Everybody’s talking about COP26 right now, but it’s not clear to everyone what it’s all about, why it matters, and how we can get involved.
COP26 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow from October 31st to November 12th - is an international meeting of global leaders to determine how the world will keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. That means leaders need to put the health of both people and the planet at the centre of their decision-making.
But first, let’s go back to basics.
What is climate change – and why should we care?
The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, causes greenhouse gas emissions (including carbon) to be released into the atmosphere, where they become trapped, causing it to warm up. When the atmosphere becomes warmer, it creates more extreme and frequent weather events, such as severe storms, bushfires, droughts, and flooding.
Warmer temperatures also add to ice melting in the Arctic – not good as the Arctic helps to regulate the world’s temperature, and it leads to sea levels rising … and while that might not seem like a major concern to many, for those in low-lying nations, such as the Pacific islands, it means your homeland is starting to sink below the rising sea.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from hundreds of the world’s leading scientists and scientific bodies noted we are in a climate emergency and we only have until 2030 to change the trajectory. Climate change impacts every person on earth - how our food grows, access to clean air and water, the survival of many species of plants and animals which together keep ecosystems in balance.
While there’s no doubt governments need to make legally-binding commitments on climate change, businesses need to play their part in becoming a force for good too, and the time to act is today…without delay.
We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s also not optional. We need to take real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to promote and pursue renewable green energy alternatives.
Here at Modibodi, we’re completing our first carbon audit this year, and committing to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2023, which means we’ll remove more emissions from the atmosphere than we produce. It’s a big job, but we’re up for it.
We’ve also completed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which is a scientific data analysis to identify the environmental impact of our leak-proof underpants over their entire life cycle compared to disposable tampons and pads.
The LCA looked at raw material extraction, transport, manufacturing, distribution, customer use and the product’s end of life, and while we had a good idea of where our ‘hotspots’ were, the LCA provided certainty.
Most of our carbon emissions come from the growing, extraction and processing of raw materials into fabrics, followed by energy used during customer care for washing. Which is why we continue to examine our choice of fibres moving to alternate options as they become available, and we remind customers to wash in cold water with other clothes for a full load, then line dry to reduce energy and water use.
Our LCA confirmed that Modibodi underpants create 60% and 70% fewer carbon emissions than both disposable pads and tampons* - so we can confidently say that to reduce carbon emissions as well as waste, Modibodi is a better choice than traditional disposable menstrual products.
What you can do
We don’t just want to do our bit, we want to do our best. If you want to make a difference, take steps to reduce your own carbon footprint:
- Reduce your energy usage and ask your power provider for renewable energy
- Make conscious buying decisions (how much do you really need?)
- Lobby your local MP or government officials to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 in your city or support changes in your industry
- Support businesses taking action to reduce carbon emissions
- Talk to your family, friends and neighbours about the power of choices and how to influence emission reduction change.
You can do this today, not tomorrow. Because we’ve waited too long already.
For more information about COP26 and climate change, visit: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/scoop-on-climate/
*Based on 8 pairs of Modibodi over four years compared to equivalent pads and tampons. Heavy-Overnight gusset was 60% lower in emissions, Light-Moderate gusset was 70% lower.