In line with our focus to reduce carbon emissions associated with the design, build and function of our homes, we are delighted to announce that we have now embarked on our journey to make the operational side of our business net-zero carbon. Our first major milestone is to achieve carbon neutrality, we will then move to the ultimate goal of being operationally net-zero by 2023.
We are all seeing the ever-increasing detrimental impact of climate change across the world and with the UK Government commitment to become carbon net-zero by 2050 and to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 against 1990 levels. Protecting the environment is a subject that Acorn Property Group is passionate about and believe we need to fully embrace the commitment by setting our own targets.
Calculating our carbon footprint
When setting any future goal, the first requirement is to understand your current position. We have now completed our initial carbon footprint assessment of our operational offices. This has been completed by gathering key data over the last two years on the major contributing factors such as energy use and business travel, across our regional and local construction site offices.
Based on all the provisional data we have assessed, it has determined that our operational office’s carbon footprint for 2019/20 was calculated to be 200tCO2. As this was the first time we have calculated our carbon footprint, we factored in an overestimation in some areas. Moving forward we are committed to continuously monitoring our full emissions which will from 2022 be externally verified and annually thereafter by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
Driving down our carbon emissions
As highlighted the main source of our carbon emissions from the operational side of our business is energy usage and business travel. To help reduce this, we are transitioning all our regional and site offices to a renewable green energy tariff wherever possible. In addition, we are working with our construction teams to ensure each new site office is set up on a green tariff.
Given the nature of our work, it requires regular site visits from various team members. So where possible, and as long as it is safe to do so, we are encouraging our team to use public transport or car share. As a company, we have also signed up to the Cycle2Work programme.
Whilst we are committed to driving down our core emissions, the fact remains that everything we do from sending a simple email to the process of recycling office materials creates a carbon footprint. This type of carbon emission is often referred to as ‘businesses residual carbon’. We are committed to also addressing this.
In order to achieve our ultimate goal, we are proud to have partnered with Wanderlands, a Somerset based carbon offset through natural solutions provider. Wanderlands will assess both our ongoing core and residue carbon footprint and support us in designing and implementing ongoing sustainable offset solutions.
Our first project with Wanderlands is to offset our 2019/20 carbon footprint of 200tCO2 associated with our operational offices. In February of this year, 1,140 native broadleaf trees were planted including species such as the majestic Oak and Beech at a location on the outskirts of Croscombe Village, Wells, Somerset. This site known as Paradise Hill will be open to the public and is currently undergoing restoration and enhancement.
We are very excited to have commenced our journey to play our part in protecting our planet for generations to come.