At the beginning of this year we had an ambitious plan to be carbon neutral by the end of 2022. We weren't 100% sure how that would work, but we thought: set the goal, and we'll figure it out. We're not afraid of a little change!
So how is that going so far?
First - the good news.
We've made a lot of positive changes around the office. We ordered electric vehicles, brought in recycling (how did we not have this before!), and we're making a serious effort to reduce our use of plastics. We're ordering recycled, reusable, and local wherever we can. We're also spending less time on the road, and promoting meat-free Mondays.
While we take a good hard look at what we can change, we also subscribe to Ecologi. This helps us offset our carbon footprint and plant trees with sustainable projects around the globe. This month we're officially 6 months into our commitment! (We unofficially started a little earlier than 2022).
We also recognise that we're in a privileged position to help our entire network of residents and property become more climate responsible - and you better believe we're all over this! Not only by sharing information on the best things you can do to make your home more eco-friendly, but also by offering bespoke property "MOTs". This means advice that's specific to your property and your budget.
We're also working on options to help our owners offset their own carbon footprint from letting their property.
Now the not so good news. We'll call it: "What we've learned."
The truth of achieving net zero carbon emissions is that operational emissions - utilities in the office, cars, and that sort of thing - aren't the only thing to consider. According to Ecologi, supply chain emissions are 11.4 times larger than operational emissions on average! And to be truly carbon neutral, these need to be accurately calculated, not just estimated.
As a small independent business, achieving this accurate calculation is quite a task, especially as we have to consider the emissions involved in each individual supplier for every service we use. That's quite a few!
Fortunately, Ecologi is working on a tool called Ecologi Zero to help SMEs with this problem. For now we won't go into too much detail, but we have high hopes that this tool will help us achieve true net zero when it becomes available.
Until then, finding new opportunities to become more climate responsible in how we work will remain a top priority. We know that offsetting carbon and planting trees is only part of the solution!
If you'd like to find out more about Ecologi Zero, click here to go to their website.