As a company that sees the effects of climate change in terms of flooding and drainage we are wholly committed to doing our bit to reduce our impact on the environment in whatever ways we can.
As a service company rather than a manufacturer large scale ways of reducing our footprint are less apparent; however we firmly believe that it is possible in lots of small ways to make a difference. A credible carbon management programme should always include internal reductions, such as reducing energy use, business travel and waste. For us this means considering carefully our office practises and the most eco-friendly way of travelling that suits the needs of our business. This has meant cutting the number of unnecessary car journeys we make, investing in energy efficient hardware and reducing the amount of paper which we use. Over the last 5 years we have been measuring our significant emissions and have managed to reduce the carbon dioxide equivalent produced by the company by almost 39% when normalised against turnover.
Ultimately in order to run our business we do have to consume energy with its associated carbon emissions. One solution for reducing the impact of these remaining emissions is through ‘carbon offsetting’. We have tackled our remaining measured emissions by contributing towards a carbon-reduction scheme through the purchase of carbon offsets which will hopefully make a greener future for everyone.
Carbon offsets are credits for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions made at another location, such as a wind farm which create renewable energy and reduce the need for fossil-fuel powered energy. These schemes work by paying a fee per tonne of carbon which our business emits; this money then goes towards supporting carbon-reducing projects around the world. Carbon offsetting delivers finance to essential renewable energy, forestry and resource conservation projects which generate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Working with Natural Capital Partners we identified an offset scheme with a resource close to our heart, water. Nearly a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water so we chose a project working towards a Sub-Saharan Africa Improved Water Infrastructure. This Gold Standard project, based primarily in Uganda and Malawi, provides clean drinking water to small rural communities by repairing and drilling new boreholes. As communities no longer need to purify water through boiling, pressure on local forests (the predominant source of firewood) is alleviated thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This scheme has allowed us to completely offset our measured carbon emissions which arose over the last two years from activities including:
All driving to and from our clients’ sites
All electricity used in our office and;
All paper used within the company
On its own, carbon offsetting will not provide a solution to global warming, however it does enable businesses like our own to deliver finance to essential projects around the world that are reducing emissions and contributing to building a low carbon economy. These projects would not be financially viable without the finance delivered through the sale of carbon credits.