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Sustainability audit (12/2023)


This refers to a business that causes none or minimal damage  to the environment.  This means it also seeks to maintain or improve the environment in the longer term and so importantly will not have an adverse effect on future generations.

It has three aspects to it, as well as not harming the environment a sustainable business should also have a commitment to social and economic benefits.

This year I am making a start on looking at my Corporate Carbon Footprint as well as my Product Carbon Emissions. My business is tiny so I am not going to attempt to put a figure to my Corporate Carbon Footprint at this moment in time.

Corporate Carbon Footprint.

I am focussing on scope 1 and 2 emissions as these are the ones I have most control over.

Scope 2

My electricity is supplied by a company that uses renewables to provide it's electricity. At times there is a surplus in the system which means the power is free for a set period and I try to make use of this and reduce my use at the times the system is likely to be under pressure. I use electricity to heat and light my studio as well as for using tools such as my heat gun or power my Dremel multi-tool.

Scope 1

I have a butane powered Dremel multi-purpose tool which I use occasionally,

My car is a full hybrid and has an average MPG of 63. I use it to travel to markets and other places where I sell my products and also to post orders. To reduce my travel emissions as far as possible I combine trips to post items with trips to the shops, family etc and also make use of having orders collected by my postman when this is being offered free of charge.  I use the Royal Mail as my delivery service as they have the lowest carbon footprint.

Product Carbon Emissions

This is the first time I have attempted this so it will not be perfect.

Product  Life Cycle I am using the cradle to customer model.

Phase 1

Material Acquisition and pre-processing

  • I buy recycled Sterling silver wire and recycled  sterling clasps for stud earrings from a UK company along with premade sterling silver stud blanks. The company I use is UK based and use recyclable, plastic free packaging. However some items are made in China.

  • I buy other findings from Etsy or Ebay. Although I buy from small UK shops these items are typically made in China.

  • I reuse packaging materials when possible but products I buy are recyclable and plastic free. Where I can I buy ones that have also been made from recycled paper or card. Although I source these from UK sellers I am not aware of where they are made.

  • My varnishes including the natural one I am mainly using now are all made in the USA though I buy from UK sellers. The natural varnish I use comes in a glass bottle. 

  • I also use a range of glues which are made in a number of places.

  • The books I use can be donated to me, be bought from charity shops or from Ebay and are always pre-owned ones that are coming to the end of their life or have been annotated. 

  • Other materials are donated to me.

  • By reusing items such as books I am lowering my emissions. 


Phase 2


  • The lighting and heat to my studio along with some tools is from renewable sources

  • I produce all my pieces by hand. 

  • I reduce waste as much as possible and apart from pieces made using DVDs and bubble wrap all waste is collected and recycled.

Phase 3

Distribute and store

  • I store all materials and completed items in my studio and there are no emissions caused by this.

  • I drive a full hybrid and combine trips to post orders with other trips to reduce additional emissions.

  • When available  I make use of the free collection service offered by Royal Mail.

  • I use Royal Mail as they have the lowest CO2 footprint.

Phase 4

Product Use

  • With the exception of my battery operated lights and clocks my products do not create any emissions in use.


  • A tree is panted for every purchase through my link with Ecologie and can be viewed here

  • I am also looking for ways of getting a "green" accreditation but many are out of my reach financially or aimed at larger small businesses.

  • I have my Plastic Free Champion award from Surfers Against Sewage.

Does Paper2pearls have any social and economic benefits?

  • It is a valuable support for my mental health, not just the crafting and creative aspects but also in meeting people at markets and developing friendships with other makers and sellers both in the real world and online.

  • I pay tax on my income and I support local shops and businesses, other designer makers and UK based businesses from whom I buy any supplies that I need.

  • Although what I use is a minute fraction of all the waste that is produced,  Paper2pearlsis also a way of making buyers more aware of waste.

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