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  • 23 Oct 2020 08:49 | Eoin McQuone (Administrator)

    Geckota are online retailers of watches and replacement watch straps. Over the past 10 years Geckota has grown from a hobby into a multi-million pound business and they now ship orders out every day to customers all over the world. They trade under several brands, the most established being WatchGecko.

    Owner Jon Quinn was introduced to Go Climate Positive by a business friend who was already a member of the programme that helps business to take positive steps to tackle the climate emergency.

    Jon saw two main benefits from joining the programme saying, “We are keen to reduce our impact in the planet and we would like to get a recognisable certification that shows we take this seriously.” What he didn’t expect was that it would soon help his bottom line too.

    Go Climate Positive helped the business to quantify their climate impact by calculating their full carbon footprint. This involved not only looking at their energy use but also the carbon emitted in the manufacture and transportation of their products, employee commuting and online activity.

    We helped them to understand that 48% of their footprint comes from the transportation of their products, leading them to investigate the use of sea freighting for their inbound shipments. As an online retailer it was also interesting to learn that their digital activity was the 3rd biggest contributor, accounting for 10% of their total emissions.

    By contrast their energy use generated only 4% of their emissions. Nevertheless, they were keen to take some immediate action and, as their current energy contract was shortly to expire, switching this to green energy was identified as a “quick win” allowing them to remove 6.5 tonnes of carbon from their footprint.

    We introduced the company to one of our trusted partners, Full Power Utilities, a premier energy and utilities broker who negotiated a new contract for 100% renewable electricity which not only removed the carbon but also reduced their electricity bill by an astonishing 27%, demonstrating that doing the right thing for the planet can also do the right thing for your profits.

    Here is what Erika Anskaityte, who is responsible for sustainability at Geckota, had to say about their experience of the programme,

    “Go Climate Positive has been very supportive throughout the programme. The hardest bit was to collect needed/backdated information however, we received all the help needed to make this process as easy as possible. We have been part of monthly zoom calls which is very interactive and informative. It allowed us to meet businesses who are in the same boat as us while learning more about sustainability, how it can help our business to differentiate and make the most out of the opportunities around us in a sustainable manner.”

    As we do for all our members, we created a unique web page which transparently publishes the company’s footprint and their commitments to reduce and offset it and gave them a certificate for them to  use on their website and marketing communications.

    Click this link to view their certification page.

    This is just the first step in an ongoing journey for Geckota, as Erika says,

    “The programme helped us to involve everyone within the company to participate from bringing our own reusable water bottles to producing/designing products from recycled ocean plastic. We still have a long way to go however, we are very proud of where we are now with the help of Go Climate Positive.”


  • 19 Oct 2020 07:43 | Eoin McQuone (Administrator)

    With the ongoing uncertainty and constant changes around social distancing guidelines we thought we should reassure you that we have been fully operational through the crisis and will continue to be so, regardless of how the guidelines on travel and mixing change.

    We can confidently state this because our whole process was designed from the beginning to be delivered remotely using email and video conference. This was originally done to save unnecessary carbon emissions, but it turns out we were ahead of the game on managing a global pandemic (who knew!) It also means we can help businesses to understand and manage their carbon emissions no matter where they are located.

    We understand that every business has had to focus on survival this year but it the pandemic has taught us anything it is that we ignore threats caused by our impact on the natural world at our peril.

    At Go Climate Positive we can help you take a positive approach to tackling the climate emergency. If you have ever thought about doing this we would warmly encourage you to get in touch with us. We will help as ,much as we can.

    Stay safe and well.

  • 12 Oct 2020 07:18 | Eoin McQuone (Administrator)

    The Name Label Company is a family run business employing 5 people in the village of Overbury, Gloucestershire. They supply printed and embroidered name labels for children's clothing & personal possessions as well as the care & nursing industry where clothes are typically washed in a central laundry. The owners, Matt and Emma Busby, attended one of our free workshops, “How to green your business”, where they learned about our “6 steps to sustainable business”, of which the first step is “know your footprint”. Here is what they said about the workshop;

    “It really opened our eyes to what we could achieve and the numerous benefits to our business. We were so fired up following the workshop we invited Eoin to come in and advise how we could take our sustainability journey further.”

