ONE HUGE STEP TOWARDS TRULY SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING

We want our bikes to be a force for positive change, not just for the individuals riding them, but for the planet. The first part of that goal is what we do best, and is what we work to achieve every day. The second part of that goal is a lot harder. We can ride our bikes to work, limit business travel, recycle packing supplies (you should see the pile!), and keep our shop not-that-cool in the summer and far-from-warm in the winter, but that only goes so far. That’s why we are so proud to be working with Cooler to neutralize the climate impact of every bike we make.

Here’s how it works. Cooler calculates the carbon footprint of each bike we make, charges us based on that footprint, and then uses that money to buy carbon dioxide emission permits away from tightly-regulated carbon markets in the U.S. This method of eliminating a product’s global warming impact is not a carbon offset, because offsets allow polluters to continue business as usual. The key to Cooler’s method is that there are only a certain number of permits available in any given market. Once Cooler buys up those permits, polluters have to find more sustainable ways to operate, stopping pollution at its source.

The end result is a more sustainable way to build bikes than ever before, and we hope a model for other bike and component manufacturers to follow in the future.

Read more about Cooler’s innovative approach here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cooler maintains the country’s only peer-reviewed carbon footprint calculator that covers all consumer goods and services. Cooler’s methodology is the most conservative available; it’s far more likely to overstate the footprint than to understate it, which means you can be sure that you’ve more than neutralized your impact.

The calculations start with Firefly sending Cooler key data about its products. Cooler then adds economic and engineering data to calculate the footprint based on up to 400 underlying categories, including where and how your purchase is shipped and sold.

This is a problem in many carbon markets and commonly referred to as “leakage.” Cooler avoids this problem by working with regulating bodies like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which regulates fossil fuel power plants in the northeastern US that provide power to the grid. The nature of their business means they can’t relocate. If a power plant is going to effectively provide power for New York, it can’t move to Texas.

Barely! We will add a small surcharge to bikes and framesets, less than 0.5% of the total price, to cover a portion of the costs of carbon neutralization. Firefly will then cover the rest of the costs of buying permits, communicating anonymized sales reports to Cooler monthly, and storing and tracking the carbon neutralization certification for each individual bike. We are happy to share that certification with customers anytime, so you can know the specific permits you helped take off the market. All customers with bikes already on order will be able to opt out of the program if desired, in which case Firefly will cover all of the costs of carbon neutralization.

We are also committing to pushing the rest bike industry to follow our lead. It’s exciting that we get to be the first custom bicycle manufacturer to partner with Cooler, but we’re small, and we realize there’s a limit to the impact we alone can make. So we’re going to lean on good old peer pressure and encourage other custom frame builders, component manufacturers, and industry leaders to develop their own partnerships with Cooler.

Research has shown carbon should cost around $60-$100/ton to incentivize behavior change, but that’s far off from current prices. Right now, depending on the market, carbon averages about $10/ton. The low price comes from a few issues: Over allocation of markets, which incentivized polluters to buy-in and adopt a market at all, and not enough demand, so low competition at auctions. The former is something Cooler will help address. We are purchasing and retiring credits so we are removing them from circulation, lowering the allocation and creating market scarcity– this works in tandem with a tightening of a market cap, so the price will slowly increase over time -OR- coal fired plants will feel the squeeze and lower their emissions, or even close and renewables will take over.

My Firefly is equal parts art and science, an object of beauty. The bike is undoubtedly a head turner, more so than any other I have ever ridden. Beyond it’s stunning details, this bike really goes; it just feels like I’ve magically become a better cyclist, and it is easily the best bike I have ever ridden. I was almost scared on my first bridge descent because it feels so fast, but I was quickly put at ease by the super crisp handling and amazingly forgiving shock absorption of the titanium, despite its stiffness.

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