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How your business can 'invest in our planet’ to make every day Earth Day

Last month, on April 22nd, millions of people around the world marked the 52nd Earth Day by taking action and making commitments to invest in our planet.

Yet if we are to truly make a difference and avoid the worst of climate outcomes, we must treat EVERY day as Earth Day.

As businesses, we must set an example. A sustainability strategy is no longer a nice to have; it is a moral and physical imperative. Climate change, depletion of natural resources, fading biodiversity and declining air, water and soil quality affect us all.

It’s too late to avoid climate change. But there is hope. According to the latest IPCC report, we have the tools and know-how required to halve emissions by 2030, but the time for action is now. Deep emissions reductions, policies, regulations and innovation must all combine. Everyone must play their part.

Here are some ways your business can invest in the only viable future we have - one that protects and restores our planet.

Measure and understand your emissions

An important first step is to get an accurate measure of your environmental impact. Conducting a full carbon audit is essential to creating a validated and informed sustainability strategy. It will help you pinpoint your efforts to deal with your company’s carbon ‘hotspots’.

If you’re running a small business with a relatively simple operational structure, you may be able to calculate your own carbon emissions by using a simple online tool like the Giki Zero. Essential information that should form part of your footprint assessment includes:

  • Energy, gas and water consumption: collected from bills or directly from your supplier.
  • Employee commuting: this could be collected by using an employee survey.
  • Business travel: If you use a business travel agent, you should be able to get flight and rail travel details. You might need to work out the miles travelled for each flight.

If your business is larger or has a more complex structure and supply chain, you’ll most likely need to work with a specialist organisation that uses a recognised framework like GHG Protocol to make sure your emissions reporting is accurate and credible.

Become "Climate Positive"

Interested in offsetting your entire carbon footprint and becoming a ‘Climate Positive Workforce’ like Krystal? You can do so via Bristol-based climate organisation Ecologi. Carbon offsetting plans start from just £5.35/person/month.

Climate Positive Workforce Ecologi

With the mantra “plant trees, save lives”, Ecologi employs local people to plant millions of trees each year, helping to reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests. Natural biodiversity is key to their sustainable approach, so only trees native to the region are planted.

It takes two minutes to sign up and you get your dynamic profile page (see Krystal’s) allowing you to track and share the impact your donations are having. Enjoy a bit of healthy competition? There’s even a business tree leaderboard! To offset your impact visit Ecologi to get started. Use our referral link and they’ll plant 60 bonus trees!

We recently celebrated one year as a Climate Positive Workforce. It’s a great feeling knowing that the impact your business is having on the environment is a positive one.

Switch to a green energy provider

Switching your energy usage to a 100% green provider is an effective way to put your business on the path to sustainability, invest in a zero-carbon Britain and help in the fight against climate change. It also helps give your business the eco-credibility that clients and consumers are seeking.

Ecotricity, who Krystal switched to in 2017 for all our hosting consumption, is Britain’s greenest energy company. Because, like Krystal, it has no shareholders and pays no dividends, Ecotricity reinvests the money from your bills in new sources of green energy. Switching is quick and painless, and its simple, fair tariff is often cheaper too. Win/win!

Field of solar panels

According to Ecotricity, a business using 30,000 kWh would reduce its carbon footprint by 6 tonnes just by switching to its green energy tariff.

Join Ecotricity using our referral code and they'll pay us a one-time £30 referral fee for all signups (per fuel, so if you sign up for gas and electricity then we get £60). 100% of every single referral payment goes towards the planting of more trees! So that’s a triple (no, wait…quadruple!?) win!

Sign up to the Million Tree Pledge

If you’re ready to take your tree planting efforts a step further and go way beyond your carbon footprint to help reverse climate change, you can join us and take the Million Tree Pledge.

tree saplings

The Million Tree Pledge has two parts:

  1. Commit to planting 1 million trees, as soon as possible.
  2. Find at least 2 others (people or businesses) to take the pledge.

