Like most businesses, Truis aspires to being sustainable. Over the years we have invested in solar panels and LED lighting to replace fluorescent lights along with many other initiatives. These initiatives have been well intended but also ad hoc, and we probably could have done better if we had a master plan. Last year we were contacted by HP Inc to participate in their Amplify Impact program. In the first instance we filled out a survey answering questions specifically about our business regarding the environment, our people, and our community. Whilst I thought we would have scored well, we were average. The good news is that by accepting the challenge from HP and participating in their program we were given the opportunity to do better.
HP connected us with a specialist to help build out a sustainability plan. We started by setting firm goals for Truis and our impact on the environment, our people, and our community. We were also provided with educational material on sustainability and connected to organisations specialising in carbon footprint analysis, diversity, equality, and inclusion. The chart below is from a product called Sweep. The company is based in France and have built a product to help organisations identify their carbon footprint as well as strategies to reduce and off-set it. We had tried to determine our carbon footprint ten years ago, only to find it near impossible to calculate leading us to give up. Working with Sweep meant that we could map out our footprint and build a baseline. This was important because it gave us somewhere to start from and helped us understand how the different parts of our business were having an impact.
Collecting the data was time consuming. Some things were straight forward – like our power, water consumption and waste. Our suppliers in these areas had lots of information to help us. We gained further insights from surveying our staff (about their commute to work and working from home), freight reports from our suppliers, the size of our storage pool (on-site and in the cloud), email traffic, capital expenditure and many other sources. So far, we have collated two years of data. Moving forward we will update the tool quarterly, helping us assess our impact and make decisions quicker.