To mark Earth Day 2021, we’re proud to announce we’ve continued our carbon neutral journey for the second year, offsetting our total carbon footprint for 2020 and remaining part of the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative.

As a company, we’re focused on playing our part in contributing to the UK’s net-zero emissions targets and global Paris agreement targets, through taking action to operate and grow Moneybox in a sustainable way.

We always strive to be completely transparent with you, our community, about the choices we make as a business and our carbon footprint is no different. Take a look at our deep-dive into our 2020 CarbonZero project.

 

Continuing our journey 🌍

We were excited to be back working with UN Climate Change verified company, Alectro, to conduct an in-depth carbon footprint analysis of Moneybox. You can read the findings from our 2019 project report and why we decided to become a carbon neutral company in our blog post – Making Moneybox Carbon Neutral.

The team at Alectro once again helped us to identify where our emissions were coming from and offset these by supporting Gold Standard projects from around the world that aligned with our employee’s values.

 

How we measured our carbon footprint 👣

The project* analysed all of Moneybox’s activities (including company events and office facilities – taking into account employee’s work-from-home setups), employees and suppliers, to map our carbon footprint and help us achieve carbon neutral status to the accredited standards. We ensured every offset met the toughest criteria** to have the largest impact possible.

 

What we found from our 2020 emissions analysis 🔎

2020 was a year like no other with the pandemic disrupting everyone’s daily lives. As a company, we followed government guidelines to work-from-home and had to quickly transition to working as a virtual team. This meant that when compared to our 2019 analysis, this year’s report profile looked very different. However, we’re pleased to say we continued to decrease our carbon emissions (CO2e) per employee.

The total carbon footprint for Moneybox in 2020 was 96.4 tCO2e, with each employee’s footprint coming in at 0.75 tCO2e (before offsetting).

This is a great result when compared with 2.51 tCO2e per employee in other financial and professional sector firms***. With our footprint well below UK domestic targets of 2.0 tCO2e, we’re in a strong position to manage our it moving forward.

 

Operations overview

Purchased technology dominated this year’s carbon footprint.

  • The emissions from physical technology made up 29% of our operations emissions with 26.85 tCO2e.
  • Providing work-from-home setups for employees contributed a significant chunk of the footprint (13.11 tCO2e), but as a one-time purchase this won’t carry forward to the next year.
  • Our fortnightly team Deliveroo vouchers contributed the majority of the company event footprint (13%).
  • Delivering lockdown employee gifts contributed 8.5 tCO2e to the footprint, but again can be considered as an exception and unlikely to carry on beyond lockdown circumstances.
  • Cloud computing came in at 3.85tCO2e and we’ve continued to use Microsoft Azure as our preferred technology partner. Microsoft is one of the global leaders in sustainability with a commitment for 100% renewable energy by 2025 for all operations, and a wider goal of Microsoft becoming carbon-negative by 2030. Even as we continue to grow, by using Microsoft infrastructure we’re in a strong position to remain responsible.
  • The Moneybox diet – our in-office diet was recorded until mid March with 2.93 tCO2e total emissions made up from consumption of coffee, tea, beer, wine, milk, fruit and snacks.

 

Facilities overview

Our office space saw a very low carbon output thanks to its mixture of electrified systems and renewable electricity. However, as the Moneybox team moved to home offices from March 2020, we had to consider the excess energy use from home heating and electricity.

This increased the emissions from facilities as home setups tend to be less optimised for cost-saving (e.g not all employees use renewable electricity). Overall, this increased emissions from facilities compared to last year, but was roughly offset by the reduction in commuting emissions.

 

Transport overview

With months of lockdown, travel related emissions unsurprisingly contributed less than 13% of the total footprint (down from 27% last year) at 12.13 tCO2e. The commute only contributed for the first quarter of the year and remained lean, with over 97% of commute kilometers done by low-carbon methods.

 

Moneybox carbon footprint per employee 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

We were pleased to see our carbon footprint per employee continue to decrease year-on-year coming in at 0.75 tCO2e (before offsetting). Here’s a breakdown of the emissions:

 

How did our carbon footprint compare to the previous year? ⚖️

Despite the pandemic, the Moneybox team grew by more than double between January 2020 (when the first year analysis took place) and January 2021 (when this analysis took place). The main differences can be seen where additional heating related to working from home increased the 2020 Scope 1 emissions, and the reduction from the commute reduced the Scope 3 emissions in 2020.

 

What was the outcome?

To offset our total company carbon footprint of 96.4 tCO2e, we have supported three Gold Standard projects that sit within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).

The Moneybox team was asked to vote for their top goals (out of a possible 17) for guidance on which project to support. The team’s top voted goals were:

SDG 1: No poverty
SDG 2: Zero hunger
SDG 4: Quality education
SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
SDG 13: Climate action

Find out more about the United Nations SDGS.

