As part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, Movement for Good, we have been measuring the carbon footprint of our agency. The data will help us to target areas for improvement and make sure we are putting sustainability at the heart of Aspire.
Showing how it’s done
Since 2022, we have worked with ZeroBees to gather a full year’s data measuring Aspire’s annual carbon impact.
ZeroBees helps SMEs like Aspire to turn the data into meaningful and affordable Net Zero strategies, and make sure we minimise our impact on the planet.
Corporate social responsibility is one of key pillars at Aspire, but being sustainable is much more than that. We all feel a personal responsibility to play our part in addressing issues like climate change and do our bit for future generations.
By developing an effective sustainability strategy we want to show what’s possible for companies, big and small. And we hope that by sharing our journey, we can demonstrate that the process doesn’t have to be super complicated or expensive.
Like with any significant plan, a step-by-step approach is the best way to move forwards, and the findings of our data analysis have outlined some clear areas where we can make a good start!
Our carbon impact report
Through a series of consultation sessions with Toby Radcliffe, founder of ZeroBees and Aspire’s sustainability advisor, we have collected data on the impact of our activities right across the business.
Once we felt satisfied that the data was complete and as accurate as it could be, ZeroBees ran a report to show our carbon status for the last calendar year.
Our carbon impact in 2022 was 45 tonnes CO2 emissions (tCO2e)
That’s the equivalent of 27 return flights from London to New York.
What we spend our money on (products and services) and how we manage our finances are our biggest source of CO2 emissions.
We have a low emissions intensity compared to larger professional services firms who see much larger emissions per person due to large amounts of travel and spend.
Turning results into goals
Overall, I’m proud to say we have relatively low emissions. This is because we are a boutique agency, predominantly working remotely and in a knowledge-based sector.
Even though we have low emissions, there are four clear areas where we can reduce our emissions further with relative ease.
These areas will be the main focus of our carbon reduction strategy for the next year and beyond.
1. Money & Banking
- Switch to a more sustainable banking provider with lower emissions.
- Investigate alternative, ethical pension funds that are fossil fuel free or offer lower emissions per pound invested.
2. Travel – Van & Flights
- Consider rail travel where possible within Europe.
- Optimise routes or limit use of the company van or consider replacing the vehicle with a greener alternative.
3. Home Energy Switch
- Encourage or incentivise team members to switch to green household energy tariffs to minimise emissions when working from home.
4. Events, Suppliers and Clients
- Build a simple check-list for suppliers and consultants to reduce emissions in our supply chain.
- Ensure events are low-impact with a check-list for Aspire activations and events.
- Have the conversation early on in client and supplier relationships that we will not fly unless there’s a very good reason.
- Support clients with sustainability comms and talk about their plans, barriers, actions.
What’s next for our sustainability strategy
With our new knowledge and insights from working with ZeroBees, we are now setting a SMART sustainability plan with a clear target.
Our simple goal is to put in place all the changes we need this year to see our 2024 full year emissions be reduced by a third per head compared to 2022.
This goal is hugely motivating. The measurement process has uncovered areas of the business we weren’t even aware had an impact. And these are areas that we feel confident we can address with the ongoing support of Toby and his team.
Setting out a clear plan will keep us focused on what we can influence and will help support future decisions and conversations.
We’re looking forward to getting moving and putting plans into action!
If you’re interested in what we’ve been doing to make Aspire more sustainable, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.