Introduction – challenging the concept of a throwaway society
As all parents know, kids grow up quickly. This means they rapidly outgrow clothes and equipment, which can quickly become expensive and wasteful if new items are bought and disposed of whilst still having plenty of useful life left in them. At Kondor Kidz we are challenging the norm of a throwaway society by offering a golf club subscription service that keeps growing golfers in the right equipment and golf clubs out of landfill. It isn’t necessary to own everything we use, especially when we only need things for a limited amount of time.
Part of the Circular Economy
A Circular Economy keeps products in use for as long as possible, as shown below (image courtesy of Circular Flanders).
Our monthly subscription service for junior golf equipment breaks the linear (take, make, dispose) model. By taking back golf clubs, refurbishing them and sending them back out to the next user we keep each set in productive use for as long as possible. This helps to avoid the current situation where individually purchased sets of clubs sit unused for extended periods, losing value before eventually getting ‘cleared out’. It’s in our own interest to only choose high quality equipment that we know will stand up to the job.
Contributing to reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and minimising our environmental impact
The vast majority of the environmental impact of golf equipment is associated with its initial production, linked to the energy and water associated with extracting and processing raw materials and associated transportation. There are also nature and biodiversity loss implications – that are harder to quantify. By putting junior golf clubs products back into circulation once kids have outgrown them, our subscription service extends the product life and reduces the need for future manufacturing (and the associated negative environmental impacts).
Kondor Kidz is working with Circulogic, an independent Circular Economy consultancy, to model the carbon impacts of our service. We are utilising a bespoke carbon model that has been built specifically to assess different golf club use cases, developed originally with the support of Zero Waste Scotland and tailored to reflect the junior golf clubs we provide. The model will be populated with data defining sets equipment issued and re-issued as our subscription service matures. Check back for future updates about our carbon performance.
Each time we redeploy a set of clubs using our subscription service we are saving an estimated 38-42kgCO2e against the alternative of those clubs being purchased new and discarded once finished with.
Transporting equipment via our service has an ongoing environmental impact. We choose our transport suppliers (couriers) based on a number of factors, including reliability (we don’t want clubs going missing in transit) and their own environmental commitments. Our preferred service provider, Parcelforce, have made a commitment to be a Net Zero business by 2040 and are working towards a 100% zero emissions delivery fleet by 2035.
Collaboration – supporting sustainable brands and products
We supply high quality golf equipment through the subscription service, collaborating with respected suppliers such as Lynx Golf, who are taking their producer responsibilities seriously, e.g. by removing all plastic packaging from their sets.
Our Shop showcases a mix of sustainable and fun brands/products, all aimed at the junior golfer. From lake balls to products made with recycled and repurposed materials, we are looking to promote more sustainable alternatives as part of a mission to make golf accessible, affordable and better for the environment.
Future plans and considerations
Additional sustainability-related matters we are working on, or giving consideration to, are as follows:
- Developing responses to ‘Frequently asked questions’ regarding sustainability and our approach
- Monitoring the average replacement periods of golf clubs through our subscription service and the usable lifetimes of the equipment we offer, in order to review and refine our assumptions and sustainability claims over time
- Initiatives and products to support the ongoing maintenance of golf equipment in order to extend its useful life, e.g. through regular cleaning using environmentally friendly chemicals
- As we mature as a business we will give consideration to whether a formal certification, such as becoming a B-Corp, is right for us