Fungi Perfecti Sustainability Report

DOWNLOAD 2019 EDITION
To help alleviate the climate crisis we face, simply committing to carbon neutrality is too little, too late. By offsetting >10x the carbon we emit, we are doing more than our share. We hope others will also adopt this >10x Climate Positive initiative.

— Paul Stamets

OUR STORY

Paul Stamets started Fungi Perfecti® with the goal of building the bridge between people and fungi. Since its inception, through the work of Paul and his dedicated team of mycophiles, Fungi Perfecti® has become synonymous with cutting-edge mycological research and innovative mycological solutions. This is also the foundation of the Host Defense® brand. Our continued mission is to explore, study, preserve, and spread knowledge about the use of fungi for helping people and planet.

Our sustainability efforts are a natural extension of that mission, including our commitment to organic, sustainable cultivation practices for all our mushroom fruitbodies and mycelium. Avoiding the use of harmful, toxic chemicals not only protects biodiversity, but promotes the health and resilience of the surrounding environment. Organic means healthy people and a healthy planet!

OUR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES

Sustainability has always been among our core values at Fungi Perfecti® and Host Defense®. As our production and operations expanded, so has our environmental footprint, along with the need to formalize our commitment to sustainability. In 2018 we established a Sustainability Committee which manages sustainability efforts by carefully assessing the environmental impact of our activities, identifying opportunities for improvement, and determining the most impactful areas of action. We also promoted a member of the Sustainability Committee to the role of Sustainability Analyst. This role is dedicated to identifying areas of opportunity, facilitating action, and monitoring progress on our sustainability initiatives full-time.

We are more than 10x climate positive

Our >10x Climate Commitment

While we've always considered our overall footprint and worked to limit negative impacts from our business, we are increasingly focused on how we can move forward in a way that also creates the most positive impact for people and planet.

Between our internal emissions reductions and the carbon-offsetting projects we’ve sponsored, we have gone beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions to eliminate additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is climate positive. Many companies choose to offset an additional 10% beyond carbon neutral, but for us that was just not enough.

We’re proud to say that as of 2020, we are climate positive, offsetting more than 10 times our baseline emissions!

Our Carbon Footprint

One of our most important sustainability goals is measuring and reducing our carbon footprint. The first step was conducting a thorough assessment of our emissions for 2018. This gave us a starting point—a baseline year—so that we can track future progress, quantify our accomplishments, and ensure we have set ambitious yet realistic goals.

In order to better understand our climate impact, we “normalized” the emissions data by calculating kilograms CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) released per kilogram of mycelium we grew. This is also known as emissions intensity.

Fungi Perfecti® is growing, so our total emissions for 2019 were greater than 2018. However, our production efficiency increased—so our emissions intensity was reduced by nearly 15%!

The Climate Collaborative

In March 2019, we made commitments to The Climate Collaborative. The Climate Collaborative was born from a shared belief amongst natural products leaders that the industry has potential to reverse the effects of climate change. The Collaborative is made up of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, brokers, suppliers, and other concerned businesses from the natural products industry.

We have made commitments in the 5 impactful areas of: energy efficiency, packaging, renewable energy, transportation, and forests.

The target goals we will work toward are listed below, followed by the progress to-date in each commitment area:

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Goals:
  1. Work toward shifting away from fossil fuels at the earliest possible date.
  2. Adopting alternative energy sources, including: solar, purchasing green power, and geothermal.
Progress:

We have been working to shift away from fossil fuels, and transition to 100% renewable electricity by the earliest possible date. We installed a 12 KW grid-tied photovoltaic system on the roof of our main lab. These solar panels will produce an average of 12,000 KW per year, which is roughly 3% of our total electric consumption at that facility. We have the potential to expand this system to 100 KW - which would produce up to 100,000 KW per year - allowing us to generate nearly 30% of the electricity needed to run the facility on-site. Currently, 98% of the power that we purchase through Mason County PUD comes from renewable sources, including wind and hydroelectric.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Goals:
  1. Improving efficiency of buildings.
  2. Improving efficiency of lighting.
  3. Improving efficiency of HVAC equipment.
Progress:

We have been working closely with our energy supplier to increase energy efficiency, including upgrading inefficient lighting with LED bulbs, which produce the same amount of light using far less energy, and installing more efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment in our production labs. We have significantly improved the energy efficiency of our information technology (IT) systems, reducing the average energy consumption for our computer workstations and servers by roughly 70%. We also consolidated multiple office locations under one roof in 2019, which reduces energy use and greatly increases operational efficiency.

