For Ilari Haataja, one of the founders of Alvar Pet, conscious choices had been present in everyday life for a long time. Yet one family member was not covered — Alvar the dog. So, he decided it was time to shake up the norms of the whole pet industry by making climate action easy for dog owners everywhere!
“The way I see it, owning a dog should not be a choice against the environment.
Pets have followed me throughout my life, from childhood to this day. And given that pets are such a big part of the lives of so many people — there are more puppies than babies born each year in Finland — it seems odd that the pet industry has been so slow to react to environmental challenges.The plan of founding Alvar Pet came together after meeting the co-founders Hanna, Henna and Sini. We all share the drive for the same mission: minimising the carbon pawprint of dogs.
The climate perspective has long been absent in the pet industry. A dog needs on average 50% of the calories that an adult needs, and proportionally more of this is animal derived. All this in addition to the increasing consumption of products and services in general increases the carbon pawprint dogs. Our goal with Alvar Pet is to change that, starting by offering low-carbon dog food. It will take time to shake up norms, but that is why groups like us demanding change are needed.
Before founding Alvar Pet I was working 70-hour weeks in private equity for more than five years. That was enough to get my priorities straight and start devoting time to something meaningful, more aligned with my lifestyle. I could not think of one area in my life where I would not strive for conscious choices — let it be hobbies, eating habits, travelling methods, or choice of electricity suppliers — except work. So I decided to change that.
I have always been intrigued by entrepreneurship. It allows me to devote my time to something I’m passionate about, and witness progress every day. With Alvar Pet we can build and test new things without worrying about existing structures. By surrounding myself with people who have different areas of expertise, there is an opportunity to create something really good.
Even in the very worst case scenario, our actions taken for the right reasons will inspire others to continue on the same path. It's a bet worth taking!”
1. A pro-tip for the conscious pawrent?
I’ve actually got two:
2. What are the biggest factors that increase the climate pawprint of dogs?
By far the biggest factor is food and ingredients within. Making climate-friendly, conscious feeding choices is no trade-off from quality.
3. A fun fact about Alvar the dog?
Alvar stopped eating dog poop after we started serving Alvar kibbles!