Our Impact on the Environment
Our aim is to make Bonza the most sustainable and environmentally friendly dog food on the Planet.
Your dog’s health, and longest life, is the most important driver of our ambition for Bonza. The health of the planet, and the impact feeding our dogs has on the environment, is an equally important motivation in achieving our ambition.
Part of the Solution
We understand that it is impossible when producing any product for it to have zero impact on the environment. There is always an environmental cost.
Our objective is to reduce our impact on the environment to the lowest possible level for your dog’s food. To produce the healthiest and most environmentally sustainable dog food on the planet. To achieve this, we consider the impact that every aspect of producing our food has on all the elements – air, water and land – of nature and the environment.
Our ingredients must serve two purposes – deliver the high-quality nutrients your dog needs to elevate its food beyond simple nutrition and survival, to a food that offers functional health benefits and at the same time minimises the impact that growing, harvesting and transporting these ingredients has on the environment.
First consideration, No Meat. All meat has a greater impact on the environment than plants, some like lamb and beef significantly greater. More greenhouse gas emissions, greater water usage and land use. For this reason alone, we do not include any animal products in Bonza.
Unlike the 4 ‘major’ crops – corn, wheat, soy and rice – which are responsible for large swathes of deforestation, large irrigation needs, reduced soil quality and erosion, increased fertiliser use and biodiversity loss, many of our ingredients have a positive impact. The legumes we use – peas, fava beans, chickpeas – are considered ‘climate smart’ crops for their ability to improve soil nutrients, sequester carbon, fix nitrogen and improve biodiversity. Oats act as ground cover to reduce weeds and the need for harmful herbicides. Sweet potato and potato have some of the lowest carbon footprints of all ingredients. Seaweed is known as an important carbon sink, facilitating carbon sequestration and storage.
Slow and low is best
When deciding how we cooked our food we had two considerations – it must preserve nutrient integrity so that your dog benefits from our high-quality ingredients’ health-giving properties at the same time reduce the energy, water usage and waste of producing it.
We selected cold extrusion as our cooking process. Using this method our food is cooked at 70°C or less, preserving the nutrient integrity of vital amino acids, vitamins, minerals and health-giving phytonutrients. Cold-extrusion cooking requires less energy and water than the high temperature short time extrusion method of bulk dog food production (95% of dog food uses this method to manufacture product).
Our manufacturing partners are fully committed to sustainability. At present 43% of all energy used for their offices, warehouses and factories is from renewable sources, 22.9% from nuclear with the balance from non-renewable sources – 18% natural gas, 11.3% high energy efficiency cogeneration and the remaining 3.8% split between fuel, wood and other sources.
In 2023/4 they will commence the development of a solar farm adjacent to their warehouses, offices and factories that will provide them with enough energy to reduce their use of non-renewable energy to zero
Out of the Box
Packaging is a very difficult area and one we have agonised over. In pure carbon footprint terms it could be argued that plastic flexible packaging has the lowest carbon footprint. This may be true if all these plastic bags could be – and were – recycled. The truth is that a very small percentage are recycled. Not because you and I don’t care but because the infrastructure for collecting the bags from our homes and the recycling capabilities simply do not exist yet. A significant percentage of these bags end up in landfill sometimes after one use but always at the end of their recycling usefulness – bags and plastic cannot be recycled infinitely unlike aluminium. These eventually breakdown into microplastics which are very harmful to the environment.
For this reason, we have chosen to package Bonza food in FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper-based packaging bag with a vegetable-based lining to ensure the freshness of your dog’s food. These are widely compostable or recyclable via most domestic waste streams. Whilst not perfect we consider these to have the lowest overall impact on the environment long term at this point in time.
We are constantly engaged with packaging companies at the leading edge of innovation for the perfect solution, compostable, biodegradable and recyclable dog food packaging, and the moment it is available we will change our packaging format.
Our protective outer cartons are manufactured with a mix of recycled and virgin pulp cardboard in its natural uncoated state and all printing is done using sustainable, and environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks. Our paper-based packing tape is also printed with these inks onto an uncoated surface. Both our outer carton and tape are 100% compostable and recyclable helping to contribute to an eco-friendly dog food packaging solution.
