Here we want to give you updates on what we are currently working on - to become even better and more sustainable!
Here we got better
Our very first spray heads came from northern Italy. Due to the Corona pandemic and the associated need for disinfectants, a worldwide "spray head crisis" arose and delivery times extended to over two years. Therefore, we had to source the spray heads from China. Since summer 2022, we have again had a regional partner in Italy.
Product certification is a very lengthy process. Ever since we have been manufacturing products, we have been busy optimizing the formulations. That is why it is sometimes very difficult to have existing products certified, as their composition has changed again and again. We are all the more proud that so many everdrop products are now certified. For example, 100% of all everdrop NATURAL CARE products and 50% of our household products carry the prestigious Ecocert seal. Learn more about this and other certificates here.
In the beginning, there was a dye in our kitchen cleaner that we were not quite happy with. It did not have a hazard classification and was also readily biodegradable. However, it caused traces of a process contaminant called "Benzene C10-13-alkyl Derivs" to become detectable. It was not an intended ingredient in our tabs, but an unavoidable by-product of the manufacturing process. Although this was not subject to declaration, we nevertheless disclosed it in the interests of transparency. Together with further revisions regarding sustainability and product performance, the dye in question was removed from the formulation and replaced by a food dye. IMPORTANT: The ingredient detected at that time is not to be confused with the highly toxic benzene.
Team work makes the dream work
Of course we have never been a bad employer. But still we're getting BETTER all the time – according to our employees! According to the kununu rating platform, we are the number 1 best employer in Munich in the category "environmental awareness" and among the top 3 in the categories "team spirit" and "image". And initiatives like our "Power Days" (menstruating employees can take these without comment and don't have to submit a sick day) or the "Green & Social Impact Days" (where you can dedicate yourself to your own environmental or community projects) should ideally exist in every company, right?
Fast & furious on foot
When they founded everdrop in 2019, Chris & David were still driving their own cars. That's long gone. Since then, they've been busy biking and walking through the south of Munich. (They also look much better since then.) Exactly 1 colleague in our sales team has a company car. By the way, a quarter of the team comes to our Munich office by bike or on foot. Almost half (41%) use public transportation. 16% come by car. About 18% of all Drops work permanently from home. (These figures are not set in stone – they come from an internal, anonymous survey that took into account the first quarter of 2022).
Since March 2022, we finally have 100% certified green electricity in our beautiful office in Munich-Thalkirchen. Already since we moved in in the spring of 2021, we have a heat pump, thanks to which we can heat with renewable energy (geothermal heat). Thus, our office is finally operated completely emission-free since this March.
Fail with CO2 compensation
We ship all our products throughout Germany with DHL GoGreen. This means that the CO2 emissions for the transport of the parcel are compensated by DHL investing in worldwide climate protection projects per shipment. Well, at least that's what we thought. Because in spring 2022 we suddenly noticed that although our parcels had DHL GoGreen written on them, we weren't being billed for DHL GoGreen. The accounting department noticed this and immediately informed our sustainability managers, who took care of the matter. Fact! Our parcels were not offset at all. After a bit of detective work, we found out together with DHL that the GoGreen tariff is not stored in DHL's system and yet it was printed on the labels. We were unable to clarify whether this was an IT error on our part or a human transmission error. But the important thing is that we were lucky to have noticed it. DIE GOTE NACHRICHT: Of course, it was important to us that this was also corrected retroactively. We transferred the missing costs and so every shipment was compensated by us retrospectively. Now everything has been correctly entered in the DHL system - which means that from now on everything will work directly with green shipping.
External values, Part 1
Our paper sachets have now come a long way, and not always an easy one. It was clear to us from the outset that we did not want to compromise on sustainability in our packaging either. However, we later discovered that our first-generation sachets were coated with an emulsion containing microscopic amounts of plastic. Of course, we didn't want to keep that, so we had to come up with a new solution. After months of research and development, we found – together with three partners from three countries! – a great solution: paper with a coating made from harvest waste. A gamechanger!
Where we're not yet satisfied ourselves
External values, Part 2
Unfortunately, over the course of the past year, we – or rather our customers – found that our new super-innovative sachets (see above) were not the optimal solution for ALL of our products. The coating of the crop waste was not sufficient to protect the more hygroscopic products (those that actively attract and bind water) from moisture, and so the contents clumped together – especially during the summer months and when stored in retail outlets. But of course, we looked for and found a solution for this as well. For these hygroscopic products – for example, the dishwashing powder or the “power powders” – we will temporarily revert to packaging that contains polymers in the coming months. This is not ideal, but it is still the most sustainable solution available on the market for these products. Importantly, this packaging can also still be recycled in waste paper. We want to make sure that by the end of the year, we'll also be able to offer these products again in packaging that is completely free of plastics. Are you a packaging wizard and can you help us with this? Get in touch.
PCF! LCA! WTF?!
A Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) reflects the total amount of CO₂ emissions of a product. Our goal is to calculate and publish a PCF for all our products. But unfortunately this takes time and is also cost-intensive. Especially as a young company, we are constantly optimizing processes and products. This also makes the calculation of PCFs more difficult. After all, we were already able to determine the PCF of our sports detergent in September 2021: 2.022 kg CO₂e per bag (15 wash loads). Unfortunately, there are still no really meaningful comparisons for this value – i.e.: PCFs of comparable detergents from other manufacturers. We will determine the PCFs of other everdrop products as soon as possible and gradually publish them here. We would also like to conduct complete Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to determine the eco-balances of our products. Our current project: we want to find out the carbon footprint of our cleaning tabs and compare it to that of a conventional liquid cleaner. Find out the state of play on our carbon footprint here. Do you have any comments, tips or experience on the subject? Can you help us determine the carbon footprint of our products faster and better? We welcome any input!
Not quite 100%
We use surfactants based on renewable and certified raw materials in all our products. However, there is one single exception: one of the surfactants required for the glass cleaner (sodium C14-C16 olefin sulfonate) has a petrochemical base, but is more environmentally compatible than the natural alternative. We are already testing naturally based substitute raw materials with the aim of achieving equivalent or better environmental compatibility.
Far away – but fair
Also for some textile products we have not yet succeeded in finding a sustainable supplier in Europe. Therefore, we source them from India. There we have trustworthy partners who process the local cotton under fair conditions directly on site. This is also certified by the GOTS seal. Nevertheless, we are of course aware that a supplier in Europe would better meet our own sustainability requirements, if only because of the transport routes. We now source some of our textiles, such as our knitted dishcloths, from Turkey. Here, too, we have a trustworthy partner who is GOTS-certified.
Revenge of the spray heads
Above we have reported pleasant news about our spray heads. However, we are still not completely happy. While they are completely recyclable, they are not made from 100% recyclate – some components in spray heads, as far as we know, can only be made from "virgin plastic" so far. You know better? We welcome any tips.
Did you know that the everdrop team is almost 75 percent female? We love that. Which makes it a bit embarrassing that our four-person C-level is 100 percent male. Promise: The future of the everdrop leadership level is more female and diverse.