We celebrate the renewal of our Green Mark accreditation and outline our plans for the year ahead.
This year’s World Environment Day called on millions around the world to #BeatPlasticPollution by implementing solutions to cut the production of harmful and unnecessary plastics. There were tips for how to do this on a personal level, but perhaps more importantly was the emphasis on the action that could – and should – be taken by investors, business and industry.
Minimising environmental impact is now ingrained in the daily choices and behaviours of many of us. We separate out our recycling from household waste, we take our own carrier bags to the supermarket, we carry re-usable water bottles and so on. This is great, but are we seeing similar efforts playing out in the business world? A World Environment Day report would seem to suggest otherwise. It highlights a finding that just 20 companies produce more than half of all single-use plastic in the world.
Action at an individual and corporate level is important. However, while many of us take ‘green’ choices (like those outlined above) in our personal and working lives, it’s also important to ensure these are regulated and/or enforced on a corporate level. This is one of the reasons Appdrawn signed up to the Green Mark accreditation scheme in 2022.
A step forward for our environmental footprint
Green Mark assesses, audits and certifies the impact each subscriber company is having on the environment. This includes reviewing business operations in detail, highlighting areas requiring improvement and ensuring that processes are put in place to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. This month, we acknowledge another sustainability milestone: the renewal of our Green Mark certification.
A Level 1 accreditation requires a number of minimum standards that we think every business should adhere to. These include relying on electronic comms and invoicing, minimising waste, buying energy efficient office equipment and recycling used IT kit. We have a ‘paper-free’ policy and whilst we still rely on some for printing documents, this is kept to a minimum: we currently recycle around 90 litres of paper per year, which is then shredded by a local company before being recycled into tissues.
The data on data centres
The renewal of our Green Mark certification is also an important milestone as it serves as a reminder of how we’re doing as a business and what more we can do in terms of our environmental impact. As an IT business, we’re well aware that there is a lot more that we – and others in our sector – can do. The very nature of our business means we are heavily reliant on electronic devices and data centres, both of which have a huge environmental impact. Data centres accounted for 2.9% of all global electricity consumption and 1.5% of carbon emissions in 2021, according to one estimate.
We’re also well aware of ‘greenwashing’, the tactic by which businesses use marketing spin and PR spiel to appear more environmentally friendly than they are. Taking part in Green Mark and sharing our findings is therefore part of our effort to avert the greenwashing trend and instead be more open and transparent in our operations and communications, including areas requiring improvement.
Environmental education for all
One such area noted in our Green Mark report last year was staff training. We acted on this and created an 'Environmental Impact' training module for all of our team members to complete. Other initiatives we’ve embarked on include utilising a carbon offsetting scheme for our internet hosting services. We’re also looking to work with the community to raise awareness of sustainability and environmental issues.
Openness and transparency are important parts of the Appdrawn culture. We share the strengths – and any weaknesses – in our environmental policy and progress in the hope of working with like-minded businesses and individuals. We’d even go a step further and challenge a client’s idea if it were to significantly impact the environment.
Our mission is to re‑inspire what business software looks like, improving operations and making things more efficient. This could be digitalising operations that traditionally relied on reams of paper, speeding up processes that once required heavy internet or IT usage, or improving communications and thereby removing the need for in-person travel. In addition to bettering business, these things can also support the growth of a ‘green agenda’.
You can find out more about working with a green-minded agency to embark on any of the above, by getting in touch with our team here.