We here at LA SIESTA agree: hammocks bring beauty into day-to-day life. Our hammocks provide relaxation, balance, and moments of joy every day.
But as much as we love our products, we are aware that with every hammock produced we are contibuting to climate change. Because of this, climate-friendly production processes and choices in our daily work procedures have been close to our hearts since the founding of LA SIESTA. However, we like most companies still produce CO2 emissions that cannot be avoided.
That's why we are continuously looking for more ways we can work to protect our planet. We see it as our responsibility to join forces with other organizations to counteract the rapid pace of global warming and support the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations.
We reached an important milestone for LA SIESTA on this path of responsibility in March 2022: our product range from Colombia is now officially climate-neutral, as is our company site in Jugenheim!
To learn exactly what this means for LA SIESTA and what our path to carbon neutrality has been like so far, keep scrolling to check out an interview with our colleague Leon. He has been part of the LA SIESTA team since 2018 and has taken on a leading role in the climate neutrality project.
Background: What does climate neutrality mean?
Companies, products or processes are climate neutral if they have no negative impact on the climate. This is usually achieved by saving emissions and by continuously optimizing climate protection measures within an organization and its network. However, not all emissions can be avoided - which is why there is the option of offsetting them by participating in internationally recognized climate protection projects. Since it doesn’t matter for the overall CO2 balance where the emissions are offset, German companies can carry out their offsetting activities in other countries all over world.
How it all began
Leon, why did LA SIESTA decide to become carbon neutral and when did the topic first come up?
Leon: At LA SIESTA, we want to take our responsibility towards nature holistically. Since we have already made our production processes and shipping routes as sustainable as possible, the idea came up in 2019 to take the next step and address the issue of carbon neutrality.
As a manufacturer, we are responsible for some unavoidable emissions in the area of materials and production. On the one hand, a professional reappraisal of these emissions is the basis for certification as a climate-neutral company, but it also helps us to better understand our impact on the environment and to identify possible reduction potential for the future. The approach therefore brings benefits in two respects.
You took over the leadership of the project. How did you come to this exciting role and which other colleagues were involved?
Leon: Cornelius, one of our managing directors, approached me at the end of 2019 and asked if I could imagine leading the climate neutrality project at LA SIESTA. I really liked the idea and immediately said yes. So I did the research and found out how such a process works. As the project started to take more concrete shape, I realized that I needed the support of my colleague Marcelo from purchasing. He maintains contact with our production partner in Colombia and was able to provide me with all the needed product data. So the work process primarily involved Marcelo and me. But Cornelius was also constantly involved to give his input and receive regular updates from us.
Project manager Leon from the LA SIESTA e-commerce team
Climate neutrality - how does it actually work?
The term climate neutrality can encompass various aspects. In which dimensions does LA SIESTA currently implement climate neutrality?
Leon: First and foremost is the reduction of emissions from manufacturing, shipping and office operations. All unavoidable emissions are recorded with the help of ClimatePartner, a provider of climate protection solutions, and offset via a forest protection project. In our case, the offsets cover the emissions for our Colombian product range including manufacturing and shipping routes, our company location in Jugenheim, and the operation and use of our website.
Various values serve as the basis for CO2 offsetting. What are they and how are the emissions recorded?
Leon: In the case of a site offset, as was implemented for our offices in Jugenheim, the most important data is made up of energy consumption and employee travel. In addition, the amount of office supplies used is measured, as well as fuel consumption for business trips and travel in our company cars. In the production of our Colombian hammocks and hammock chairs, factors such as material use and transport as well as energy consumption during the production process are responsible for the emissions.
And what kind of emissions account for the largest share at LA SIESTA?
At LA SIESTA, the materials and their manufacture account for a large proportion of the emissions generated in production, at 70-75%. At the Jugenheim site, around 80 % of the emissions are caused by the employees' travel.
LA SIESTA has chosen the compensation project in Mataven, Colombia. Why was this project chosen?
Leon: When selecting the project to work with, it was important to us to offset our emissions where they occur. Since our first step was to address our Colombian products, a project in Colombia was perfect for us. So I presented the available options in Colombia to the management team and the decision was made in favor of the forest protection project in Mataven.
Background: Forest conservation project in Mataven, Colombia
Forests store large quantities of greenhouse gases which counteract climate change. In addition, they provide space for a great diversity of species and serve as a livelihood for the world's population. However, due to various factors such as illegal logging and raw material extraction, there is less and less forest area on earth. To counter this problem, forest conservation projects ensure the long-term preservation of forests.
In Mataven, over 2,842,200 acres of tropical rainforest and its biodiversity are already being protected, with LA SIESTA's contribution accounting for 1,177 acress. However, the initiative not only pursues environmental sustainability measures, but also includes approaches to ensure food security, improve educational access for children and promote health. The goal of the work is a long-term change toward sustainable economic methods and nature conservation.
Does climate neutrality bring real change?
There is also criticism of the concept of climate neutrality. What is your attitude towards it?
Leon: The term is sometimes rightly criticized. Before offsetting is considered, I think it's important first and foremost to save emissions and cause as little impact on the climate as possible. However, as a manufacturer of consumer goods and online retailer, climate neutrality is hardly feasible without offset projects. That's why, in my eyes, it's a very good addition to offset unavoidable emissions via a recognized project. If all companies took this approach, a lot more would already be done for our planet.
Can you go into more detail about how LA SIESTA contributes not only to offsetting but also to reducing emissions?
Leon: The transport of our products is handled with as little climate-damaging means as possible. For example, we avoid air freight and trucking whenever possible, and instead make greater use of train and ship transportation. We also attach great importance to sustainability when selecting our production materials. The cotton for our hammocks and hammock chairs is produced organically, which saves emissions. The wood for the spreader bars of our hammocks and hammock chairs comes from sustainable forestry which contributes to healthy forests.
In order to save CO2 for the commutes of our employees, LA SIESTA offers the possibility to come to work with a JobRad bike and to work flexibly from the home office.
Thank you for the exciting insights, Leon!
A post by: Elena Gaber