Greengage’s carbon footprint 2020

Greengage’s carbon footprint 2020

Greengage’s carbon footprint 2020 1536 1152 Greengage Environmental

In 2019, Greengage became a signatory of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ‘Climate Neutral Now’ Pledge and followed this up in 2020 by also becoming a signatory of the World Green Building Council (WGBC) ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment’ as part of Green Building Week. In doing so, Greengage pledged to continually strive to find ways to reduce our annual carbon footprint over our 2019 baseline amount, whilst compensating for the remaining emissions.

In line with the GHG Protocol guidance, Greengage’s greenhouse gas emissions were categorised and measured into the following scopes:

  • Scope 1 = Direct Emissions (fuel combustion from internal gas boilers);
  • Scope 2 = Indirect Emissions (electricity purchased and used by the organisation); and
  • Scope 3 = All other Indirect Emissions (those out of our control such as staff travel and supplier emissions).

Whilst 2020 was a chaotic year for everyone due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which made collating our data more difficult than usual, we managed to undertake the annual audit of our carbon emissions for the year ending 2020 (January-December) to include our complete Scope 1 & 2 and our partial Scope 3 emissions.

The findings were as follows:

NZC Table

In total, this proves to be a 24% reduction over the baseline year of 2019, however this is primarily due to the impact of staff working from home for the majority of 2020 and conducting all business dealings remotely.

As part of our commitment to enact active measures to continually strive to reduce our carbon emissions, Greengage have employed a number of measures over the last year including:

  • Continuing to employ flexi-working and encouraging remote meetings in lieu of face-to-face meetings as a means of reducing our carbon impact, with particular emphasis on meetings requiring longer distance travel outside of London;
  • All of our electricity is sourced through a green energy provider and renewable sources;
  • We have updated our data collection procedure to ensure our emissions resulting from staff travel are measured with better accuracy;
  • Installation of a Hive heating control system to remotely control our office heating more efficiently and better responding to the relevant conditions during peak and non-occupancy; and
  • We have also opened discussions with our landlord on how we can obtain more accurate data on water and gas usage.

There were however, limitations involved with undertaking this exercise which also needed to be taken into account including:

  • Being unable to obtain our water and gas usage from our landlord – in lieu of actual data, we analysed average industry figures and estimated a worst case scenario for best practice;
  • Obtaining accurate figures to calculate emissions resulting from tube travel – this was mitigated through making estimates based upon travel time between stops and average speeds travelled; and
  • Being unable to factor in emissions resulting from staff energy consumption when working from home – Whilst these figures remained unobtainable during our current data collection period, we hope to factor in these emissions during the next accounting period.

Compensating our Emissions

Having calculated our impact as business, we then looked to compensate our calculated emissions. In line with the Climate Pledge Guidelines, ≥10% of our ‘offsets’ are required to come from Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) as offered by the UN, therefore we selected a waste treatment plant in India based upon the impact it would likely have in the local community whilst maximising emissions reductions. The remainder of our emissions would be invested through the UK-based Forest Carbon ex-ante Pending Issuance Units (PIU) at a price of £15/tonne, a price that we chose to replicate when purchasing the CDMs, resulting in the purchasing of surplus CDMs. The Forest Carbon carbon removal schemes are certified in line with the Woodland Carbon Code, the quality assurance standard for woodland creation projects in the UK.

As a result of our carbon calculations and investments in carbon reduction schemes, the UNFCC has awarded Greengage the below grading for the year 2020, however we look to expand our monitoring of our emissions even further in the future to better capture our overall environmental impact as a business.

NZC Chart
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