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.
It’s certainly been a learning exercise for all of us. I have realised the changes we make at Truis have the biggest effect when we talk about them, supporting the concept of sustainable initiatives. For example, many of our staff have taken concepts from the office back to their homes, having conversations with their children and for some, their parents. This has meant the changes have cascaded into their homes and vice versa. I have also seen benefits in our culture as people like helping others and doing good.
This chart paints a picture of our carbon footprint for 2021. It highlights how the operations of Truis contribute to the production of carbon. It incudes scope 3, which is both upstream and downstream. It also gives us insight into the different areas we can target to make an impact as well as setting both short- and long-term goals. It is one of many tools within Sweep to help Truis become more sustainable. Bottom line it makes us accountable, and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and the changes we can make to be sustainable. If you would like to know more about calculating a carbon footprint and what we have done, feel free to reach out to me either by phone 0447 777 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org