As the population of the planet grows and the emerging economies become more industrialised, the need for us all to live in a sustainable manner grows accordingly. We take our responsibilities in this area very seriously and have taken a number of steps to mitigate the negative impact of our business activities. These steps are in two parts.
Firstly, we have improved the resource efficiency of our business in a range of ways:
- Staff are encouraged to minimise printing and, wherever possible, send communications digitally, with the use of email having increased sharply in recent years. In addition, we launched our Client Portal in the first half of 2020, allowing us to send documents to clients for digital signature, reducing paper usage and speeding up processes. The result of these changes is that we have reduced our paper usage by more than 95%, the equivalent of saving eight trees every year.
- We have eliminated the use of single-use plastics and provide re-cycling facilities in our offices.
- Our offices use 100% renewable energy.
- Staff are encouraged to make use of video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom where appropriate. There will be times when a face-to-face meeting is required and provides something that a remote meeting cannot, in which case we will happily travel. However, by considering all options for communicating with clients and providers, and considering whether any travel is really necessary, we can ensure that we provide a high quality service whilst controlling our ‘carbon footprint’.
Notwithstanding the efforts outlined above, it is inevitable that a business will have some negative environmental impact, as any activity will use some sort of resource. The second part of making our business as sustainable as possible is to mitigate that impact. With the help of the MyClimate Foundation in Zurich we have calculated the ‘carbon footprint’ of our business in terms of how much carbon dioxide (CO2) it generates and we invest in projects that offset those CO2 emissions. We are very proud to have achieved ‘carbon neutral’ status for the first time in 2020, having funded a United Nations-supported reforestation project in Nicaragua. The project “supports small farming families in reforesting unused parts of their land with native trees, offering concrete measures for climate protection, while at the same time creating new sources of income for local families in one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere” (source: MyClimate). We are very proud to have achieved carbon neutral status, and will be making similar contributions each year to different projects to offset our emissions.