FORESTS

Goals:
  1. Set targets to work toward 100% deforestation-free commodities.
Progress:

A majority of the paper and cardboard we use for our printed materials and packaging contain recycled fiber or are made from 100% recycled materials. We are also assessing our supply chain to make sure we are using the most environmentally friendly options available. In addition, we are sponsoring offset projects that establish carbon-sequestering forests.

PACKAGING

Goals:
  1. Reducing materials, or “source reduction.”
  2. Replacing virgin materials with post-consumer recycled content.
  3. Replacing traditional plastics with biopolymers.
  4. Redesigning packaging to use materials more efficiently.
Progress:

We have always been aware of the environmental impact of our packaging. Since the launch of our Host Defense® supplement line, we have only used 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, so no virgin plastic is required to produce our capsule containers. We use 85% to 100% recycled fiber for cardboard cartons. We have also begun performing life cycle assessments (LCA) to analyze the environmental impact of each and every stage of the product’s life-cycle.

TRANSPORTATION

Goals:
  1. Develop a green transportation action plan to improve transportation efficiency.
  2. Develop performance metrics to track transportation efficiencies.
  3. Establish a method for tracking reduction of black carbon and other short-lived pollutants.
Progress:

We are currently developing a green transportation action plan to improve the efficiency of our supply chain, and establish a method for tracking reduction of black carbon and other short-lived pollutants.

» Give Bees a Chance

Our BeeFriendly™ initiative continues to progress. In 2019, we contributed an additional $50,000 to fund bee research at Washington State University, bringing our total contribution to-date to >$200k. Ground-breaking peer-reviewed research was published in 2018 examining how mushroom mycelium extracts support health in honey bee populations. The Fungi Perfecti® BeeMushroomed™ Feeder and Extract are currently in development, and we hope they will create powerful points of health and nutrition for bees all across our shared landscapes. Bees and other pollinators are essential to producing food for the world’s growing population, and maintaining healthy, active ecosystems.

Global Carbon Offset Projects

In addition to decreasing our negative impact, we’re actively striving to increase the positive impact we have not only on the environment, but also in our local and global communities. Carbon offsetting is an oft-debated topic, and not all offsetting projects are created equal. Choosing a fully transparent carbon offsetting partner was very important to us, and we did significant research to ensure that our efforts were going to a good cause. We support only Gold Standard carbon offset projects. The Gold Standard ensures that not only do these projects eliminate carbon emissions, but they promote sustainable development worldwide. Some of the projects we support include:

Clean Water Project: Honduran Coffee Growers

Promotes sustainable development and improves the health and well-being of communities involved in the coffee production process. This project provides families with water filters, which allow them to avoid burning wood for boiling water. This improves air quality and reduces deforestation. Improving access to clean drinking water not only helps the people, it makes the coffee supply chain more resilient by allowing producers to save on fuel, medicine, and clean water costs and invest those savings in their farm, their children’s education, and their overall livelihood.

WithOneSeed Community Forestry Program: Timor-leste

Small-holder subsistence farmers receive an annual incentive payment for planting, managing, and maintaining trees on their land. The program has embraced the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

Biogas Digesters: Vietnamese Farmers

Rural family farms are installing biogas digesters to manage waste and gain access to clean energy. One biogas digester produces enough methane to provide energy for cooking or other needs in several homes, saving families money. By channeling and reusing methane (25 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide), they reduce emissions from this greenhouse gas. Also, families do not have to use firewood, helping to protect local forests.

2019 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Learn more about our sustanability efforts by Downloading the Full 2019 Report!