We care about being as sustainable a business as possible, we have always looked to minimise our impact on the environment. As we grow, this is something we’ve begun to look at more systematically, focusing initially on our energy use.
As a primarily cloud based web technology provider our largest energy usage is that of our cloud hosting and processing: We mainly use AWS, all our AWS provision is now within their carbon-neutral regions (EU Ireland or EU London). AWS achieve this carbon-neutral position through offset by renewables into the same grid (through direct energy production and the purchase or retirement of Renewable Energy Credits and Guarantees of Origin). Amazon also use resource utilisation and infrastructure efficiency to reduce the overall energy consumption beyond the carbon neutral commitments.
Our other largest external IT infrastructure use is through our collaboration, documentation and email infrastructure. For this we use GSuite (Google). Google matches 100% of the energy consumed with renewable energy and maintains a commitment to carbon neutrality. In addition, Google look to reduce the overhead energy usage alongside their renewable energy commitments.
Our residual energy usage is on-site, for this we use an energy supplier that enables us to only use energy from renewable sources. Our current supplier, Good Energy validates its claim of supplying 100% renewably generated electricity through the Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs) scheme. It also stated that on its main tariff it retires Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) at an equivalent economic value of 5% above statutory compliance levels that apply to all electricity suppliers In addition, Good Energy invests in renewable energy production directly and through providing support to over 800 independent generators in the UK. Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity promise is independently assured by SGS.
We heat our office and water using an efficient gas boiler. Our gas is also supplied by Good Energy. This supply is made up of two parts – at least 6% of the gas sourced is biogas, produced by breaking down organic matter such as farm waste. The emissions from the rest of the gas supplied and used is neutralised through verified carbon-reduction schemes including direct investment. We minimise heating use and have had higher spec windows installed through our residency in this office.
As a start we aim to have verified use of 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon neutral gas for our offices, and 100% carbon-neutral for our key online services.
Alongside reducing our impact through the energy we source or that our services providers source we also minimise usage through direct energy saving measures on site and look to adapt working practices where possible to also reduce usage. In the technology we use and our practices we will look to identify and minimise or reduce energy consumption demand (e.g. identifying excessive API calls and avoiding excessive energy intensive approaches).
We recognise that this is only a start, but a key step in reducing the impact of our work.