We have designed our packaging bags and outer carton, so they are a perfect fit- there is a no wasted space, and no need for additional packaging material to prevent movement when we pack your dog’s plant-based food for delivery to you. This reduces the amount of board and other material to the bare minimum necessary to protect your delivery.
Our objective is to have the most sustainable dog food packaging possible.
Every Mile Counts
Transportation is the other contributor to the impact our food has on the environment.
When selecting our ingredients, the most important factor after considering the impact each ingredient has on the environment – water, land and air – is where it is grown, the distance it must travel and on what transport, to get from the farm to our warehouse and factory.
Our ingredients, where possible, are sourced from the region closest to our manufacturing partners in the Segovia region in Spain, with many ingredients produced and grown in Spain and Segovia itself. This helps reduce the emissions resulting from the inbound transportation of our ingredients.
Our cardboard cartons and packing tape are produced in the Madrid region, in close proximity to our partners in the Segovia region.
Our bags are designed to minimise ‘empty’ space within our purpose designed cartons and optimise the number of cartons we can pack to a pallet. The result is we are shipping less ‘air’, further reducing our food’s transport emissions.
We have selected the companies who deliver your dog’s Bonza to their home based on their existing delivery carbon footprint as well as their ambition to invest in decarbonising the delivery journey by rapidly expanding their electric and hydrogen powered fleets.
We also use their 2-day tracked service as standard, rather than next day, because it offers our couriers routing efficiencies and improved load management that is emission reducing.
The reason for focusing on a subscription, direct-to-you model for Bonza (apart from making it far more convenient for you!) is to reduce the emissions for a typical journey of a bag of dog food – manufacturer’s factory to brand’s warehouse, brand’s warehouse to distributor’s warehouse, distributor’s warehouse to retailer’s warehouse, retailer’s warehouse to retailer’s store, from retailer’s store to your home.
Your dog’s Bonza journey – manufacturer’s factory to delivery partner’s warehouse, from delivery partner’s warehouse to your home.
Our personalised meal plan calculates exactly when we need to send your dog their next box of Bonza so you will never run out or end up with more dog food than you need. This helps to reduce emergency dog food runs and prevents potential wastage from overstocking.
Your dog’s gift to the planet
While we know that we can never reduce our emissions, or impact, to zero, we decided there were steps we could take to mitigate any negative impact we do have on the environment, the health of the Planet and her citizens.
By joining the Bonza family your dog will be funding the work these fantastic charities do in helping to preserve and protect some of the Planet’s most valuable existing carbon stores, helping to restore degraded land for communities most at risk from climate change and improving their economic futures.
The Planet’s rainforests are often referred to as ‘the Lungs of the Planet’
Every dog who joins the Bonza family meal plan funds the preservation of 400m2of rainforest, protecting 20 trees, which store 9.8 tonnes of carbon and sequesters a further 0.4 tonnes per year. And every time your dog gets their next Bonza delivery, we fund another 400m2 on their behalf.
12 deliveries in a year = 1.2 acres and 240 trees preserved. The equivalent of removing emissions of 31 cars.
I was born in Africa, the continent, and her people, most at risk from the threat of climate change. I have always held the view that ‘We are only as strong as the weakest link’ and it is the reason we have chosen to support these two worthy organisations in their fight to provide for Africa and her people’s futures.
Already among the poorest on the planet, the threat to their very existence cannot be overstated. Drought induced famines, climate induced desertification and degradation of farming lands threaten their ability to feed themselves, derive sufficient income to educate their children or provide even the most basic healthcare for them.
For every delivery of Bonza food delivered to your dog we commit 1% of the value of your purchase to support the work Trees for the Future are doing in Africa.
Their Forest Garden Approach to agroforestry has the power to support communities, improve lives, and restore the planet.
We are committed to 5 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life on Land
We are working toward achieving B Corp status and have enshrined the following wording in the legal structure of our company, Happea Chappea Limited’, Articles of Association:
The objects of the Company are to promote the success of the Company;
(i) for the benefit of its members as a whole; and
(ii) through its business and operations, to have a material positive impact on (a) society and (b) the environment, taken as a whole.
Healthier Dogs. Healthier Planet.