(February 22, 2023 – Clearwater, FL) As part of their Keep It. Give It. initiative, Koozie Group and its sister company IMAGEN Brands announced today their intent to become carbon neutral on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by the end of 2024. They are the first hard goods and stationery promotional products suppliers to set such an aggressive goal.
For Koozie Group, this move is the latest in a long line of social responsibility measures the company has made since 2020 when it launched its Keep It. Give It. social impact and sustainability commitment. IMAGEN Brands is now fully participating in the program as well. Notable accomplishments over the last several years include:
- Launching the KG Factor to help distributors identify products designed to lessen environmental impact through longevity as determined by an impartial survey of end users. Earlier in 2023, the company announced it had exceeded its goal two years ahead of schedule, with 77% of its current portfolio now carrying this designation. (Koozie Group only)
- Receiving Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification for all domestic facilities and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) certification for the Koozie Group facility in Sleepy Eye, MN. The companies now produce over five hundred items made from certified forest material.
- Adding over a hundred products made with recycled materials or sustainable resources to their portfolios, and for Koozie Group, continuing to offer an industry-leading number of products made, printed, or assembled in the United States.
- Becoming a participating company of Fair Labor Association.
- Creating the role of Chief Product & Sustainability Officer.
In 2022, Koozie Group and IMAGEN Brands began measuring Scope 1 and 2 emissions monthly. The EPA defines Scope 1 emissions as direct greenhouse (GHG) emissions generated from sources controlled or owned by the organization, including those associated with fuel combustion in boilers or furnaces. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with a company’s purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.
Using legacy data, the companies used an outside firm to trace carbon dioxide output on these two scopes back to 2017. While the companies’ carbon footprints have been shrinking due to sustainability efforts, Koozie Group and IMAGEN Brands wanted to do more. “We know that the health of our planet is important to our distributors and their customers, and it’s also important to our employees and their families,” said Pierre Montaubin, Chief Product & Sustainability Officer. “We want to lead the promotional products industry in these efforts by going beyond just selling sustainable products to taking this next step in our corporate responsibility journey.”
Koozie Group and IMAGEN Brands will use a two-pronged approach to reaching this carbon-neutral goal. First, they will continue to work on internal projects that reduce GHG emissions, including undergoing annual Eco Vadis audits to measure the success of ongoing company efforts against United Nations Sustainability Goals.
Secondly, they will invest in carbon sink projects that absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than they release. Koozie Group and IMAGEN Brands have gravitated toward projects that align with their goals and core business categories. Given Koozie Group’s large calendar division, for example, afforestation programs that help create new forests on degraded lands would be a likely choice.
The organizations will purchase offsets through a third-party partner that supports projects independently validated and verified to recognized global standards, including the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate Action Reserve. These standards ensure that each credit issued represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide that has already been removed from the atmosphere and that credits have not been used more than once.
Montaubin summarized, “We have been a leader in the promotional products industry when it comes to corporate social responsibility, and we want to keep leading the charge. Becoming carbon neutral on these two scopes by the end of 2024 is a lofty goal, and perfectly aligns with the foundational values we’ve outlined in Keep It. Give It.” The companies plan to release their third corporate social responsibility annual report in the coming weeks.