Sportswear brand Rapha introduces carbon neutral customer shipping

September 24, 2021

Rapha Performance Roadwear is an international sportswear and lifestyle brand focused on road bicycle racing, clothing and accessories. As part of a comprehensive climate action journey, Rapha is working together with ClimatePartner to measure and offset all emissions caused by customer shipping. Using the initial findings as benchmark, the aim is to measure, reduce and offset any unavoidable emissions on a yearly basis. This continuous cycle will enable Rapha to bring down its carbon emissions with the aim to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2025.

Rapha starts with customer shipping for three key reasons. First and foremost, Rapha’s customers are environmentally conscious so offsetting emissions from shipping, along with changing their packaging, is one way the impact of shopping is improved. Secondly, Rapha is a global brand serving cyclists around the world so the company needs to take responsibility for its operations. Finally, although Rapha works with leading third party carriers who are working to reduce emissions, the company is not able to directly accelerate this transition. Therefore, offsetting its emissions is the best way of making inroads in this area in the short term.

Rapha supports a variety of carbon offset projects around the world. Each of these are verified to ensure they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance:

Rapha also thinks about the future, planting trees in areas closest to its customers, starting this year with:

Committing to achieving carbon neutral customer shipping means that each year Rapha will calculate the emissions from delivering their products, starting at the distribution centres and ending with its customers before purchasing offsets to match this figure. Rapha will be doing this every year from 2021 onwards, without passing the cost on to its customers.

For the 2020 period, Rapha estimated its emissions arising from customer shipping to be equivalent to 3,239 tonnes of CO2. One of their carriers, DPD, already offset their own emissions, which accounted for 370 tonnes. After deducting these offsets from Rapha’s total, the company is left with the equivalent of 2,869 tonnes of CO2 to offset to achieve carbon neutrality.

Of the total 3,239 t CO2e Rapha calculated, 1,611 t CO2e came from additional considerations, mainly accounting for the full petrochemical supply chain (well to wheel), and radiative forcing associated with emissions from air freight. The proportion these adjustments (50%) contribute to the total show the importance of including these elements when assessing an organisation’s carbon footprint.

To ensure all calculations are accurate, Rapha works with us at ClimatePartner. We verify the methodology, estimations and offset purchases of Rapha. The full list of offsets purchased can be seen 
here.

The full range of actions the company is taking to improve its environmental impact can be found here.