We have two main ambitions: to go green ourselves and to help our customers go green. In terms of going green ourselves, we have sourced all of our electricity from 100% renewable sources; we have implemented a regime of removing gas and oil from our branches – by the end of this year, 80% of our standalone branches will operate without the use of fossil fuels. We have also invested in making our branches more energy efficient, such as changing light bulbs and heating systems. For our customers, we help them reduce carbon emissions through education and carbon literacy schemes, empowering them to sign up to carbon reduction pledges to reduce their own carbon footprints.
The main benefit we have noticed is staff engagement throughout the process. We have set up a climate Yammer channel internally, from which we get lots of ideas and inspiration. That has prompted us to launch a range of schemes, for example, using outdoor space at our operations centre to install a wildflower garden and a productive garden. The produce from the garden is used at our staff canteen. From our customers, we are getting lots of positive engagement around sustainability – we are having detailed conversations with them around how they can set up their own carbon neutral journeys.
For the full story, please watch the video! Discover more here: www.zerocarbontour.com.
Image: Unsplash stock image, Pickwood
The advice I would give to companies just starting out is to start small – do the simple things first. Think about what works for your business, the type of business you are and the type of business you want to be. We learnt very early on that you cannot do this all on your own – working with other organisations with shared goals can really accelerate this journey and the opportunity to implement things quickly.