In 2020, we started measuring how much carbon dxw produces. We did this with help from C-Free, an environmental consultancy that helps organisations calculate their carbon footprint. As well as announcing what our footprint was, we shared our plans for reducing and “offsetting” it.

Offsetting is a way of balancing out your carbon emissions by investing in carbon-reducing activities. For example, schemes that plant trees to take carbon out of the atmosphere as they grow. Or projects that make energy efficient cooking stoves available to communities in the Global South.

Our achievements and targets

We reached carbon neutral status in 2021 through offsetting (we offset 150% of our emissions). This was based on our carbon calculation for September 2019 to September 2020. We also committed to an annual emissions reduction targets of:

  • 2.5% of scope 1 emissions: these relate to all emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company
  • 2.5% of scope 2 emissions: these include company emissions that are emitted off site, through buying electricity generated elsewhere
  • 1.25% of scope 3 emissions: these include all of the indirect emission sources that aren’t included in scope 1 and scope 2. They happen because of the company’s activity, but are from sources that the company doesn’t own or control. For example, the production of raw materials the company is reliant on, or using services such as online meeting platforms like Zoom or Google Meet.

Since our first carbon calculator, we committed to doing the following to reduce our emissions:

  • switching to renewable energy providers for our offices
  • help staff reduce their emissions on their commute
  • where possible, switching to green web hosting services

dxw’s carbon footprint from September 2020 to 2021

Last year, we ran a mini sprint to calculate our footprint for September 2020 to 2021. C-Free are currently writing up the report and analysis, but there are some significant reductions in scope 1 and scope 2. And (if you don’t count hosting) our emissions from scope 3 are down by 35%, which is 24 tonnes of carbon reduction.

There are also some areas where our emissions have increased. For example, our web hosting related emissions. But you’d expect those to increase because, over time, we’ve started hosting more services.

What we’re going to do next

We’re going to work with C-Free to find an “intensity metric” which is a way of relating your emissions data to a relevant business metric. For dxw, this could be tonnes of  ‘CO2e’ (carbon dioxide equivalent, a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints) per pound of revenue or number of employees.

Having an intensity metric means you can compare energy efficiency performance over time, and with other similar kinds of organisations.

We’re also hoping that we’ll soon get access to the new Amazon Web Services (AWS) Customer Carbon Footprint tool to help us get clearer and more accurate data on our actual AWS usage. This should show the impact of the steps we’re taking to reduce our emissions.

Our internal group, dxw Earth, is still meeting regularly to talk about how dxw can respond to the climate crisis as a company. And we’ll carry on:

  • checking our progress towards meeting our goals
  • promoting awareness about the positive changes that it’s possible to make
  • sharing updates about the work we’re doing

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