Updated: May 27
Becoming carbon neutral or net zero is a bit of a minefield. Some companies use it for the right reasons, and do the insetting behind the scenes to decrease their carbon footprint, and then offset the parts that they cannot reduce. Others use it as a band aid and a marketing tool to account for their emissions, without doing any hard work behind the scenes. You can find out more about our point of view of carbon offsetting and insetting at the following link https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/offsetting-vs-insetting-lifework-communities/?trackingId=ORgzYP4BSZ4%2B06IU6cL8ug%3D%3D.
But how do we apply this thinking to ourselves? It is easy to suggest what others should be doing, but it holds no backbone if we aren’t doing it ourselves.
In May 2021 we decided to use Carbon Neutral Britain to offset our emissions. At that point there were 3 members of staff. Paul who worked full time at lifework, Marigold who worked three days a week, and Gayle who worked freelance. All three of us worked remotely and therefore the business did not have a huge amount of emissions as we did not have an office to power and did not have a commute.
Whilst we did not work in candlelit rooms, we did make an effort to reduce our energy usage whilst at home, but we will have created emissions. We therefore decided to offset using Carbon Neutral Britain and after discussions with their team, we decided to sign up to the Small Business membership. This meant that each month 5 tonnes of CO2e will be offset on behalf of the business, and 5 trees planted. This would have covered our carbon footprint plus some extra.
We committed to this prior to calculating our emissions as at that point we did not have much to go off. But in December 2021 we decided to calculate our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, using a ‘Homeworking emissions’ framework provided by B Lab. This included some of the train journeys made, any car journeys we took for clients and our energy usage. Whilst this can only give us an estimate, it was good to know nonetheless. We were not able to measure our Scope 3 emissions, but as we do not have a factory, and do not purchase many products for the company, we believe this will be very small. It is however a target for us.
And so this is for lifework impact, but when lifework communities open we recognise that all Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions will increase dramatically.
We will ensure we are measuring all these emissions, doing everything we can to decrease them, and offset what we can’t decrease. This will likely include finding partners who can help us measure more precisely, and also finding partners who will help offset with projects that represent our values. In time we hope to be able to do some of the offsetting ourselves, through rewilding or replanting projects that are taken on by the community. All of this will however be a work in progress and may take time, but all the best things do. We will also keep members up to date on our progress and any calculations we do.
If you would like to find out more, have any top tips, or know of local rewilding and offsetting projects then please get in touch. If you have any questions about your personal or businesses carbon footprint then we’d be happy to discuss and share our experience. Just drop us a message through contact us.