While the ladder is composed primarily of American red oak, the overall environmental impact is heavily influenced by the use of other materials, notably the 700 grams of green leather used for the seat. Substitution of wood for this single component would significantly reduce the environmental burden.
The high environmental impact of leather is due both to energy and chemical inputs associated with cattle farming and the even larger inputs during the manufacturing process. This process involves inputs of chemicals for de-hairing, biocides such as pentachlorophenol to prevent bacterial growth, and compounds of chromium, a heavy metal, for tanning.
Carbon emissions during all stages of material extraction and processing, product manufacturing, and transport were 155 kilograms of CO2 equivalent. The leather alone accounted for 48 kilograms of these emissions while the aluminium for the footings accounts for a further 14 kilograms.