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The RealReal



The RealReal


Carbon & Water Footprint Tool; Carbon Neutral Commitment

Client's Needs:

Carbon & Water Footprint Tool: The RealReal requested a first of its kind sustainability calculator to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) savings and the water footprint reduction for the resale of apparel, handbags, jewelry, and watches. 

Carbon Neutral Commitment: The RealReal committed to be the first brand to meet the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge and needed support to measure, reduce, and report their GHG emissions.


About the Project

Shift Advantage developed an eco-footprint calculator for The RealReal that measures the carbon and water savings of resale compared to buying new product. Shift Advantage created a carbon reduction strategy to enable The RealReal to become carbon neutral.


Carbon & Water Footprint Tool: Shift Advantage created a custom tool to measure the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water footprint of consignment compared to purchasing new products. The tool calculated the cradle-to-gate life cycle impacts of the products, including the origin of the raw materials (growing and harvesting crops, extracting fossil fuel resources, etc.), the processes to convert the raw materials into finished materials, and the assembly of the products. We used lifecycle databases and academic sources to calculate the carbon and water impacts from farms, extraction, manufacturing, and other industrial and commercial activities. The data and calculations were reviewed and validated by the World Resources Institute and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 


Carbon Neutral Commitment: Shift Advantage calculated the The RealReal’s GHG emissions and created a carbon reduction strategy for the business. Following the methodologies of the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Shift Advantage’s carbon footprint focused on the emissions generated directly by The RealReal’s operations (vehicles in its transportation fleet, fossil fuels to heat buildings, etc.); emissions from purchasing electricity; and business activities (e.g., product shipping, purchased goods and services, business travel, etc.).



Carbon & Water Footprint Tool: Shift Advantage delivered a bespoke product environmental footprint tool that calculates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water saving by purchasing from resale compared to purchasing new products. The RealReal utilized the tool to calculate the total GHG and water savings as well as the saving per consigner. The resale of product has saved over 62.5 thousand metric tons of carbon (equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 10.4 million trees in a year) and 3.3 liters of water (equivalent to 14 billion 8 oz glasses of water) since RealReal’s inception. The RealReal used this data in external communications to investors, the media, and customers. 

Carbon Neutral: Shift Advantage delivered a carbon footprint of The RealReal’s business along with a carbon reduction strategy that included specific actions for reducing GHG emissions, procuring renewable energy, and purchasing carbon offsets (removals) to address unavoidable emissions. These deliverables enabled The RealReal to meet the climate commitments of the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge and the UN's Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UNFCCC). 


Carbon & Water Footprint Tool: Just Style

Carbon Neutral: Fashion Network

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