Over the last several years, we at BE Ultimate have come to realize our obligation and responsibility to fight climate change. For us, the realization came from the fact that we have scaled—and with greater scale comes greater impact and greater responsibility.
These days, the fight for climate change revolves around the efforts of individuals versus the efforts of corporations. According to a 2017 “Carbon Majors” report by the Climate Accountability Institute, 70% of greenhouse gas emissions can be traced to only 100 companies, yet individual consumers are responsible for driving the demand for products manufactured by those 100 companies. In truth, it takes both sides to make a difference.
Environmentally conscious companies have begun implementing circular economies—designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems by, for example, reclaiming discarded products to remake them into marketable goods without additional materials.
On the consumer end, reselling (selling used goods), thrifting (buying used goods), and upcycling (repurposing used goods) practices are more prominent than ever. With so many creative innovations for reducing waste, both companies and consumers can chart a path to a more sustainable future.
In charting our own path as a sustainable company, we were pushed by the ultimate community, as well as individual athletes we work with, to examine our practices. Through this joint feedback, we measured our environmental impact to find ways to reduce carbon emissions. When BE Ultimate was a small, young company, we would ship a handful of jerseys to a handful of teams. Prioritizing environmentally responsible practices was not at the top of our list. But as we grew, the environmental impact of our production and shipping grew, from the number of cardboard boxes we used to the fuel consumption of shipping vehicles. We went from shipping 800 jerseys in a year to shipping 3,000 jerseys in a single week. The impact of that production, packaging, and shipping, now more than 100 times greater than when we started, shocked us into realizing that a change was necessary. After measuring our carbon emissions count, we identified a few simple steps that could offset the count by 30–100%.
1. We started using compostable packaging instead of plastic.
2. We started purchasing carbon offsets to make up for our shipping impact.
3. Our newest product line consists of locally made products from Vancouver, driving down emissions costs associated with shipping.
4. We’re proud to report that since 2019, we have become 100% Climate Neutral, meaning we measure and offset all of our carbon emissions.
The ultimate community is a conscious one. Our consumers prioritize purchasing from companies that create products ethically and sustainably, which raises the standard for competing companies. We are humbled and honored to serve them, as they push us to raise the bar for our practices. This Earth Day, BE Ultimate wants to thank you, the community, for helping us be a more environmentally and socially responsible company.