Achieving carbon neutrality

Organisation involved:

Aether

Overview:

Aether has been a certified carbon neutral company since 2012, and staff are incentivised to make sustainable travel choices through a Low Carbon Travel scheme covering both commuting and business trips.

Background:

As a rapidly growing, increasingly, global consultancy firm, Aether’s main carbon impact originates from business flights. Aether has taken a range of actions to reduce its emissions: These include a sustainable travel incentive and collaborating on bids with local organisations overseas, as well as undertaking business travel by train as far as Croatia. Furthermore, Aether does not own any vehicles, and undertake audits to reduce emissions from its offices.

Solution: 

Aether has adopted the Steps to Environmental Management Scheme (STEM) and performs a company-wide review of its greenhouse gas emissions. Reviewed annually, the Management Scheme incorporates a quantification of Aether’s carbon footprint, and measures to reduce our GHG emissions, including office audits and the low carbon travel incentive. Any further emissions are offset through a third party organisation through Gold Standard™ carbon offsets.

Outcomes and benefits delivered:

Our work towards achieving carbon neutrality provided the company with an internal metric through which we can measure our environmental impact. The carbon neutrality action has also functioned as a means through which sustainability is communicated internally, providing staff the opportunity to work for home, informing decisions regarding business travel and developing less carbon intensive bids for our clients.  It also shows to our customers and collaborators that we are serious about our own commitment in minimising emissions whilst providing consultancy on emissions reduction.

Lessons learned/conclusion: 

Achieving carbon neutrality is today a well-established and rewarding project within Aether that has helped us develop a better understanding of the company’s environmental impact. As a growing company it has been important to be able to consider emissions changes over time in the context of the size of the consultancy team rather than simply total emissions each year.

Estimating the environmental impact of an organisation requires a detailed understanding of carbon accounting, and Aether can provide valuable advice to any organisation interesting in developing a similar project.

In the future, Aether is striving to incorporate further elements into its carbon accounting, including waste and food waste management within all our offices. We would also be interested to consider the possibility of locally based carbon offsetting and whether this is possible within a certified carbon neutral framework.

Link for further info:

http://www.aether-uk.com/Resources/Aether-carbon-footprint

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