Why carbon ‘reduction’ should be your number one priority when it comes to solving the climate crisis
Thursday 29th April 2021
Week two of our #sustainABLEpathway campaign is well underway and this week we’re introducing our second commitment:
We will reduce our carbon emissions, through setting Science Based Targets.
Key to our SustainABLE Pathway is to reduce emissions, rather than just relying on offsets. The science is clear. To solve the climate crisis, emissions must fall from current levels and reach net zero.
Carbon offsetting is one immediate way for businesses to take responsibility for their emissions by funding an equivalent carbon saving elsewhere – such as planting trees. A great way to tackle unavoidable emissions, however, it will not solve the climate crisis alone.
Reducing emissions is far superior. It avoids the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the first place and in the hierarchy of climate action, it is the first and most important option.
And that’s why we’ve chosen to focus on reduction in our second commitment.
‘Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t’
Let’s see how we are already reducing our emissions:
- We’re already using renewables to power our Materials Recovery Facility and offices
- All our vehicles are Euro 6 standard (reducing NOx emissions by 67% compared to Euro 5) and we continue to invest in our electric fleet with our first new fully electric trucks due imminently.
- Our route planning focusses on efficient logistics and route optimisation, reducing our emissions associated with collections.
- We don’t send any recycled materials outside of Northern Europe, and 98% stays within the UK. Lower transport miles equal less emissions.
- We have always been a zero-to-landfill company, landfill being the worst outcome in terms of emissions associated with waste processing.
- We supply circular economy products and recycled office supplies such as paper, which has a lower carbon footprint.
- A number of our services, such as electrical equipment and furniture collections, already promote re-use where possible.
We're raising the bar
We are raising the bar and tackling our emissions head-on. We’re committed to joining just over one thousand companies worldwide leading the low-carbon transition by signing up to the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), ‘well-below 2 degree target’ ambition. That means, using our 2018 carbon footprint as a baseline, we’ll reduce our scope 1 & 2 emissions by at least 30% by 2030.
Science-based targets are a set of goals which provide a clear route to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They are considered science-based because they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
For more information on science-based targets head here.
Science-based targets and net zero
A key differentiator between net zero and Science Based Targets is that science based targets do not allow carbon offsetting to achieve the goal.
Science-based is all about carbon reduction. Which makes it a credible strategy for saving the planet. Targets must be absolute, rather than intensity based, which means there are real reductions in emissions regardless of company growth.
However, both can work simultaneously. For example, in our case, we are committing to be net zero by 2030 as well as achieving a Science Based Target of 2 degrees by 2030. In this way, we will focus on real reductions first, and achieve net zero on any residual emissions by working with our charity partner, Trees for Cities, using their ISO 14064:2 certified carbon offset-reduction scheme.
This is our SustainABLE Pathway to decarbonise our business and support our clients with their own carbon reduction objectives.
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