The Mott MacDonald Group is a consultancy headquartered in the United Kingdom. It employs 16,000 staff in 150 countries. It is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the world.
As an employee-owned company, our staff play a large part in defining the shape and strategy of our business. Long-term sustainability is high on their and our agenda. As a company, we have an obligation to act responsibly, and this includes out impact on the earth and its environment. Therefore, starting our journey to zero-carbon seemed the obvious thing to do.
But we have become carbon neutral first because it is important to us that we do the right thing, for our planet and people worldwide, and for our friends, colleagues and families.
To start with, we looked at how we could decarbonise the energy supplies to our offices. In Europe – where we produced more than 50% of our energy carbon emissions and over 60% of our transport emissions – we worked closely with our landlords, and the vast majority have now moved to renewable energy supplies.
In North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia we looked at both switching energy supplies and becoming more energy efficient.
We found our biggest travel-related emissions came from flying. We now signpost low carbon airlines or those offering offsetting schemes to drive down our footprint, while collaborative platforms and conferencing technology help us avoid much unnecessary travel.
In North America we noted a lot of road travel, so we promoted hybrid vehicles and are now moving towards electric. Of course, this only works if the country’s electricity grid is itself relatively low carbon, so a bespoke national approach is needed that takes this into account.
Elsewhere, such as in the UK, we worked with our providers for preferential rates on low emissions vehicles.
From the beginning, we shared details of our carbon footprint openly with our employees via a Power BI dashboard, and this has allowed them all to drill into the data and provide their own suggestions on how to cut our emissions. Crowd sourced ideas include taking a vegan-first approach to catering for meetings and events. A lot of our actions are driven by ideas from our staff.
Colleagues feel pride in working for a company that takes carbon reduction seriously and has reached this important milestone.
It’s important to us that we are consistent in what we say and do. We have a thriving business in carbon management, and it is essential that we have our house in order as the focus shifts from carbon reduction to net-zero. Clients and partners are already talking to us about our carbon neutral journey, and how they may follow suit.
There will also be benefits for those we work with, especially our clients, who need to consider carbon emissions in their supply chain. We have the certification they require when working out their own carbon accounts, helping them to drive down their overall project footprint.
Get help, support and advice. This is an activity which needs thought, consideration and a strategic plan. It needs to be a mindset, rather than a box to tick. We look at our supply chain to ensure they have strong management principles in place with regard to carbon management and a clear plan to net zero.
Everything we do has a carbon footprint, so view it from that perspective first, rather than lowest price or fastest delivery. It’s a fundamental change to how to run a business, so important that it isn’t underestimated.
Seek accreditation: Certification from external bodies will bolster your credibility within the industry and can also provide guidance if you need support in meeting your carbon neutral goals.
Make the most of technology: Use dashboards and data-based solutions to find out where the carbon is and use technological solutions where possible to mitigate it.
Leadership must come from the top: Embedding large-scale change is only successful if there is buy-in and visible support from senior leaders.
Share responsibility across the company: Once each employee and each department see their carbon footprint, they are empowered and encouraged to find ways to cut it.
Collaborate with other organisations: Ask your suppliers and partners how they can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Set science-based targets: Make sure you’re playing your fair part in cutting carbon, to reach the global goal of attaining net-zero emissions.
Verification of our offsets showed we had also met the standard for carbon neutrality, PAS 2060.