Our project started as a long-term goal of our Environment Policy in 2016 linked to a project on our waste needs in late 2015 and the data gathering work for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The latter highlighted a need for better data, but also where we had work to be done to improve our buildings efficiency.
We met PlanetMark at a trade convention called "edie live" more or less by chance as they were doing free clinics and together we hashed out the start of our journey. We initially set a 5% year on year reduction target but felt that this would not bring our emissions down quick enough and spurred on we accelerate the target to 2030 whilst expanding to include scope 3.
Addressing all three emissions scopes was a must; taking corporate ownership for the supply chain, commuter mileage and customer mileage is paramount and I would urge all business to include scope three in their reporting. It is a challenging area - but that doesnt mean it should be put to one side as it is an impact of the business and it should be influenced as much as possible.
The value of this is clear - as a company you can direct your supply chain investment towards companies who are doing what they can do reduce their carbon impacts which supports their investment while highlighting to less engaged elements of the supply chain that the money is going that way. This brings more companies on board and brings the cost of investment down for all involved.
Thinking differently about the supply chain is critical - the old way of doing things is not sustainable. Next day deliveries, just-in-time ordering models etc. are hyper reliant of vehicles which, as recently noted, are only as reliable as accessibility to the goods, fuel, and employees. That network is fragile and easily exposed so approaching the ordering of goods from a view of what do you need, and can you do what it is with what you have or, if not, locally, is going to yield financial and sustainable benefits.
For the Zero Carbon Tour interview with Mark Bird from Childbase, please watch the video! Discover more here: www.zerocarbontour.com.
My main advice to anyone in this space is not to wait - there is a range of anxiety around the data requirements, chasing suppliers and internal departments etc. etc. but it is far better to start and then work on improving your systems and data capture as you move through the years.
The next thing is to embed your project at the corporate level - keep it simple, deal in numbers (high carbon = bad, less carbon = good) and leverage the efficiency savings from improved waste management, energy usage, etc. to offset the perception of it being a costly process.
Transparency and detail are of the utmost importance - do not put something in the public domain if you are worried about its legitimacy. Try to stay clear of greenwashing or generic statements such as "eco" or "green" as these are often added to products and services which are neither. Third party verification can help in legitimising your work such as PlanetMark or B Corp but there are others and your business may work better in a more traditional ISO-based approach, particularly if you are supplying goods or services.
Number of Eco-School Green Flag awards given to schools.