By the Jack Fertility Founding Team with major contributions from Brodie Weymouth (Sustainability Expert, BA Geography, St. Edmund's Hall, University of Oxford) and Claudia Tam (International Sustainability Law Expert, DPhil candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford) on appointment through the University of Oxford Office of Careers Microinternship scheme.
Here at Jack, we understand and are deeply concerned about the ongoing climate crisis.
We aim to be leaders in environmental sustainability for healthtech. We recognize that our industry is far behind many others with regard to discussion and action towards mitigating environmental harm caused by operation, which is why are so committed to this goal.
We believe that as a start-up we are in a unique position to implement environmental policies at day one; and to grow as a company with these goals being central to our business strategy.
We invite you to join us on this journey towards a better future.
We are already committing to making change.
By pledging to reach Net Zero by at least 2050 and a goal of 50% reduction by 2030, we are in the process of joining the UN’s Race to Net Zero pledge. We are starting by monitoring and cleaning up our own emissions in the office and on our website, and then expanding to our the building of our lab and working to ensure the networks we use are also on their way to Net Zero.
While we are at the beginning of our growth trajectory, we will build a comprehensively sustainable business for the long-term.
Following this initial assessment, and as soon as we are large enough, we aspire to establish ourselves as a certified B Corp to ensure we are kept to a rigorous standard.
The people in our office are the beating heart of our mission. To help better inform and report our emissions we will begin to document the miles we travel in vehicles and the amount of energy we use in the office. We have implemented company-wide recycling programs and will continue to source from accredited companies. We aim to significantly cut our emissions by working with our lease owner to implement energy saving practices.
We have already adopted new behaviours by walking or cycling to our office and only taking the bus when absolutely necessary, because of this our first hand emissions are very small.
Once we are more established we will utilise an ESG stocktaking tool such as CompareYourFootprint to ensure that we are minimising our environmental impact, while maximising our positive societal impact.
As we develop our kits, we are committed to ensuring packaging is minimal, and that as much as the kit can be recycled or composted as possible (aside from the medical waste, if you know what we mean). We aim to deliver the highest quality product with the lowest possible environmental impact.
Our website is how we reach our market. It is essential to us, and as such it is also essential that it be as sustainable as possible. The internet contributes as much as 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions, mostly through server hosting.
At Jack we have already taken steps to ensure our website is cleaner than 73% of webpages (Tested from websitecarbon.com, check yours here) with only 0.25g of CO2 being produced every time it is loaded. But we only strive for the best, and as we expand, we will look for a host that uses certified green energy, creating a carbon neutral website. Our site will continue to limit energy use by increasing image efficiency, decreasing the number of unnecessary plugins, and preventing bot traffic.
The lab presents a major opportunity to be groundbreaking in sustainability. Simple actions such as turning off and unplugging lab equipment when not in use can be employed to great effect. It is estimated that just by lowering the door of the fume cupboard, energy savings could add up to 40% for that equipment. Just like in your own fridge, cleaning out ice build-up helps! All of these implemented can lead to a reduction in energy consumption up to 10% in the whole building.
When we purchase products for the lab, we always look for the ACT environmental factor label. It helps to inform us whether our choice is sustainable for its entire life cycle, this is from production all the way to disposal. To further address waste, we are phasing out plastic products for reusable alternatives. Glass reduces emissions by producing 3.6 times less CO2 than plastic. Using steam sterilisers, we can maintain a gold standard lab in both sanitation and environment. All of this will be backed up by a My Green Lab Certification which we seek to achieve once we begin trading.
Jack relies on speedy transit to ensure you get your results in good time. We have chosen to work with Royal Mail as their path towards Net Zero aligns well with our ambitions. Their fleet of over 4,000 electric vans is growing by the day. With an average 205g CO2 per parcel we have a clear record of what we are producing through postage. As part of our movement towards B Corp certification, reporting on emissions and how we will act on that information is fundamental.
On our way to true Net Zero we will still produce some emissions, but we do not accept this as lost carbon. At Jack we are keen to offset as much carbon as possible. Therefore, we are seriously considering partnerships to social enterprises who plant trees and conduct carbon avoidance projects worldwide. Carbon avoidance projects fund renewable energy projects across the globe (Visit www.ecologi.com and https://coforest.co.uk/ to learn more).
This is the first of our ESG statements, more to come! As we strive to smash and overcome all barriers to male reproductive healthcare, we seek to grow and build sustainably.
Being the first medical tech company to publish such a statement, we invite our peers and the industry to join us in this pursuit and hold us to account.