Cundall, has named 2020 the ‘Year of Net Zero’, where we are challenging us and the industry to towards zero carbon. Cundall Australia has led the charge to net zero, achieving Certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active in late 2019 and setting the bar for Cundall’s other offices around the globe to follow suit by June this year.
I was tasked with leading our submission which included calculating our carbon footprint, writing the reports and selecting and purchasing the carbon offsets.
Starting this journey can seem daunting, however we have submitted and are now certified. I wanted to share my top tips.
- Know your boundaries – The first step is to know what you want to certify. If your whole organisation is too large, you can also start with a product or service and then take it a step further when you are ready.
- Gather data on a regular basis – I was lucky that my piece of work was part of a wider initiative. Cundall has been collating energy use, paper consumption, travel data and more for a number of years as part of their global recognition as a One Planet Company. We have learnt many lessons along the way, the biggest is to collate data on a monthly or quarterly basis. It spreads the staff resource required through the year and also helps the data to be captured when we receive the invoice, so you don’t have to pull historic data from accounts. Which leads to my next tip;
- Make friends with someone in accounts. You need to follow the money – most of our carbon emissions have an invoice. So if we need to know our electricity consumption, check the electricity bill, paper consumption, check the invoices for your stationery order. If you can collaborate with accounts, the information is easily obtainable.
- Use the Climate Active guidelines- The Climate Active Organisations Guides are an amazing tool that should be referenced throughout. They provide templates for the report, clarifications on various reporting parameters and advice on how to calculate your carbon emissions.
- Phone a friend! – We are all in this together, have a look and see which other organisations have went through the journey and speak to them. Feel free to give me a call.
- Understand your offsets- There are lots of amazing schemes and projects around the world, do your research and find a scheme that matches with your organisations values.
- Inspire your organisation – Part of the journey is to reduce your carbon footprint every year and a large part of this are your colleagues and management. So, try to make it fun for them. Think about giving out rewards for people switching off their computers over-night, hand out reusable cups or award the winners of a ‘carbon reduction challenge’ like cycling to work or having vegetarian food for a while.