One of our vision statements at TDL is “Positively impacting the environment”, and it’s been by far the hardest one for us to achieve. Not because we are a big polluter (which of course we are not!), but more in the fact that what can we possibly do as a small design agency providing a service rather than a manufacturer of products? Well, we think we’ve cracked it this year!
Understanding what we produced
Because the last year was like no other, with most of the team working from home during lockdown, we decided to look at the figures for the 2019/20 year instead. We were going to offset the carbon the agency produced, so the first step was to understand how we had produced that carbon. We had to omit a few areas as it was just too difficult to get an accurate figure (i.e. the carbon footprint of the team lunches etc), so we just focussed on the big two; staff travel and studio energy use (including heating).
I contacted the Carbon Trust who were very helpful and pointed us to their online carbon calculator where we could feed in the information and get a result for the amount of carbon we produced. We now had a figure of just under 20,000kgCO2e, so we went on the lookout to find how we could offset this 20 tonnes of carbon…
Offsetting our carbon
After a few Google searches we found and spoke to ‘Carbon Footprint’ and decided they would be a perfect fit for helping us offset our carbon. We’d naively thought that planting a few trees would be a good way to do it, but even though this is a great initiative for the future, these trees would take a very long time before they offset our 20 tonnes. Luckily Carbon Footprint have a great solution for this; for each tree you plant in the UK, they will protect the same amount of carbon in their ‘Americas Portfolio of verified carbon reduction projects’ , saving valuable and ecologically diverse areas of the Amazon. Instant carbon offsetting!
The final result
Because we thought it was such a great idea, we actually decided to double our contribution and offset 40 tonnes of carbon; 20 trees planted here in the UK (matched by 20 tonnes offset in the America’s programme), and 20 tonnes specifically for the Amazon project. This cost us a total of £398 which I’d say is money well spent.