Posted by Craig Morey

How we are going to achieve net zero carbon by 2020

Joining with our fellow BCorp members, we have declared a climate emergency. We strongly believe that businesses need to act now. Therefore, we have also

committed to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2020.

A planned approach

We have taken a planned approach, we have a Verco CSR team with CSR champions in each of our 3 offices. Spearheaded by our CSR lead, Craig Morey, our CSR team have been working hard to develop and implement an achievable strategy that works for our business. Many of our milestones have already been achieved:

Already achieved:

Electricity

  • Reduced the number of servers on site.
  • Implemented an LED lighting roll out in our Overmoor and Chorley offices.
  • Reduced our electricity usage through installation of auto-switch off devices for IT equipment during evenings and weekends.
  • Updated our procurement guidelines to source energy efficient/energy star rated office equipment.

Water

  • Reduced water usage through installation of water savings devices in WCs.

Waste

  • Implemented additional recycling measures over and above current landlord provisions.
  • Run plastic-free campaigns to reduce overall waste.

Transport

  • Implementing a travel hierarchy which prioritises public transport.
  • Preferential use of hybrid/electric hire vehicles.
  • Sustainable travel initiatives to encourage reduced commuting emissions.

Monitoring

  • Implemented sub-metering and monitoring & targeting via our Carbon Desktop platform to reduce utility consumption and improve our working environment through monitoring a range of parameters such as ambient CO2 concentration.

However, we are not there yet and still have some further work to do in order to achieve our goal of Net Zero Carbon by 2020.

Planned:

  • Reduction of business travel for project work and use of public transport in place of hire cars/personal vehicles where possible.
  • Avoiding unnecessary flights for project work.
  • Increase in use of videoconferencing in place of face-to-face meetings.
  • Setting a target to reduce our overall Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in accordance with the principles of the SBTi methodology for a 1.5DegC scenario.

Use of Gold Standard carbon offsets:

While many measures are being rolled out to reduce our carbon footprint to the lowest level possible, there are inevitably emissions that remain. As such, achieving net zero will be achieved by purchasing ‘Gold Standard’ carbon offsets to match our remaining footprint. Offsetting is a contentious point and the benefits of offsetting are being increasingly debated now that the Net Zero movement has gathered pace. Many companies will be looking to offsets to achieve Net Zero (us included). So, Verco will be reviewing ways to continue reducing our carbon footprint by changes in practices and relying less on offsets over time. In the meantime, we will continuously review the way in which we purchase offsets and the schemes and methodologies we follow when purchasing them.

We are also developing a robust calculation methodology for the carbon reductions we achieve through the delivery of our services.