As a business, understanding your GHG emissions is the first step to becoming a more sustainable organisation. That’s why we measured and certified our own carbon footprint in a mission to evaluate our company’s impact on the environment. And we are being completely transparent and honest about it, taking into account the high and lows of our sustainability journey and sharing them with you.
This month, we are proud to be celebrating our second year in a row to be certified by The Planet Mark - an incredible organisation which encourages businesses to reduce their carbon emissions.
We have partnered with The Planet Mark to understand how we can become more sustainable as a business but also offer our knowledge and expertise to their community to make the right technology decisions and develop sustainably. This partnership means we are leading the way to advising and supporting Planet Mark’s members in preventing digital pollution.
How did we do in 2019?
Looking back at last year, our total carbon footprint was 17.3 tonnes, which represents a 4% reduction from 2018 - very close to reaching our target of 5% reduction per year, in line with science-based targets relating to global warming in the decade of action. When compared to the aviation industry, our total carbon emissions for 2019 are equivalent to 15 return flights from London to New York. The carbon footprint per employee, however, has seen a 20% reduction compared to 2018, coming down to 0.6 tonnes.
The reporting boundary is represented by our office based in Brixton and the emissions measured include electricity, T&D losses, natural gas, water, waste, business travel and paper use. Most of the emissions have seen reductions, except water, which was up by 10.5%. We have used enough electricity to power seven UK homes for one year and produced two tonnes of waste. On the bright side, our procurement was 60% down and we’ve approximately used 15 sheets of paper per day.
DD’s business travel over the whole year of 2019 is only 0.5% down and it is the equivalent of travelling one time around the world. We are aware of this and we’ve called ourselves out on having two members of our team who regularly travel between mainland Europe and the UK via plane. This will obviously be significantly less when calculating our 2020 carbon footprint, due to the whole lockdown and Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In an effort to become more sustainable, we have done many internal changes in 2019, from using sustainable coffee and recycled paper to going fully vegetarian for our breakfasts and events, using Oddbox for our plastic-free fruits deliveries and so on.
Planet Mark Certification 2019
Our goals for 2020
We are committed to reaching our 2020 carbon reduction target of 5% as a business (0.9 tonnes CO2) and the target reduction per employee of 0.03 tonnes CO2.
We’ve already started this commitment at the beginning of the year and we’ve been documenting it via our monthly Sustainability Diaries, making sure it holds us accountable throughout the whole journey.
But since taking these steps, it’s become clear how much this mindset positively infiltrates culture; the way we interact and care for one another, and put profit with purpose at the forefront of business.
We are so proud to know that our mission of looking after the health of our planet and reducing climate change is embedded into the personal lives of our team too. In fact, we’ve put together a blog that looks at the impact DD has had on us as individuals in becoming more sustainable.
Reducing digital pollution
And it’s not only our team and operations that have seen a serious shift towards being more sustainable, but we are also constantly using our knowledge and expertise in this space to empower companies to understand their carbon footprint and find ways to reduce digital pollution.
That’s why we’ve created The Green Report - the tool to track, control and cut digital waste within large organisations. We can help leaders understand the impact of their products, services, processes and behaviours on digital pollution. And most recently, we have helped protect the world’s forests by connecting investors to sustainable forestry projects around the world.
But we’ve got a long way to go
We’ve set some ambitious goals for the second half of 2020. Our Sustainability Committee is currently working on completing the B Corp Impact Assessment and DD’s digital sustainability standards are a work in progress. Watch out for this space as we continue to do our share when it comes to looking after our planet. We’re actively seeking future partnerships and work in the environmental science, sustainability and tech for good sectors. If that’s you, let us know.