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Oolie’s 2023 Benefit Report

What is a benefit company?

Oolie Inc is registered with the state of Oregon as a benefit company. That means we structure our business activities to create positive social and environmental changes for all. Benefit companies must benefit the public at large, not just the business itself.

What is a benefit report?

As a benefit company, we are required to publish an annual report, documenting our business activities and impacts from the prior year. In this year’s report — our third! — we reflect on what we accomplished in 2023.

Oolie’s 2023 Benefit Report

Oolie Inc was established in 2021, so 2023 was our second full calendar year of operations.

Certified B Corp

We’re a Certified B Corp! We completed the verification process last spring, and received our certification on April 27, 2023. This certification reflects a successful company audit across five impact areas:

  • Governance
  • Workers
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Customers

Governance

Oolie’s mission is:

To improve quality of life for families through comfortable, functional, and beautiful bedding solutions that are socially and ecologically responsible by design.

Our Code of Ethics is as follows:

  1. Concern for Self: We cultivate awareness of our unique work style, areas of expertise and areas of growth. We advocate for our best interests in order to work and perform optimally.
  2. Concern for Colleagues: We show respect, curiosity, and engagement with colleagues. This includes supporting the unique workplace and work style needs of colleagues, as well as demonstrating cultural humility in our workplace. Collaboration is prized over competition.
  3. Concern for Consumers: We consider the end user experience of our products, taking into account aesthetics, usability, safety, utility, and comfort.
  4. Concern for Stakeholders: We consider our supply chain and support the rights and humane treatment of all who are involved in bringing our product to market. We make decisions about sourcing accordingly.
  5. Concern for Planet: We consider the impact of our corporate actions and decisions on the planet.
  6. Concern for Growth: We engage in ongoing assessment and reflection to improve and strengthen our actions in accordance to numbers 1-5.

Workers

As part of our remote-first hiring policy, we continue to commit to base rates that exceed the living wage, as indexed in the Living Wage Calculator.

When evaluating and interviewing potential independent contractors, we strongly encourage applicants who are also raising children, and we accommodate caregivers’ unique needs in our working arrangements. (Hey, we are caregivers ourselves!)

We continue to cultivate relationships with Fair Trade-certified suppliers. The Fair Trade certification means that the vendor’s employees are not being exploited and, thus, Oolie is neither benefiting from nor tacitly endorsing any such exploitation.

Oolie continues to be 100% woman-founded and woman-owned.

Community

All of our community-related commitments continue to hold true, as they involve cultivating and supporting long-term relationships. We’ll summarize those commitments here:

  • We love to collaborate with local, woman-owned businesses.
  • When evaluating new potential vendors, we prioritize companies located nearby, especially in our same bioregion. Only if local partnerships are not feasible will we consider vendors from further afield.
  • Long-term, our intent is to have as much of Oolie’s raw materials and manufacturing sourced as locally as possible.

Sustainability — both ecological and relational — requires long-term thinking, and we are building this business for the long term.

Environment

We continue to partner with Oregon Tilth, who certifies our organic products according to the Global Organic Textile Standard. We encourage you to verify our GOTS certification on global-standard.org, where you can find our Scope Certificate, the official documentation of our certification process.

Obstacles

Inflation continues to challenge our commitments to many of the practices we value, such as living wages and the use of organic materials (and third-party organic certification).

However, even in the face of rising costs, our values don’t change. This is a journey we are choosing to pursue because we believe in its importance and benefit to the world. We therefore reaffirm our commitment to our mission and benefit company structure — even in the face of an uncertain path ahead.

When we need to cut costs, we look for simpler, more efficient ways to fulfill our goals.

Social & Environmental Metrics

Below are the social and environmental metrics that we track annually. Some of these metrics have specific goals or targets attached, though most don’t — yet.

Oolie was founded in August 2021; we didn’t report these metrics for 2021, as it was a partial year and not meaningful. 2022 was our first full year as a company, so 2023 is exciting because we can report our first year-over-year comparisons.

Social & Environmental Metrics Values for 2023

Metric Units 2022 Value 2023 Value Δ
Energy use GJ Not publicly reported Not publicly reported -7.69%
Energy mix % renewables 14.37% 20.25% +5.88 points
Energy intensity GJ per $ 0.13508 GJ/$ 0.01136 GJ/$ -91.59%
Water use gal 3,079 gal 3,755 gal +22%
Plastic in product % units sold 100% 38% -62 points
Plastic for packaging % units sold 0% 60% +60 points
Plastic for shipping % units sold 100% 81% -19 points
Organic and socially responsible products % of offerings 0% 60% +60 points
Product safety certified % of offerings 0% 60% +60 points
Product safety recalls # of recalls 0 0 No change
Employee gender diversity % identifying as other than cisgender male 50% 50% No change
Collaborator gender diversity % identifying as other than cisgender male 78% 88% +10 points

 

Definitions and discussions of each metric follows below.

