitment to people and planet, and continuing their journey towards a more sustainable future for us all.