Like many other businesses, we’ve spent some time considering how our business impacts the environment. We have researched some of the more substantial things we can change as well as the smaller things we can do daily – all of which are in our business sustainability guide.
Becoming a sustainable business is very much an ongoing journey, or what we have titled, carbon positive.We are by no means expert in this, and we’re certainly not perfect. However, we have included our notes below to help you get started. They’re all yours.
1. Commit Some of the changes you will need to make will be inconvenient, take up a lot of time and maybe expensive. But, we figured, if you’re going to do it, do it properly!
2. Reduce Do your reading. There are a lot of helpful resources online. Our two favourite sites are the Carbon Trust and the WWF footprint calculator. Both sites will make you more aware of the different ways both as businesses, and as individuals, we impact the planet – including some items you may not have considered before, like what you eat and what you wear.
3. Research How can you reduce your consumption? It’s often the simple things like switching to LED bulbs, using rechargeable batteries, going paperless, insulating walls, windows and doors and recycling as much as possible. Physically, make your premises as efficient as possible and promote the benefits to your landlord too.
4. Travel This is the big one, and maybe the hardest to adjust. Generally, be honest when it comes to work trips – are they vital or is there another option? Perhaps your clients might appreciate the excuse not to sit in a meeting when a call or web chat would suffice.
5. Suppliers This one is dead easy – switch to an energy supplier who offers renewables-only electricity and offset gas. We’re big fans of local suppliers Pure Planet and Good Energy. Buy toilet paper from whogivesacrap.org or thecheekypanda.co.uk– ask your suppliers about their products, how they are sourced, and how far they travel to get to you. Your buying decisions can have a significant influence.
6. Responsibilities Think about where your responsibility starts and ends. If you’re buying equipment, it may not be your job to offset the carbon that went into making it, but it is your job to have that in mind when making a choice, and it’s undoubtedly your job when that piece of equipment comes to the end of its useful life. Is there an alternative to landfill? Especially with IT equipment, there are plenty of asset life cycle schemes such as the restart project who will gladly breath new life into your unwanted equipment and pass it on to others.
7. Calculate Evaluate your carbon footprint. Consider what you do, what you use, and how much carbon these activities produce. Think of it like a spring clean; it’s a good process to go through, as it really makes you think about your consumption habits. We used a couple of different calculators – clevel.co.uk and climatecare.org to get a consistent overview.
8. Offset What is the best way to offset the carbon you’re generating? It’s not an easy choice. There are loads of schemes all offering different offset options. We decided to go with two different schemes (as mentioned in point 7. Our choices were both gold standard B-Corps, with different focuses, which allowed us to spread the positive benefits.
9. Proactive How about offsetting more than you need to? We decided to double our carbon offsetting on projects, and to write it into our policy that our clients would be requested to match our contribution – effectively planting four times as many trees as we need to. After all, a mature tree can process more than 21kg of carbon dioxide each year.
10. Inclusion Perhaps this should have come before point 9. Bring your clients along for the ride; let them know what you’re doing. From our personal experience, our clients have been very supportive and are happy to help. Doing good feels good! Who doesn’t want to feel good?
11. Review Don’t think that it’s a “do it once” kind of thing. The science is constantly changing, and as such, the best practice is to continue reading, learning and responding.
We’re in a very fortunate and privileged position to have the choice of doing more. No matter the effort, it all counts.
We're doing our part
Suited & Booted Studios are a full service video production agency located in Bath and Bristol, working with clients in Swindon, Cardiff, London and across the UK. We offer a full range of video products, ranging from animation to event filming, webinars to video marketing. We cover the entire process from production through to editing.
Watch the film below to find out about what we are doing to be sustainable.