Business Categories Reports Podcasts Events Awards Webinars
Contact My Account About

Ritual’s New CarbonFree Certification: “Now We Have Data That Is Actionable”

Published July 20, 2023
Published July 20, 2023

As arguably the most traceable brand in the supplements space, Ritual is far ahead of its competitors on the planet-impact curve. But with a goal of net-zero emissions by 2030, and the findings of its recent nine-month quest to become CarbonFree Certified to light the path, the seven-year-old vitamin company is doubling down on its efforts to shrink its already-small footprint.

And according to Lindsay Dahl, Ritual’s Chief Impact Officer, the need has never been more urgent. “We’ve always cared about making sustainable choices and doing our part to respond to the climate crisis,” she says. “But as the threat of climate change becomes more and more pressing and we are the seeing the impact firsthand as a California-based company, our efforts have accelerated.”

Rather shockingly, given its halo effect as progressive and health forward, the vitamin category isn’t particularly traceable; only a handful of brands are even B Corp Certified, much less CarbonFree Certified.

“The supplement industry is based on the foundation of protecting people’s health, but it has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to the biggest health threat of our time: climate change,” says Dahl, who, prior to joining Ritual in 2022, led the Mission team at Beautycounter for eight years, overseeing safety, sustainability, responsibility, and advocacy programs. “We hope our work inspires other companies to set climate goals and understand where they can reduce their climate impact.”

In partnership with Planet FWD, the leading climate management platform for consumer companies, Ritual conducted scientifically rigorous, standards-aligned Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for each of its products measuring carbon footprint.

“That was the hardest part of the certification process, but an important step to understanding the carbon impacts associated with each product, all of the ingredients and the packaging,” says Dahl. “That being said, our commitment to ingredient traceability and close relationships with our suppliers made gathering the information to conduct the LCAs much faster than it might be for other brands.”

Within the four major traceability categories–raw materials, packaging, manufacturing, and distribution—Dahl notes that the evaluation findings were very much in line with what Ritual expected.

“Thankfully, we didn’t have a ton of surprises about where there were carbon hotspots in our supply chain, since we know our products so well,” she notes. “But now we have data that is actionable. We’ll be leveraging this information to make strategic changes and reduce our carbon footprint as part of our larger decarbonization strategy.”

“The supplement industry is based on the foundation of protecting people’s health, but it has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to the biggest health threat of our time: climate change.”
By Lindsay Dahl, Chief Impact Officer, Ritual

One nugget of information that surfaced during the CarbonFree Certification process, however, was a definite cause for celebration. Evidently Ritual’s largest-volume ingredient, the regeneratively farmed pea protein it uses in its Essential Protein range of products, was deemed 9x less carbon intensive than the far more widely used whey.

“As a vegan brand, we often select more sustainable or less carbon-intensive ingredients,” Dahl notes. “But we were thrilled to see that our investment in sourcing high-quality peas not only delivers a delicious protein powder but also a lower carbon footprint.”

Dahl says Ritual fully intends to get the word out about the LCA findings, to give customers even more reasons to believe in the integrity and quality of its products.

“We call our customers ‘healthy skeptics’ because they are skeptics of the supplement market and are highly invested in our commitment to traceability, including the details behind our carbon footprint,” says Dahl. “We’re excited to widely share our CarbonFree certification and all the details of the carbon impact behind each of our products, including the fun wins like how much less carbon-intensive our protein powder is than many on the market. This will be a first-of-its-kind step for the supplement industry.”

When asked whether she expects an uptick in growth and revenue attached to the CarbonFree Certification, Dahl says that wasn’t the point.

“While we know our customers care about climate change and value our science-based approach, getting CarbonFree Certified was just the right thing to do,” she says. “We know that offsetting is not going to solve the climate crisis, but we wanted to take these steps while also working to create steep reductions in carbon emissions across our manufacturing and distribution.”

Having helped pass 20+ pieces of legislation, from banning toxic chemicals to action on climate, before aligning with Ritual, Dahl is under no illusions that achieving the brand’s climate goals will be easy. “This work is really hard and the path forward isn’t always clear,” she says. “But we’re doing our best to take responsibility for the impact of our products.”


2 Article(s) Remaining

Subscribe today for full access