How do we calculate Carbon Emissions?

BrandHK are leading the way in making corporate gifts environmentally sustainable. We are the first promotions company on the planet to provide customers with clear and simple data on the climate impacts of the products we sell. Every customer of BrandHK will be able to see the carbon emissions for each product, clearly and simply, as a single number. This will help you to make more environmentally sustainable purchases with confidence.

Find out more about BrandHK Carbon Offsets »

What is kgCO2e?

Every product on our website has (or soon will have) a kgCO2e number attached to it. “kgCO2e” means kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalents - it is a measure of the amount of CO2 or other greenhouse gases that are put into the atmosphere in the production and delivery of a single unit of the product.

What does the kgCO2e number include?

Our kgCO2e figure measures all the emissions at every stage of manufacturing and shipping right up to the point it enters our warehouse. That includes growing the cotton, manufacturing the nylon, forging metal buckles, and everything else in the process.

We also add on an estimate for shipping based on the volumetric weight and where you are located. So for Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia customers we include the emissions related to shipping the products from us to you.

How do BrandHK calculate the emissions?

This was the largest challenge facing BrandHK: we have so many suppliers, and so many products, and not all of them even calculate their emissions. We solved that problem by using models and proxies.

Models: A model is a set of characteristics that a group of products share. For example, we have a model for sewn products made from 100% polyester. We make a calculation for 1kg of such a product (e.g. 1kg of t-shirts or 1kg of drawstring bags) and use this as the basis for calculating the emissions for all the products using this model. We then multiply the weight of a unit of the product by the “per kg” emissions from the model and arrive at a kgCO2e/unit figure.

Proxies: A proxy is where we use the most reliable calculations available for manufacturing a certain item, and say that this is a reasonable figure to use for another product. For example, we used the European Union’s study into phone charger plugs as a proxy for the emissions of travel adaptors. They are similar technology and likely to have similar emissions.

Why not just publish accurate emissions data for every product?

We would love to, but it just is not available. Let’s take the example of a typical factory selling a product. Getting emissions data requires that factory to calculate its own emissions, and then split them, based on product volumes, across all their different product lines. They don’t currently do it, and we can’t do it for them. When they do, we will use that data!

How will you improve this system?

We know it is not perfect, but that is what happens when you are ahead of the curve! We think it is a pretty good solution, and we will be working to improve it in two important ways:

  1. New Data: Academics, companies and the media are constantly researching the impact of manufacturing on the environment, and with that comes a wealth of new data that we can use. Each time we get a new bit of data, we update our models to make them better.
  2. Working with Suppliers: In the next 2-3 years, BrandHK will be working with suppliers and partners to improve CO2e measurement (and other environmental measures like pollution and water use). We have some excellent suppliers doing great work in this area, and we hope more will follow!

How can I use this information?

Publishing data about emissions is just the first step: the next is to do something with it. Here is what you can do with the information:

  • Choose lower-emission options: If two products will meet your marketing requirements, then you can choose the one with the lowest CO2e emissions. This will reduce the environmental impact of your campaign without negatively impacting your business.
  • Buy offsets: Once you have tried to reduce your emissions, the next step is to offset those unavoidable emissions. Offsets are not a silver bullet but they do mean you are investing in helping other communities around the world to reduce their environmental impact. BrandHK offer carbon offsets from a trusted 3rd party, which we can include in your invoice.
Find out more about our offsets here »

Find out more about BrandHK’s ESG strategy! »

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