We’re participating in Earth Hour this weekend (27th March 2021, 8.30pm local time) by switching off the lights at our offices in Bexhill-on-Sea, Leicester, London and Gibraltar as a symbolic show of support for our planet and our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. Having achieved certified CarbonNeutral® status as an organisation last year, we caught up with our Business Services Director, Louise, to find out more.
What does it mean for Hastings Direct to be CarbonNeutral®?
As a Company, we’re committed to acting responsibly and we know how important this is to our colleagues too. It means we’ve calculated and offset all carbon emissions associated with the operations of our business – these include our energy consumption, waste, business travel and, for 2020, an adjustment to take account of the majority of our colleagues working from home.
What actions were taken to achieve this?
A range of steps have reduced energy consumption at our main sites – from introducing new LED lighting through to better heating and boiler maintenance. We’ve also switched to renewable electricity sources in our Bexhill and Leicester sites and have taken significant steps to reduce waste. For example, we’ve by drastically reduced the amount of single use plastics available throughout our sites – cutting down on the use of nearly one million such items per year and providing compostable replacements where available. This, along with a range of other initiatives, has led to us having zero waste going to landfill from our Bexhill and Leicester sites.
To offset the remaining emissions that we can’t eliminate ourselves, we’ve partnered with Natural Capital Partners to support two of their emission reduction projects that align to our 4Cs values and 15 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, along with tree planting projects much closer to home.
What can you tell us about those projects?
The Acre Amazonian Rainforest Rainforest conservation project aims to protect some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats by preventing deforestation across 105,000 hectares of rainforest in the Amazon basin. With the support of carbon finance, the project works with communities and local groups to help protect ecosystem services, while providing alternative means of economic development which avoid destruction of the forest.
The second project is Re-forestation, East Africa which is a community-based project with over 12,000 small groups involving 90,000 farmers in Kenya and Uganda, all working together to re-plant trees and help replenish nutrients in the soil. Forests are often destroyed to create smallholder farmland, so the project also helps improve community livelihoods through education and training, and creates additional sources of income beyond smallholder farming.
As a UK-based business, it was important to us to also support projects that deliver local environmental benefits. So we’ve committed to supporting two hectares of UK tree planting projects, which are delivered in accordance with The Woodland Carbon Code meaning that they must be independently measured and audited. Plus, we’ve also continued our work with the Bexhill Environmental Group, who planted 520 trees on Bexhill Downs last November, and we plan to continue our support in 2021.
Looking ahead, how will we stay CarbonNeutral® and reduce our impact further?
As part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint by 50% from our 2019 baseline by the end of 2022, we’ll continue looking for ways to further reduce our energy and business materials consumption, use green energy sources where at all possible, and offset 100% of our carbon emissions.
More info on this topic
Click here to read about our 2020 Sustainability Report and click here to read more about Earth Hour.
If you’re looking for a new role and would like to work for a company that’s actively reducing its environmental impact, click here to take a look at our available opportunities.