Production of Merchandise
We produce 4 types of merchandise:
- sheet music and posters
- t-shirts and bags
CDs are made of polycarbonate plastic. A CD requires 58g. This means that the estimated carbon footprint of a CD, for single cd producing 172 g of greenhouse gas emissions (source).
We compensated for the CO2 impact of print presses and vinyl and CD production of Henosis and are working on compensating the other past and future releases as well.
To get the full picture for cd's (but also vinyl or streaming) you should take into account the emissions from the recording studios and the emissions involved in making the musical instruments used in the recording process. Our own studio operates on green electricity. We made a habit of powering off gear that we don't use during the production process. For the external studios we used we simply don’t know.
It is rather complicated to find out the impact of production of the instruments we use. In our case many are vintage re-used instruments. For the new instruments we use, we are aware we have not covered this in our approach. This may change in the future.
If you want to compare playing a cd to streaming, it works as follows: The CO2 impact of producing a cd (or a vinyl) is a one-off cost. Once produced you can play the cd limitlessly without incurring any CO2 footprint. Although you should take into account the CO2 impact of the device you play it on. Streaming has a lower impact but will occur any time you stream an album. Streaming an album for just 5 hours is equal, in terms of carbon emissions, to the plastic used to produce a CD. Streaming for 17 hours is equal to the carbon emissions of a vinyl record. These estimates don’t include the energy used to power the machine that manufactures CDs or vinyl, the plastic used to package them for delivery, the air or road miles used in transportation, or the electricity required to power a CD player or turntable.
Vinyl records are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is one of the world’s most widely produced and used synthetic plastic polymers. A vinyl record requires 120g. This means that the estimated carbon footprint of a vinyl record for a single record producing 2.2kg of greenhouse gas emission (source).
We compensated for the CO2 impact of print presses and vinyl and CD production of our album 'Henosis' and are working on compensating the other past and future releases as well. https://deepgrooves.eu offer reclyced vinyl and are also working o a bio plastic version for vinyl.
3. sheet music books and posters
Our sheet music books and posters are printed on Munken paper. The Munken papers are high-quality uncoated fine papers. All Munken standard products are FSC and PEFC certified to support responsible forest management. The printing company where this book is produced is ISO 14001 certified, the international standard for environmental management systems. Production of this book is CO2 neutral. We used bio ink. We compensated for the CO2 impact of the use of the print presses too. You could also consider Paperwise
4. T-shirts and bags
We used Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) for t-shirts and bags. We have used normal ink for the shirt since the prints were so fine and hard to get printed on cotton in the quality we wanted. We have not compensated for the production itself. For the future we will see if we keep producing these items as the impact of clothing is very high and most people already have enough t-shirts?
If you want to really calculate the impact of the shipping of a sheet music book you need to take into account the weight and size of each package. But then you also need to know how many miles it is transported on a plane and how many miles it travels on other transport. Then you also need to assess if the plane is cargo only or partly cargo, partly passengers. Once you know all this, you need to calculate what relative part the package takes up in weight and size compared to everything else on the plane. It seems impossible to get all this information and if you would get all this information it takes a lot of time and effort to calculate it for each package you send.
Therefore, we tried to find a way to be both practical as well as close to accurate. And at least on the safe side of compensating enough. So we choose the most polluting way of shipping and then compensate for that. We assume all packages go by air rather than (partly) by road. We then have to calculate the impact of a package per flight. We assume the size/weight ratio of a package equals that of human beings. It is probably lower since packages can be be stapled in planes and humans cannot. We then take the average weight of a human. This differs per continent so we choose the highest average here to be on the safe side. That is 90,6kg. Then we divide the weight of the package by the average weight (90,6kg) and use that percentage to calculate the CO2 footprint. We use the CO2 calculator of www.atmosfair.de. At the moment we are not compensating these costs ourselves but are building a tool to offer the customers of our web shop the option to compensate for the shipping impact. This should be done very soon.