Here at Klean we take a holistic approach to understanding and managing the environmental footprint of our products —from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing, packaging, shipping, daily use, and end-of-life disposal. We call this Measuring What Matters. To do this, we use a lifecycle assessment process and other tools that uncover hidden impacts and track our progress year over year. This information allows us to identify improvements that can lower a Klean Kanteen’s overall environmental impact without sacrificing performance.
Here are just a few highlights of our processes in action.
First off, did you know one vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle requires twice the amount of resources to produce as a single-wall bottle of the same size? It’s true! In 2019 the switch to a new manufacturing partner for our next generation of insulated product, TKWide, reduced the amount of water needed to manufacture this collection bringing it closer to the water usage of single-wall. Through similar changes greenhouse gas emissions per unit of purchased electricity have also been reduced due to the amount of energy in our manufacturing supply chain that comes from clean(er) sources, such as natural gas and solar. The Klean design and sourcing teams continue to work on manufacturing solutions that conserve resources, while still delivering the award-winning Climate Lock vacuum insulation you love.
When we discovered how much paper went into boxing individual retail products through the LCA process, we moved to “packaging” all of our Kanteens in belly bands or hang tags only. This simple switch saves substantial amounts of water and material every year and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions! Where the paper for our belly bands, packaging material and shipping boxes comes from matters, too. Right now 100% of our paper material is made from post-consumer recycled content and / or forest-friendly materials that are FSCcertified or wood-free. Thanks to our LCA tools, we know we can continue to improve on the amount of sustainable material going into our paper products.
We also assess the impacts of shipping our products from the factory to our headquarters in Chico, California. We learned just how much more greenhouse gas emissions air freight produces than container ship. In fact, although we only used air freight to ship 1-2% of the total weight coming to our headquarters in 2018, it accounted for 25-35% of our transport emissions! Through careful planning, we have since reduced our use of air freight by 62%.
The more we know, the more we can work hard to make sustainable choices at every step of the Klean Kanteen journey.