Carbon footprint – travel
- We avoid physically travelling to meetings etc (ourselves and our client/groups) where alternatives are available and practical, such as using teleconferencing, video conferencing, virtual classrooms or web cams, and efficient timing of meetings to avoid multiple trips. These options are also often more time efficient, while not sacrificing the benefits of regular contact with clients and partners.
- Consulting teams – our work will be planned and distributed such that travel is minimised, builds on home locations of proposed consultants and leverages best travel options from wherever consultants are working with other clients in that same week.
- Modes of transport – we explore car share or the least impactful forms of transport where possible, such as trains.
- All our company owned cars are below 125G/KM with the intention to move to partial or all electric cars by 2020.
- We balance unavoidable carbon footprint with the planting of trees and support to other carbon off-set mechanisms where we can, such as donations at point of purchase of plane flights.
Climate change risk mitigation
Our biggest short-term risk from climate change is disruption to private (car) and public (train, plane etc) transport, which might interrupt or delay arrival at client specific venues or locations in time to start work. We mitigate this through constant attention to any conditions that might impact on timely arrival, or safe travel and take precautionary measures whenever possible to include:
- Early set-off to avoid problems that might arise
- Change of means of transport to avoid disrupted routes (eg if cars not appropriate but trains running)
- Shift of work from the face2face to virtual mechanisms
A secondary risk to our business and customers comes from office-based disruption due to flooding or extreme weather events, or disruption in electricity etc. We mitigate these risks through:
- Recently replacing office-based Servers (highly energy draining and susceptible to disruption) with MS365 cloud computing which can be accessed anywhere
- Our Head Office is served by a full domestic array of PV solar panels, supplying a Tesla PowerWall battery which provides “green” and sustainable electricity and can be pressed into use to buffer grid power failures. We have put in place flood prevention mechanisms as detailed in the section above.
- Our secondary office in Coventry would be unlikely to be impacted at the same time as our office in Devon, and as all information and processing capacity exists in both places, it is easy to switch operations from one to the other.
Resource conservation, waste prevention and management
- We minimise our use of paper and other office consumables, by relying on electronic documents and avoiding printing. Where printing is unavoidable, double-siding all paper used. We identify opportunities to reduce waste, and as far as possible arrange for the reuse or recycling of office waste, including paper, computer supplies and redundant equipment.
- We reduce the energy consumption of office equipment by purchasing energy efficient equipment and good housekeeping. We seek to purchase electricity from a supplier committed to renewable energy and maximise the proportion from renewable energy sources including our own PV panels.
- We ensure that timber furniture, and any other timber products, are recycled or from well-managed, sustainable sources and are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
- We purchase fair-trade and/or organic beverages.
- We rely on cloud-based, electronic storage over paper-based printing or energy-draining local Servers.
- When using venues for delivery of client work, we work with them to reduce use of plastics (eg water bottles) and un-necessary waste. We privilege the choice of venues which can demonstrate a focus on sustainable practices. While working in training suites or meeting rooms at venues or on the client’s own premises, we pay particular attention to energy usage (eg turning off lights), waste management and human health, safety and security.
- We reduce to the extent practicable the quantity and degree of hazard of the wastes we generate from our operations and handle them in a safe, legal and responsible way to minimise their environmental effects.
- We work with others in our supply chain to help assure adverse environmental impacts and risks associated with our products and services are reduced and properly controlled and environmental benefits optimized.
Economic success - the wise use of financial resources
Company economic prosperity and governance
- Our business is positioned to survive and prosper economically. To ensure this, we have regular Director (shareholder) meetings, and are conservative in our spending to ensure that the business is permanently cash-positive, with reserves to buffer against bad-debts and unexpected costs.
- Responsible Governance – We manage our risks properly, use our economic power responsibly and operate our business in a way that is ethical and legal.
- Community Economic Prosperity – We help our community survive and prosper economically by sourcing locally and employing local people where we can.
Legal compliance, reporting and doing the right thing
- We comply with, and exceed where practicable, all applicable legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
Doing the right thing
- We integrate sustainability considerations into all our business decisions.
- We pay all our taxes, on time, without any desire or action to avoid or reduce normal corporate or individual tax contributions which we see as essential to a flourishing society in which our business operates.
- We ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.
- While the size and type of business means that we have no external reporting on sustainability or social responsibility, we ensure it is regularly reviewed internally and set ourselves high standards to meet and maintain.
Environmental risk control and restoration
We restore the environment where damaged by us and enhance it to better support wildlife and ourselves:
- The land on which the main office sits has been landscaped using permaculture principles to absorb floodwater and move it naturally into soak-aways, tree planting, swales and a pond, ensuring that the building itself is unaffected by serious rainfall while preventing run-off that might impact on others.
- Wildlife around our office is supported by a pond, substantial insect “hotels”, and focus on natural, pollen rich and diverse planting.
- No chemicals of any kind (even organic) are used within the gardens surrounding our office. Instead composting and other traditional methods are used with a focus on soil quality and bio-diversity.