 

Offset projects

Based on the team’s top voted goals, Moneybox chose to support three projects that best targeted these SDGs. In fact, a total of nine SDGs are directly supported across our chosen projects.

 

Terraclear – Clean water access for families in Laos
Offset: 39 tCO2e
SDGs Supported: 3, 6, 8, 13 and 15

In Laos, over 80% of households must boil their water to make it safe to drink. Despite many taking this boiling precaution, preventable illness from drinking contaminated water is still a leading cause of death for children under five. But with a water filter at home, families can produce their own safe water every day. The filters also reduce the need for wood, reducing smoke in the kitchen, and protecting Laos’ forests from further deforestation. TerraClear is breaking down the barriers that make clean water access a challenge for rural communities. Creative strategies and community focused education and promotion are allowing TerraClear to change lives a few liters at a time. TerraClear is providing access to safe drinking water through the manufacture and distribution of more than 33,000 ceramic filters reaching an estimated 150,000 people in over 500 villages in Laos.

 

Solar Cooking for Refugee Families in Chad
Offset: 39 tCO2e
SDGs Supported: 1, 3, 5, 13, 15 and 16

Tens of thousands of refugees from Darfur are offered the chance to vastly improve their life by using the CooKit solar cookers. Having to venture out of the camp to collect firewood can be a danger for women and children, with the surrounding areas likely to be unsafe. Since the start of the programme in 2005, 40,000 families in the refugee camps and the surrounding villages have been equipped with solar cookers. Due to the omnipresence of sun in this region, the cooker can be used 330 days out of the year, thus almost completely eliminating the need for firewood.
This project does not only eliminate the potential danger for women, but also verifiably improves health conditions as cooking with solar energy is smokeless. The time saved on collecting firewood allows time spent on other vital activities like children attending school.

 

Solar Power Generation at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
Offset: 19 tCO2e
SDGs Supported: 7, 8, 13

A 5 MW grid connected solar photovoltaic power project in Nokh Village, Pokhran. The project activity is expected to supply 8,322 MWh of net electricity annually to the national grid of India (NEWNE). In the absence of the project activity, the equivalent amount of electricity would have been generated in the NEWNE grid which is predominantly a fossil fuel dominated grid. Additional benefits include:

  • Providing continuous employment in the local rural area with salaries higher than the local level. These roles including training for Occupational Health and Safety issues, and helping to train
  • Strengthening social infrastructure in the region

 

What’s next? 🌱

It was great to see our emission results continue to trend down year-on-year, putting us in a strong position to manage our footprint going forward. However, as our team continues to grow rapidly, we head into 2021 and beyond facing the same challenges of retaining a low per employee footprint. This becomes even more apparent post-pandemic, when our team returns to the office.

In 2021, we are committed to continue to explore ways that we can reduce our existing carbon footprint in everything we do by maintaining a focus on recycling, efficient working spaces and choosing suppliers with a similar transparent and proactive approach.

We are also continuing to explore how we could help you, our community, work towards a carbon neutral future through offsetting through your Moneybox account. We’ve been working through options for this and hope to introduce some form of offsetting in the near future – stay tuned.

We have been working closely with all Moneybox employees to develop an appropriate return-to-the-office plan, aiming for the end of Q3 2021. Taking into account what’s best for our team and the business, we will be returning on a hybrid model with a mix of at-home and office working. This will play a large role in keeping employee’s commutes at a lower level than those seen in 2019, and also make use of the one-off technology purchases to set up home offices.

As a component of the project, we have continued our signatory of the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative, a community of more than 300 organisations committed to working towards a carbon neutral world. The initiative sets out three principles for organisations and individuals: measure, reduce and offset. Being a signatory, and the first UK Fintech company to sign the initiative in 2020, we hope to encourage more young companies from the UK and around the world to take climate action early on and to grow their businesses in a responsible and sustainable way.

 

 

*The project with Alectro was undertaken in the period between 11th and 29th January 2021, based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered from the period between 1st January to 31 December 2020

**Emission profiles: Organisational Boundaries: Alectro have used the operational control approach to establish the organizational boundary of Moneybox’s carbon reporting. As defined by the GHG Protocol, this includes operations where you have the full authority to introduce and implement operating policies. Under this approach, 100% of GHG emissions from all owned and leased facilities over which Moneybox has direct operational control are included. Operational boundaries: All GHG emissions associated within the organisational boundary operations are included and categorised as Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (required indirect), and Scope 3 (optional indirect) emissions.

***Average carbon footprint from recognisable financial and professional sector firms. Carbon emissions obtained from well-publicised data. Source – Alectro (http://alectro.io/)

 

For more information about the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) initiative, Climate Neutral Now, visit: ClimateNeutralNow.org 

For more information about Earth Day 2021, and to provide your support to fight climate change please visit earthday.org/earth-day-2021