Climate change. We know it's happening, and we know we have to get with the programme. So we've set a big goal for Paramount: to be carbon neutral by the end of 2022.
That's no small feat, as the website Ecologi estimates that a small business of our size needs to offset 378 tonnes of CO2 to become climate positive (this figure takes into account all of our team's activities, including emissions from our homes, personal travel, food, hobbies, and more). That amount equates to 5,040 trees planted!
We've started a company-wide discussion about what we're doing now to be eco-conscious, and what we can change - in the short term and the long term - to meet this goal.
Our first team meeting about going carbon neutral
This is what we already have in place (our starting point):
- We work with Just Move In, which is a service we connect our new residents with at the very beginning of their tenancy. Just Move In helps them find the best utility providers and promotes companies that have a commitment to being better to the environment. They also plant a mangrove tree for everyone who takes out a service with them! Since January this year, our residents have planted 209 mangrove trees!
- Every new move in receives a branded reusable tote bag, made of 100% recycled material, to replace plastic shopping bags.
- We've gone digital wherever we can (and we continue to make the change wherever possible), but for those times when we need to print, we use recycled paper.
- We make sure to recycle things like ink toners, old electronics like keyboards, and general office waste responsibly.
- We do our best to order supplies that are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
- We have reusable water bottles for the team to replace plastic water bottles.
- Our company cars are Smart Cars, which use less petrol and produce lower emissions.
Ollie in one of our Smart Cars
We're still working on the details, but these are some of the ideas we've come up with so far to help us reach our 2022 goal of going carbon neutral:
- We'll subscribe to Ecologi to support the planting of trees year round. We'll also plan some initiatives for our owners and residents to help them offset their carbon footprint and promote more tree planting (so watch this space!). Even subscribing to their newsletter plants a tree in Madagascar.
- We'll upgrade our company vehicles, including our maintenance vans, to electric.
- We'll make energy efficient upgrades in the office in areas like our lighting.
- We'll promote #meatfreeMondays, because removing meat from your diet even one day a week has a massive positive impact on your carbon footprint over a year (and we'll share some easy recipes too!)
- Small local business have a lower carbon footprint than big corporations, so we'll make sure our welcome gifts are sourced locally.
- We'll continue to replace single use items with reusable options wherever possible.
- We're considering replacing our welcome wine with a welcome plant. Greenery can make a big positive difference in a property, and we'd love to see some before and after photos.
- We encourage people to use the Chrome browser extension Ecosia. It's a search engine like Google, but uses its ad revenue to plant trees. It's already planted millions of trees in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Brazil, Spain, and other biodiversity hotspots. According to their website, each search removes around 1 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. You can find out more here.
- One of our Twitter followers suggested "bee bombs" for properties with gardens or terraces with planters, to help declining bee populations. Bee bombs are essentially a mix of seeds for plants that bee's like! It's definitely something we'll consider.
We'd love to hear more of your suggestions. What has helped you go carbon neutral? What should we be doing better? Please email me here with your thoughts. You can also contact us on any of our socials through the buttons below!