    Matt and Emma had already made a strong commitment to reducing their environmental impact through achieving the standard for environmental management ISO14001, and now they wanted to focus more deeply on their climate impact by achieving Carbon Neutral status.

    Using the Go Climate Positive process, we first helped them to calculate the carbon footprint of their company for the previous year. Using the protocol laid out in the GHG Corporate & Value Chain Standards we calculated that their footprint was 36.7 tonnes of CO2e, the main contributors being the embedded carbon in their purchased materials, the transportation of their products to their customer and the processing of waste generated in their operations.

    We helped them to set meaningful but achievable footprint reduction targets. For the first year this included a target to reduce waste by 5% and to reduce emissions from employee commuting by encouraging cycling and car sharing.

    Then we helped them to offset their footprint to go Carbon Neutral. The company had previously invested in a new iron-on label technology which reduces ironing time by 80%. Sales of this product create a carbon saving compared with traditional iron-on labels and so each sale helps to offset their carbon footprint. We also invested, on the company’s behalf, in projects in Cambodia, India and Europe that are designed to generate carbon savings, All of these projects are independently certified by the Gold Standard® and the carbon credits purchased for this purpose were retired in the Gold Standard Public Registry to create a permanent record.

    Finally, we were able to issue The Name Label Company with their Carbon Neutral certificate and to create their unique web page which transparently publishes both their footprint and their commitments to reduce and offset it.

    Click this link to view their certification page.

    Matt and Emma are rightly proud of the Carbon Neutral status of their business, but they know that this is just a step on the journey towards achieving their ambition of going Climate Positive. We are delighted to be a part of that journey with them.


  • 4 Aug 2020 07:01 | Eoin McQuone (Administrator)

    The country is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do this all of us, consumers and businesses, need to reduce our carbon footprint.  There are many ways to reduce the carbon footprint of a business. Here are 10 to consider. The numbers shown are indicative, the actual saving for a specific business need to be calculated individually.

    1.    Switch to green energy

    For any business with premises, by far the quickest and easiest way to reduce its carbon footprint is to switch to green energy. Electricity from 100% renewables is carbon neutral. It is hard to source gas from 100% renewable sources at the moment, but some of the smaller providers supply green gas and some of the others will offset the emissions from the gas purchased to make it carbon neutral. It is not necessarily more expensive these days either.
    As an example, a member of Go Climate Positive, with a relatively modest 500 sqm premises, recently saved 6.5 tonnes of CO2e per year by switching to renewable electricity

    2. Fit LED Lighting (and switch them off when they are not being used)

    Replacing lighting with LEDs is another relatively quick and easy thing to do. The financial pay back period can be less than a year and the carbon savings can be considerable.

    As an example, if a 90W traditional light fitting was replaced with a 14W LED fitting this would save around 225kWhs per year (assuming it is on for 8 hours a day) which equates to 71 kgs of CO2e per fitting, using the UK average fuel mix. With 100 light fittings this would save 7 tonnes of CO2e per year.

    An even easier thing to do is to make sure lights are switched off when they are not being used. Even an LED light fitting will create 25 kgs of unnecessary CO2e if it is left on all year.

    3.  Fit solar panels

    If the business has a large roof space, and a reasonably high electricity use, fitting photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can be a very cost-effective investment that will enable it to generate its own 100% renewable electricity. Modern PV technology requires very little maintenance and is still effective on a cloudy day.

    A typical example of a 100,000 kWh installation might be expected to save around 24 tonnes of CO2e per year, with a payback period of around 5.5 years, generating a 65% cost saving compared with grid supplied electricity. In some cases, finance can be arranged, such that there will be up-front capital and in some areas there may be grants available that will fund part of the costs.

