Building a sustainable future is really important to us at Made Tech. While we didn’t want to join the ranks of organisations making big claims before meaningful action, we’ve held off talking about what we’ve been up to. But now we’ve been certified as a carbon neutral company, it feels like the right time to share.
We’re pleased to share that we’ve achieved the first of our major environmental goals. Going carbon neutral is one part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. We’re also working on the remainder of our emissions. Let me tell you about it.
What does carbon neutral mean?
In 2021 the UK hosted COP26. The world watched as 120 leaders and over 40,000 participants planned for the future of our planet. And here at Made Tech we were planning how to go about reaching Net Zero in line with UK government targets. This marked the first of many important steps on our journey to carbon neutrality and Net Zero – but what does that actually mean?
Most activities have a carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by performing that activity. These emissions can be direct like driving to the office, or indirect like the energy used to run a server.
Being carbon neutral means that a person or organisation has measured and offset their emissions in line with current standards. The technical term for that specification is PAS 2060.
When emissions are offset, a payment is made to support sustainable practices. This can work in a number of ways, but some common examples are replacing coal-powered stoves in developing countries or producing new renewable energy sources. All this counts towards counteracting the emissions we’ve produced. This is what we’ve been working on so far as part of our carbon reduction plan, but we know there’s still a long way to go.
And Net Zero?
Net Zero is an extension of that. It means that the net carbon dioxide emissions produced by a person or organisation are zero. This is not an easy thing to do. The first step is reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible. After that, the remainder is removed from the atmosphere using carbon sequestration (also known as carbon capture). That means taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it so it won’t readily be re-emitted.
As carbon sequestration is more difficult than offsetting, the reduction in carbon is very important. These reductions can be made by switching to renewable sources of energy, reducing travel and transportation, or improving recycling.
But what does this mean for Made Tech?
Back in 2015, COP21 was well underway in Paris. There was a global agreement to limit the rising global temperature to below 1.5 degrees C. Based on the data available at the time, leading climate scientists recommended that, to achieve this, Net Zero emissions must be achieved by 2050.
Climate change affects all of us and everyone has a responsibility to support a more sustainable future. Because of that, we’ve committed to reaching Net Zero by 2030, 20 years before the global deadline. This target puts us in line with Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
OK, so how are we doing that ?
As a hybrid company with a small amount of office space, we have a relatively small carbon footprint. By measuring the impact we have, we found that the majority of our carbon footprint comes from our indirect emissions.
Our next steps will be to make improvements to how we measure our carbon footprint. Through this we’ve had some great insights that’ll help us shape our Carbon Reduction Plan as well as an upcoming, action-based sustainability policy that’ll focus on more than just carbon.
We’ve also got plans to offer training in green software practices, patterns and principles to our team. This will help us be more mindful of the impact we have as technologists while improving our knowledge on how to reduce carbon impact.
Because travel to our offices or client sites is sometimes needed, we can’t rule travel out completely. We already have season ticket loans and cycle to work schemes in place, but we want to do more. We’re exploring options for an electric vehicle car leasing scheme to reduce the impact of our travel even more.
Stay tuned for updates
While we’ve already seen a year-on-year reduction thanks to our monitoring and reporting, we want to do more. To keep ourselves accountable, we’ll continue to publish our progress towards Net Zero as part of our annual Carbon Reduction Plans.
Ultimately we all have a responsibility to look after our planet. Whether an individual or an organisation, there are steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint. I can’t wait to update you on what progress we make next.