The move to a 100% renewable future is essential for our survival. Businesses are an important part of this rebalancing as they’re responsible for significant amounts of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. And there’s now a real drive for businesses to drive carbon emissions down.
There’s also an increasing pressure for businesses to only work with other businesses that have made a commitment to zero carbon. Plus, there are some big finance houses that are now beginning to pull money out of investment in companies that aren’t making a dramatic change in cutting their carbon emissions.
There are opportunities ahead. Carbon intensive companies are going to be left behind by more forward-thinking businesses – there’s a huge market advantage waiting for those with the foresight to grab it.
Ecotricity exists to make Britain greener through energy, transport, food and giving land back to nature. We’re planning to be bring our emissions to zero by 2025. It’s a tough target but we are determined to meet it.
We started by dramatically reducing our carbon emissions, firstly by avoiding doing things that result in lots of emissions and then by adapting things, such as adding insulation and changing the heating system in our headquarters to make it more efficient. We got rid of diesel and petrol pool cars – we’re now either fully electric or hybrid.
We have minimised flying for business use. For business journeys, the priority is: you walk, you cycle, you get public transport, or you get an electric car, in that order.
Of course, we’re powered by 100% renewable electricity and carbon neutralised gas. We’ve increased the amount of recycling we do, cut our water use, and the zero-carbon football club that we own, Forest Green Rovers, is recognised by the UN as the greenest football club in the world.
We’re ISO 1400 registered, so all this activity is monitored to a really high standard every year – these are all verified carbon savings. Our toughest challenge is gas – we buy some green gas but there’s a limited amount available. So we’re developing our first green gas plant near Reading using some clever techniques mixing grass with micronutrients and partial farm waste. None of that farm waste will be anything to do with animals – it will be crop waste and there will be no loss of land for food production.
It all starts with energy
Planning for the future starts with making a commitment at board level and integrating it into all your systems. If you commit now to reaching a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030, you’ll be able to work towards it without any nasty shocks along the way. For instance, it may not be achievable to swap all your existing vehicles now, but you can build it into your programme as they come to the end of their life.
One of the first things you should do is look at your energy. You may be surprised just how much difference a deep green supplier like Ecotricity can make to your emissions. Our unique ‘bills into mills’ model also invests your bill money into building more sources of green energy, so you’re actively helping fight the climate crisis simply by being with us.