March 18th, 2009 by Jamie Sebire
Schoders (CI) Ltd. conducted a sustainability project in 2008 to understand and reduce its enviromental impact. Carbon dioxide emissions were calculated for energy consumption, business travel, and commuting. The carbon footprint of supplies such as stationary and food and drink was also taken into account.
Electricity consumption was the leading source of C02 emissions followed by business travel. Staff commutes to work accounted for only 3.6 percent of the company’s C02 emissions. The company formed a Green Team and produced a Green Guide. New recycling initiatives and energy conservation measures were instigated. The company also increased its support of environmental community projects.
The company vowed to maintain a high level of staff education and encouragement in this endeavour.
Last year Schroders (CI) Ltd. conducted a sustainability project to assess and try and reduce its environmental impact.
Prior to the start of the project Schroders (CI) Ltd. considered that pursuing a green agenda would entail a high capital cost as well as ongoing costs. They thought that any carbon emission savings they could make would not be a significant contribution to overall carbon emissions. They also expected that the daily commute to work would contribute significantly to the company’s carbon footprint.
The project commenced in July 2008 when six university interns investigated Schroder (CI) Ltd. carbon emissions and identified ways to reduce them.
Carbon dioxide emissions or the carbon footprint was divided into two categories.
Direct consumption of energy from electricity usage, heating, business travel and commuting contributed to the company’s primary footprint.
The consumption of stationary, food and drink contributed to the company’s secondary footprint.
Electricity consumption accounted for over 51 percent of the primary carbon footprint (140 metric tons of C02). Business travel at 81.5 metric tons of C02 accounted for 29.8 percent of the company’s emissions followed by heating at 14.9 percent and commuting at 3.6 percent. C02 emissions totaled 273.7 metric tons.
Although commuting to work accounted for only 3.6 percent of the primary carbon footprint it was analysed for method of travel. Sixty-five percent of commutes were with fossil fuel powered vehicles.
Schroders (CI) Ltd. calculated for the secondary carbon footprint that it consumes 463,800 A4 paper sheets per year. The paper is approved by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Paper that is not sent to clients is shredded and recycled. The company recycled what was possible to recycle in Guernsey. This included cardboard, newspaper and magazines; bottles, cans and tins; and PET (1) and HDPE (2) plastic. General waste went to landfill.
The company found that 42.5 percent of its primary carbon footprint was outside its direct control. This included the activities of the Zurich office.
The study discovered that some of the staff were unaware of all the recycling facilities but that staff generally had a high level of interest in the environment.
It was critical to monitor and measure the success of the program and have individuals in the organisation who motivated staff to change their behaviour.
To improve the company’s sustainability Schoders (CI) Ltd. formed a green team and produced a Green Guide for staff. The company added new recycling bins in the kitchen area, recycled all paper waste, purchased re-usable shopping bags for staff use, and extended office recycling to allow staff to bring in used batteries and toner cartridges. It was also decided to remove the kitchen coffee machine which uses disposable sachets.
The company installed video conferencing equipment to minimise business travel, and to reduce electricity consumption the company decreased the work load of the server room air conditioners. The company also reduced passive infrared (PIR) sensor timings on office lighting.
It was decided that environmental issues would be evaluated for all new purchases of office furniture. In support of the local community Schoders (CI) Ltd. sponsored a presentation on anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste by Biogen. Schroders (CI) Ltd. has also committed to cleaning two Guernsey beaches for the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch campaign.
In the future Schroders (CI) Ltd. will review employee car parking and incentives for green travel. The company will work to improve building energy efficiency and reduce and recycle communal waste. Julian Winser said that the previous generation installed a carbon intense infrastructure. The new generation of buildings would have to be greener. The company was considering staff incentives for green investment and may pay up to half the cost of providing insulation for an employee’s home.
What was critical to the success of improving sustainability and reducing environmental impact and unnecessary cost was continuing to maintain a high level of staff education and encouragement.