With sustainability and climate change becoming an ever more urgent issue, we believe that we are morally obliged to act. Here are some of the actions we have taken so far:
- Printing all our marketing and company stationery on post-consumer waste using vegetable inks.
- Introducing paper-free documents using our UrbanOffice app.
- Introducing hybrid cars and electric vans to our fleet.
- Reducing the amount of peat in our compost by 50% and changing to bags made from recycled plastic, which we can continue to reuse, before finally recycling.
- Introducing a cycle to work scheme.
- Issuing all our staff with bamboo coffee cups and stainless-steel water bottles, to reduce, or even eliminate, the amount of single use coffee cups and plastic water bottles we use at work.
These are all effective initiatives, but we should do more.
With this in mind, we decided, in 2019, to work towards becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible. We are using BSI’s Publicly Available Specification (PAS2060) and its four main stages as listed below to achieve this:
Measure – Assess carbon emissions based on raw data
Reduce – Adopt and implement an emissions management plan
Offset – Retire carbon offsets to account for emissions you cannot reduce
Validate – Publicly disclose a declaration of achievement of neutrality
To measure what carbon we are producing during normal business activity, we took all our data from 2018’s trading and, with the assistance of Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX), we calculated that we emitted 315.46 tonnes (tCO2e).
We have identified our key projects to reduce emissions as part of our on-going emissions reduction plan. These are as follows:
- Encourage our employees to use public transport wherever possible.
- Switch our energy providers to a renewable energy provider as soon as our current contract restrictions allow.
- Strengthening internal and external communication of sustainability initiatives, including an update to our website.
- Stick to our on-going targets to:
- Improve Data Collection for Business Travel to 100% by 2021
- Achieve a relative reduction of passenger vehicle emissions of 5-10% compared with the Baseline 204.92 tCO2e by 2021*.
We have off-set 2018’s emissions by purchasing and retiring carbon credits to meet our first period of achievement through offsetting, enabling us to market ourselves as Carbon Neutral.
We decided to support the following two projects as renewable energy and indoor air quality are two issues that are close to our hearts:
Sidrap Wind Farm Project Phase 1
Gold Standard Markit – https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/1618
Project info, images and videos – https://urbanplanters.sharefile.com/d-sf1568f23d524d66a
African Biomass Energy Conservation POA Malawi
Gold Standard Markit –
Project info, images and videos – https://urbanplanters.sharefile.com/d-s06dd8613f3c4f5cb
Starting with this announcement, we aim to improve and increase our internal and external communication on our sustainability initiative as we work towards our goal of becoming, and remaining, carbon neutral. Our new website (due to launch later this year) will play a key part in this communications strategy.
Conformance to the Carbon Footprint Management Plan
Urban Planters has formed an Executive committee to assess our ongoing performance against this plan. The committee will:
- Meet every three months;
- Ensure that environmental issues are integrated consistently into everyday activities;
- Review progress against our targets, including objectives relating to the management of our carbon footprint.