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In our quest to tackle the pressing environmental challenges of our era, it’s thrilling to share a momentous victory from our corporate realm. ESG PRO Limited, a progressive and innovative UK company, has reached an environmental milestone – we are now a carbon-neutral entity, as per the rigorous standards of the PAS 2060:2014.
PAS 2060:2014, in brief, is a universally recognised specification that sets a framework for carbon neutrality. It dictates strict guidelines for measuring, reducing, and offsetting carbon emissions. As a company, attaining this status under PAS 2060:2014 is no small feat. It underlines our steadfast commitment to our planet and validates our environmental efforts. Read more about how we help other businesses achieve PAS 2060 Carbon Neutrality. To understand more about PAS 2060 and how we are certified, please read our detailed explanation below.
It’s imperative to understand why achieving this benchmark is vital and why it is crucial for other small and medium-sized businesses to follow suit.
Climate change and environmental degradation are not problems we can pass off to future generations. It is our collective responsibility to act, and fast. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has affirmed that we must limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to prevent catastrophic climate impacts.
Businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), play a crucial role in achieving this target. SMEs make up 99% of the businesses in the UK and contribute to around 50% of total business emissions. The significance of their contribution to carbon neutrality is therefore immense.
By becoming carbon-neutral, SMEs like ESG PRO Limited are not merely participating in a trend. Instead, they are making a tangible, necessary difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are embodying responsible corporate citizenship, making a commitment that reflects on our business ethics and ecological conscience.
ESG PRO Limited, in its pursuit of carbon neutrality, committed to the stringent measures outlined in PAS2060:2014. We initiated by quantifying our carbon footprint, covering all operational activities, from energy usage in our premises to business travel.
Following this assessment, we implemented numerous carbon reduction strategies. These included improving energy efficiency across all operations, switching to renewable energy, promoting teleworking, and implementing a comprehensive recycling programme.
We went further than we ever thought possible.
We started with the obvious, so every light bulb in our facilities was converted to LED, and we switched to an energy supplier which uses only 100% renewable energy sources. We then had a Smart Meter installed, which give us the ability to track the impact of every device. This, in turn, identified older, inefficient devices which could be replaced with less power-hungry alternatives.
As an example, our printers have been replaced with Xerox Energy Star rated machines, and we paid particular attention to their power-on settings (even to the point of suppressing the print test page when powering on).
Further reductions in electricity were achieved by maximising the use of reflected daylight in our office spaces, establishing policies for the energy reduction of computer workstations (again, upgrading as required), and implementing solar power at our headquarters.
For a management consultancy, business travel and employee commuting are the biggest Scope 3 emissions factors, and we started 2022 with a detailed programme of travel reduction.
We leverage the power of video-conferencing, and we encourage our clients to do the same. When we do travel by necessity, our policy is to walk or take the train, noting that cycling is not an option for our staff with disabilities!
The founders of ESG PRO have long been advocates of digital transformation, and so we have eliminated paper from all business processes. Indeed, our total paper filed over 12 months amounts to a single stack of A4 just 10cm tall.
On the subject of printing, we realised that how we print also impacts our waste: did you know that most printer manufacturers use petroleum-based toners? That’s why we switched entirely to modern Xerox multi-functional printers because their toners are derived from vegetable oils!
Together with a programme of banning all plastics (disposable or otherwise) from our kitchen facilities, using china and not disposable cups, purchasing foods for consumption in our offices which are sourced locally wherever possible, and avoiding pre-packaged foods, we’ve reduced non-recyclable office waste to less than 1Kg per month.
We reference water because this too takes energy to clean and deliver to homes and offices. As part of our drive to be as environmentally friendly as possible, we worked with our landlord to transform the office building into a prime example of how low-water usage can be achieved. From low-flow shower heads, taps, and similar measures, we started by measuring water usage on a weekly basis.
By adding rainwater capture, greywater harvesting, and low-drip irrigation for other plants, our offices use approximately 80 percent less water than a typical UK a family of two!
The tiny quantity of CO2e emissions which remain – just 1.43 tCO2e – were offset through certified carbon offset projects. These projects were carefully selected for their environmental integrity and positive societal impacts, including reforestation initiatives and clean energy projects in developing nations. We have selected the Gold Standard carbon offset by Juniper Green Energy in India.
We’re really proud of our achievements, and we believe there’s more we can do to contribute to a healthier planet.
Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, and their role in fighting climate change is monumental. While many SMEs may perceive achieving carbon neutrality as a daunting task or an added expense, the long-term benefits are significant and far-reaching.
Aside from the direct environmental benefits, becoming carbon-neutral can enhance a business’s reputation, attract environmentally conscious consumers, and inspire employees, thereby fostering a culture of sustainability. Furthermore, it future-proofs businesses against evolving environmental regulations and fluctuating energy prices.
By adopting the PAS2060:2014 standard, SMEs can set a transparent, credible roadmap to carbon neutrality. This will not only serve as a critical step towards the much-needed environmental change but will also facilitate stronger, more resilient businesses.
Since 2010, PAS 2060 has been the leading specification standard detailing how to demonstrate carbon neutrality. It is published by the British Standards Institution (BSI), and it offers three types of permits, with independent third-party verification (such as by UKAS) being the most suitable for large organisations who then will certify to ISO 14064-3 and ISO 14065
PAS 2060 was developed by BSI, Defra, and Carbon Trust to specify the requirements to be met by an organisation seeking to demonstrate carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
PAS 2060 is not regarded as a British Standard but in due course may be considered for further development into a British Standard or another equivalent European Standard. It is anticipated that PAS 2060 will become ISO 14068 in 2024.
With our experience in GHG emissions calculations, ESG PRO Limited self-certifies carbon neutrality in accordance with PAS 2060.
ESG PRO Limited is proud to stand at the forefront of environmental responsibility in the business sector. Our journey to carbon neutrality has been one of learning, growth, and immense gratification. Yet, this is just the beginning.
As a testament to our commitment to sustainability, we call upon our fellow SMEs to embark on this journey of carbon neutrality. Our accomplishment demonstrates that it is possible, rewarding, and, indeed, essential for businesses of all sizes to contribute meaningfully towards our planet’s well-being.
We must remember – environmental protection is not just the responsibility of governments or large corporations; it starts with us, the smaller entities. Our individual and collective actions today will define the legacy we leave for future generations. Let us strive for a healthier planet and a sustainable future, together.