    4.    Do follow-up meetings on video

    During the pandemic lockdown, everyone got used to making video calls and discovered that they can be very effective. It’s understandable that first time meetings might need to be face-to-face meeting but perhaps follow-up meetings can be made by video call.

    If a person has 3 meetings per day driving on average 20 miles there and back in a typical diesel car, around 4.7 tonnes of CO2e per year will be generated. Replacing 2 of these meetings with video calls would save over 3 tonnes of CO2e (even once the emissions of the video call have been considered) and probably save 2-3 hours per day increasing productivity or improving work-life balance.

    5.  Cut down on flights – both personal and for freight

    Flying is a very carbon intensive activity and the most carbon intensive way to travel. Just one flight from London to New York generates around 1.2 tonnes of CO2e.

    Sea travel is substantially less carbon intensive than air travel. Air-freighting a tonne of goods from Shanghai to Worcestershire will generate around 11.7 tonnes of CO2e compared with the 0.5 tonnes CO2e generate by sea-freighting. That is a 95% saving of 11.2 tonnes of CO2e per shipment

    6.   Upgrade computers rather than replace

    It has been estimated (by Mike Berners-Lee in his excellent book “How bad are bananas”) that a desktop computer contains around 800kgs of “embodied” CO2e. Embodied CO2e is the total greenhouse gases that were emitted in order to make it.

    Most PCs are replaced after about 3 years, but this could be extended by 2-5 years through careful upgrading. So roughly speaking, upgrading a computer rather than replacing it could halve the carbon footprint of a business’s computer purchases. If an average of 10 PCs are replaced per year this would give a saving of around 7 tonnes of CO2e per year (once the embodied carbon of the upgrades are taken into account)

    7.    Encourage suppliers to reduce their footprint

    A great way to reduce the footprint of a business and multiply those efforts many times over, is to work with suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint.
    Let us say that a business buys 100 products from a supplier, each with an embodied carbon footprint of 10 kgs. If that supplier reduced their footprint by 10%, that would reduce the footprint of the business by 100 kgs of CO2e, generating a worthwhile saving. However, if that supplier makes 10,000 products per year the total carbon saving would be 10 tonnes of CO2e per year.

    8.   Switch vehicles to electric when it is time to replace them

    All vehicles have a huge embodied carbon footprint, and so it makes sense to keep them running for as long as possible. However, the carbon savings to be had from running an electric vehicle compared with running one on fossil fuels are substantial.

    In a recent study by Go Climate Positive, the total lifetime costs and carbon footprint of an electric car vs a diesel doing 40,000 miles per year over 4 years were compared. The total cost was very similar, despite the £22,445 premium in the purchase price. The carbon saving was nearly 7 tonnes of CO2e per year (even taking into account the extra embodied carbon of the batteries and attributing all of the embodied carbon to the first 4 years of the car’s life).

    9.  Archive unnecessary data

    It has been estimated that 1 MB of storage in the cloud has a carbon footprint of around 1.5g of CO2e per year. Thus 5 TB of storage generates around 6.7 tonnes of CO2e in a year. Archiving 1000 GB of data onto a permanent storage device (such as a DVD) would save around 1.3 tonnes of CO2e per year.

    10. Cut down on waste then reuse or recycle everything that is left All of the waste that a business generates has a carbon footprint associated with processing it. Food waste in particular generates a large carbon footprint if it is sent to landfill due to the methane that is produced when it biodegrades. This is why it is important to use separate bins for food waste, so that it can be sent for composting (which doesn’t produce methane) or anaerobic digestion where the methane is captured. One tonne of food waste sent to landfill, produces around 600kgs of CO2e.

    Calculating your carbon footprint

    It is important to calculate the carbon footprint of each business annually, to prioritise and understand how effective reduction measures have been.

    You can read more about how to do this here.

  • 25 Jul 2020 16:22 | Eoin McQuone (Administrator)

    In this interview for Secret Spaces Eoin explains how Go Climate Positive works and the benefits for business owners of understanding their carbon footprint.

    View the interview here

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