Energy use (GJ)

This metric counts only on-site energy use from Oolie facilities (Scope 1). We record both electricity use (kWh) and natural gas (therms), normalized into Gigajoules (GJ).

Our electricity provider reports usage hourly, which is easily aggregated up to annual amounts.

Our natural gas provider reports usage approximately every 30 days, slightly irregularly, and across calendar months. For example, a gas reading taken on January 20th may include 10 days’ worth of usage from the prior December as well as 20 days in January. So to calculate annual totals (e.g., the amount of natural gas used during the 2022 calendar year, January 1 through December 31), we interpolate those December/January readings. While the exact annual values can’t be known, the approximate values are accurate enough for our purposes. Importantly, this process ensures we do not under-count overall energy use.

While we track this number, we do not report it publicly.

Goal: None. Reduction targets would not be meaningful, since our on-site energy needs are relatively small.

In 2023: We reduced overall energy use by 7.69%, compared to 2022. We attribute most of this to replacing a gas furnace and traditional air conditioning system with a highly efficient heat pump. (More on that in a moment!)

Sources: Our electric and natural gas utility providers. kWh and therms have been converted to GJ equivalents.

Energy mix (% from renewable sources)

While our absolute energy use is relatively small, we are still committed to sustainability, and thus we want our energy to be sustainably produced.

Sources we count as “renewable” include:

  • hydro (plentiful here in the Pacific Northwest 😀)
  • solar (less plentiful here in the Pacific Northwest 😞)
  • wind
  • geothermal

Although we’re counting these as “renewable” for purposes of this metric, we also acknowledge ongoing debates about these sources’ ecological sustainability. For example, damming a river to generate hydropower does not emit much carbon (compared to burning coal), but it sure does disrupt the river’s flow and ecology.

Goal: Since 2022 was our first full year of operation, it establishes our baseline. Going forward, our goal is to increase our % renewable sources over time, ultimately attaining a 100% renewably sourced energy mix by 2028, at the latest.

In 2023: Our % renewables increased 5.88 points to 20.25%. This is mostly attributed to local (Pacific Northwest, Oregon) power grid changes, but also partly due to our electrification efforts. Our new (electric) heat pump means we use far less natural gas; the more we electrify, the more accessible renewable power sources are.

Sources: Our energy providers above, and the EPA Power Profiler’s reported fuel mix for our ZIP Code.

Energy intensity (ratio of energy use to revenue, GJ per $USD)

We measure energy intensity as:

Energy use / revenue

For this metric, lower numbers are better, because lower numbers reflect increased efficiency. For example, say you used 1 GJ and earned $100 in revenue. The energy intensity would be:

1 GJ / $100 = 0.01 GJ per $

That’s a lot of energy to expend for a small amount of revenue. What if you earned $10K, but with the same energy expenditure?

1 GJ / $10,000 = 0.0001 GJ per $

0.00001 is a much smaller number than 0.01, and reflects greater efficiency.

Goal: Since our first revenue was in 2022, we expect the first few years of this ratio to be unusual (i.e., lots of energy spent per dollar earned).

Our general goal is to decrease energy intensity over time, by increasing revenue without increasing energy use. That said, we don’t think it’s meaningful to set a specific target yet, as we need a few years’ worth of data to establish a reasonable baseline as a starting number.

In 2023: With increased revenue and reduced energy use, our energy intensity ratio was 91.59% lower in 2023 compared to 2022.

Sources: Our energy providers above and internal bookkeeping.

Water usage (gal)

This metric counts only on-site water use from Oolie facilities (Scope 1).

Goal: None. Reduction targets would not be particularly meaningful, since our on-site water needs are relatively small.

In 2023: Our water usage was up 22%.

Sources: Our water provider. CCFs are converted to gallons for familiarity.

Plastic use in products (% of units sold)

 

There are many different plastics in the world, some more ecologically harmful than others. For purposes of this metric, “plastic” means non-compostable, petroleum-based plastics, such as:

  • thin film plastic (e.g., for packaging individual products)
  • poly mailers (e.g., envelopes for shipping)

For purposes of this metric, we don’t count other materials (such as compostable bioplastics) as “plastics.”