We co-founded the pledge with a simple idea - ask each member to commit to finding 2 additional pledgers so we can build a movement with the potential to have a significant impact in the fight against climate change. You could be a part of that movement.

You can plant trees via any number of providers, (we use Ecologi and veritree) and you can take as long as you need to reach your goal.

If you decide to take the Million Tree Pledge please get in touch to let us know (you can comment below the blog, contact us via Live Chat or interact with our Twitter or Facebook posts).

Commit to net zero emissions with the SME Climate Hub

The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative empowering small to medium-sized companies to take action for the climate and build resilient, futureproof businesses. Joining requires a three-part public commitment:

  1. Halve your greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  2. Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Disclose your progress on a yearly basis

All you need to do to join is complete a simple form.

When you commit publicly to reduce your emissions through the SME Climate Hub, your business will be counted in the UN’s official Race to Zero campaign. You’ll also enjoy access to free tools for climate education, measurement and reporting.

Krystal has made the commitment. If you do too, you’ll join us and thousands of businesses, cities, regions, universities and governments globally committing to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Become a certified B Corporation

Join businesses such as The Body Shop, Abel & Cole, tentree and Patagonia, and become B Corp certified.

Created in 2006 by B Lab, a global non-profit that aims to help mission-driven companies have a positive impact on the planet and its people, B Corp certification is a sustainability credential with the highest standards.

To achieve B Corp certification your business must undergo a rigorous accreditation process. They must meet standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and be tested against 5 categories: governance, workers, customers, community and the environment.

Since 2006, over 150,000 businesses have signed up for a B Corp Impact Assessment, yet so far only around 4,500 have been certified worldwide. This is a true testament to its standards and makes B Corp certification a fantastic way to spot those businesses that are truly committed to making a positive difference.

Krystal is currently B Corp Pending, and on track to achieve certification within a year. Why not join us and become part of a global movement of businesses that are working as a force for good?

Go remote!

During the COVID pandemic, remote working became the reality for many businesses and their employees. Some have returned to their old, office-based ways, while others noted the benefits, embraced the ‘new normal’ and factored remote working into their operations.

image of remote working

Aside from the benefits of reduced overheads, increased productivity and improved work-life balance, remote working can reduce emissions caused by commuting. According to finder.com, if those UK workers with remote-compatible jobs worked at home half the time, it could result in saving 54 million tons of greenhouse gas – the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road.

Advances in broadband connectivity and communication software now mean it’s easier than ever to run a successful business while emracing remote working. At Krystal, we’ve been doing it for years.

Give your staff time to volunteer

Krystal staff litter picking

In many companies, some staff may consider using their annual leave for volunteer work, but most will likely prefer to use it for holidays and spending time with family. If you can, encourage your teams to get involved with worthy causes throughout the year by awarding them time out of the office specifically allocated to volunteering. This could be spent on a community cleanup project for example, where staff meet up outside of work to help clean up their local area (team building AND helping the environment - another win/win!). Businesses that support environmental initiatives by giving employees time to volunteer play a key part in helping to scale those efforts.

Choose sustainable suppliers

As businesses, we have the power to bring about change through our purchasing decisions. Demand dictates supply. Doing your research and making sure that the suppliers and products you choose have their sustainability credentials up to scratch will have a ripple effect both up and down the value chains within your industry.

Small changes can make a big difference. If you have a staff canteen, does it use any disposable products? Are you using recycled ink for your printers? These questions should form part of any sustainability audit you conduct for your business.

Are you ready to play your part?

We can no longer take our home for granted. If we are to turn the tide on the climate crisis, we must make a daily commitment to ‘invest in our planet’. The solutions are out there - reforestation, reducing emissions, recycling waste, choosing renewable energy. Everyone must play their part - businesses, individuals and governments. Only by working together can we hope to stave off the worst of climate futures. Join us and together let’s treat every day as ‘Earth Day’.

We’ll leave you with another quote, this time by renowned adventurer and environmentalist Robert Swan:

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

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