Our sustainability mission
We’re always looking to do things better — be it design, making, workplace, social or environmental.
Sustainability is built into our design DNA. Our products eschew seasonality, complement any interior, and are made to last. All new additions to our range are designed to be useful and complement existing designs. We believe in conscious and responsible consumption, and this starts with good design.
Carbon Neutral Since 2020
Mud has always been dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint, but we want to make it official. The 2019-2020 devastating Australian bushfires motivated us to make the commitment to become carbon neutral, a goal we proudly achieved by the end of 2020.
Working with the agency South Pole we undergo an annual audit, review our process to minimise environmental impact and offset any Carbon that cannot be practically avoided.
South Pole calculated a total GHG emissions of 1074.91 tCO2e (metric tons of carbon) for the last FY 2019/20. Our largest areas of emissions were electricity, freight and travel.
Mud Australia’s entire carbon footprint was offset through gold standard carbon credits. Locally we chose to invest in the re-vegetation project Mount Sandy Conservation and the Myamyn Lowland Forest Conservation project. Mount Sandy uses Indigenous management techniques to rehabilitate the wetlands in South Australia’s Coorong. The Myanmyn project works across native revegetation in Victoria’s Annya State Forest. Collectively, these projects focus on land and wetland regeneration, development of biodiversity and investment in local and Indigenous economies.
We also chose an American offset project, given our presence in the US. We have invested in the Californian Redwood Garcia River Forest Protection Program, which is the first large non-profit owned sustainable timber harvesting operation. The project has provided local jobs, protected nearly 10,000 hectares of ancient forests and improved the habitat for rare wildlife including the Northern spotted owl.
In buying or specifying Mud Australia porcelain products you are choosing a Carbon Neutral product.
Read more about our carbon neutral journey here.
Minimising our Impact
We are constantly working to make our workspaces and operations greener. We do this by:
Making Product Locally in Australia
We control our production processes which allows us to ensure the highest production standards in terms of safety, materials usage and waste. We dust test our studio annually and provide appropriate PPE for any hazardous tasks. All our glazes and stains are non-toxic and food safe. Local production also means any pieces that don’t meet our production standards are kept out of landfill by selling them as seconds or repurposing into our Terrazzo range.
Installation of 100kW solar system on our studio in Marrickville. This offsets approximately 25% of our manufacturing energy consumption. In addition to this we have installed LED lighting throughout our spaces. We divert excess heat produced by our kilns in the firing process into our production space to dry moulds and products.
We have recently invested in two electric vehicles and aim to transition to an entirely electric fleet.
To reduce landfill we have a vigilant internal recycling policy from compost to soft plastics, we’re even able to recycle our plaster moulds. Read more about how we recycle clay and repurpose broken pieces below.
To reduce water consumption we have installed internal rain tanks for use in the production process. We also have a strict water filtration systems in our clay studio to ensure that the water that leaves our site is clean.
In July 2018 we replaced our plastic foam protective packaging with 100% biodegradable and compostable Ranpak packaging. This clever design is die cut and concertinas when stretched to create a soft cushion paper wrap. When you receive Mud in the post, you can dispose of the wrapping in your backyard compost bin or kerbside recycling bin.
All of our gift boxes and paper carry bags are now 100% paper – we’ve eliminated magnets, eyelets and plastic coatings to ensure they’re recyclable. The stock used is 80% post-consumer paper and printed using water based inks.
Where possible we use sea freight over air freight to minimise emissions. Maritime shipping is the world’s most carbon-efficient form of long distance transport.
Our Recycled Clay Collection
Introduced in 2020, Mud Australia’s Recycled Clay Collection made entirely from recycled clay and handmade in our Sydney studio.
The trimmings and floor spills from our porcelain slip casting are collected, filtered and aged before being cast into new recycled product diverting 1,500L of clay from landfill annually. As with our core range each piece is worked on by 10 sets of hands to ensure a quality Mud fineness and finish then fired to vitrification at 1230 degrees. The surface is left unglazed and hand sanded to provide a smooth matte finished.
The collection is available for trade customers in a hospitality edit and comes in a mid-grey colour which, depending on the content of the recycled clay, varies slightly from batch to batch.
Our Zero Waste Terrazzo Trivet Collection
Determined to create an inventive use for our broken ceramics, Shelley reached out to Brisbane based company, Five Mile Radius, to utilise broken porcelain pieces as aggregate in their upcycled concrete products to create a new take on terrazzo.
The Mud Australia table trivets stand alone as design objects while also providing protection to more fragile surfaces. The trivets is backed with recycled PET felt and is packaged in a reusable PET felt pouch.
Mud understands an enriching workplace for all employees is intrinsic to societal sustainability. Mud has implemented various community-orientated projects to encourage a healthy, happy and progressive work environment. These include:
Supporting Education Locally
We’re also passionate about donating to public and not-for-profit education institutions – if you’re a public school within one of our geographical communities, please contact us.
Annex by Mud Australia
Many of our team have their own creative practice. To promote their creativity Mud hosts an bi-annual event called ‘Annex by Mud Australia’ that provides an environment for them to exhibit and sell their art.
Mud Australia acknowledges we operate our studio on Gadigal country. We acknowledge the Gadigal people as the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
We’re currently forming a Reflect RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) to address how we can do more as a business. In 2021 we stopped work as a team to undertake Indigenous Cultural Education Training with Mirri Mirri in our Sydney studio. This gave team members of all departments an opportunity to better understand and engage with Indigenous cultures.
The Shelley Simpson Ceramics Prize (SSCP)
Launched in 2020, the Shelley Simpson Ceramics Prize is funded by Mud Australia. This annual $10,000 Prize is awarded to an outstanding student in the field of ceramics to support their final year of studies. This Prize is about nurturing the next generation of Australian artists and encouraging innovations in the craft of our ceramics community. You can read more about this prize here.