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to avoid plastics of all kinds, as there aren’t always alternative materials with the same properties available. The alternatives, including bioplastics, often have their own limitations.

That said, it’s our goal to completely eliminate the use of plastics from our operations. To that end, we are tracking the % of products (number of units) sold each calendar year that:

  • contain any plastic(s) in the product itself
  • use any plastic(s) for packaging
  • use any plastic(s) for shipping

It helps us to track each of these practices separately, to help us see where to focus our plastic reduction efforts. For example, at the moment, we ship products using 100% recycled poly mailers. We do count these as “plastic,” even though they are recycled. When suitable alternative materials are available, we will be happy to switch. (See our Ethical Sourcing page for more.)

Goal: Annually reduce, then eventually eliminate, the use of plastics in our products.

In 2023: You’ll notice significant point changes in these metrics for 2023:

  • Plastic in product: -62 points
  • Plastic for packaging: +60 points
  • Plastic for shipping: -19 points

These large changes were due to us having only one product in 2022 (the Shoosh, which does contain some plastic but is not packaged with any) and introducing many new products in 2023 (which do not contain plastic, but are packaged with plastic).

Also in 2023, we negotiated using bioplastic packaging for our new baby products, which we later released in 2024. (That plastic reduction isn’t reflected in this year’s report, but you’ll see it factor in next year.)

Sources: Sales records and internal documentation of materials used in products, packaging, and shipping.

Organic and socially responsible products (% of offerings)

Ecological and social concerns are interconnected and can’t be treated separately. We love the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) because it addresses both. GOTS-certified products are made from organic fibers and meet or exceed rigorous social criteria to ensure no one along the supply chain is being exploited.

We want the production of our products to have both ecological and social benefits, so this metric records the percentage of our product offerings that are third-party certified as both organic and socially responsible. GOTS certification fulfills this criterion, though other certifications may as well.

For example, pretend our offerings included 4 distinct products (not counting different variants, such as sizes and colors). If 3 were GOTS certified, and 1 did not have any such certification, then this metric would be recorded as 75%.

Goal: Increase % of third-party certified organic and socially responsible products over time.

In 2023: In 2023, all our new bedding products launched with GOTS certification, so at the end of 2023 this metric was 60%.

Sources: Internal documentation of product offerings, and third-party product-level certifications (such as GOTS).

Product safety certified (% of offerings)

By inviting an Oolie product into your home, you are trusting us with your family’s safety — including that of your babies, toddlers, and young children. We value your trust enormously, and for that reason we not only meet, but exceed all safety-related regulatory requirements.

This metric records the percentage of our product offerings that underwent and passed third-party safety testing and certification. By tracking this metric, we hold ourselves accountable to ensure every new Oolie product undergoes rigorous safety testing.

Goal: Increase % of third-party safety certified products over time.

In 2023: This metric also increased to 60%, for the same reasons as above.

Sources: Internal documentation of product offerings, and third-party safety test results.

Product safety recalls (# of recalls)

Infant and children’s products can be recalled in the event of safety concerns or incidents involving the products. In the US, product recalls are coordinated through the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

As described above, we will subject all such products to rigorous safety testing — to ensure safe products and the safety of your children, first and foremost. Secondarily, we would also like to never have to recall an Oolie product.

Goal: Zero, always.

In 2023: Zero.

Sources: Internal knowledge and the US CPSC.

Gender diversity (% identifying as other than cisgender male)

Diversity — and equity, inclusion, and belonging — is an enormous, messy issue, and that’s what we love about it. There are all different kinds of diversity, and, in a numerical sense, even more approaches to measuring it.

However, we’re still new and small, so we are choosing to keep this metric similarly small and focused to start, limiting our diversity metric to only one aspect of identity: gender.

We’re framing this metric as the percent of people identifying as other than cisgender male. This phrasing is verbose, and we don’t love how it could be read as centering “male” in the definition itself, but we think it’s inclusive of all genders and reflects our organizational priority.

We’re recording this metric for two different groups:

  • employees
  • all other individual collaborators, including contractors

Note that this metric counts only individual people; we exclude vendors that are companies, firms, or other kinds of organizations from this metric.

Goal: Maintain or increase level of gender diversity of employees and collaborators.

In 2023: No change in employees. Increased contractor gender diversity by 10 points.

Sources: Internal records and self-identification by employees and collaborators.

Looking Ahead

Thank you for reviewing our benefit report. We hope you’ll sign up for our newsletter and join us on this journey!

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