Our commitment to the environment
Like so many other people in the UK, everyone in the One Tree office was shocked to see the terrible effect of discarded plastic on the world’s oceans and sea life. Our chats over coffee led to a more serious discussion: what we could do to reduce our carbon footprint and play our part in protecting the environment? As it turned out, none of us uses single-use coffee cups frequently and we don’t use plastic straws or disposable food packaging in the office. On a personal level we’re doing fairly well.
Our local council, Bath and North East Somerset, is very proactive in recycling, so we know that any sorted office waste is disposed of responsibly too.
So far, so good.
However, we work in a digital business, and while that may not appear to cause a high level of damage to the environment, the servers that process the data use electricity. This is primarily generated from coal or gas fired power stations, which, of course, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the Scandinavian research company, Sintef, estimates that the world’s data centres use 2% of all global energy produced. This is only likely to increase as our lives become more driven by apps and the electronic devices used to run the software.
Vouchers and tickets are also printed out on paper, so there is an environmental impact there to take into account too.
Planting trees to offset our energy and paper use
The use of computers is inevitable in any business, so we are committing to offset the energy and CO2 produced by planting trees. Approximately 10,000 pieces of paper can be manufactured from one tree.
“We’ll arrange to have a tree planted for every 10,000 vouchers that the One Tree System generates, offsetting one tonne of carbon per tree. The scheme is administered by www.carbonfootprint.com and the trees will be planted in the UK. We’ll keep the blog updated when a new tree is planted.
In addition we have committed to:
- Switch off all office equipment at the end of the day
- Recycle all paper and plastic
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Use eco-friendly heating and use air conditioning only in extreme weather
- Digital filing – no printing of emails or other documents unnecessarily
- No single use plastic in the office (bottles, bags etc)
- Plan travel to have the least impact on the environment
A few steps taken by everyone could make a huge difference and this is our small contribution. None of this is difficult or will detract from day to day activities, but it is our commitment to making the world a better place for future generations.