For the third year running, we were pleased to complete an in-depth analysis of our carbon footprint and continue to be a carbon neutral company and signatory on the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative. Working closely with UN Climate Change verified company Alectro, we have again reviewed and offset our annual emissions.
We’re thrilled to say that since 2019, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint per employee by 17% to 0.69 tCO2e/employee despite the team growing fourfold! 🙌 To put this into context, in order to meet the UK domestic targets, the recognised goal is 2.0 tCO2e/employee.
As we continue to grow, some might expect us to set bold sustainability targets. But the positive reality is, our carbon footprint is already very low, so it’s unlikely we’d reduce it further by a significant amount. We could pick an arbitrary target that we know we’ll be able to stick to, but we want to be as transparent as possible with you, our community, about how the way we operate affects the world around us. So instead, we’re continuing to analyse and share with you our annual carbon emissions, offsetting projects, what we’re doing right, and where we could improve. We’ve also published all our environmental, social and governance practices on our new ESG page.
We’re really pleased to be in a strong position to maintain our low carbon footprint per Moneybox employee in the years to come.
Let’s take a look at our 2021 carbon emissions close up…
How we analysed our carbon footprint 👣
The project* examined all of Moneybox’s operational activity including company events, office facilities, 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 🔎
Despite hopes that the pandemic would be a distant memory by 2021, our lives were still very much under rule by COVID-19 restrictions that impacted the way we operated as a business. We followed government guidelines to work from home at every stage and also introduced hybrid working towards the latter half of the year.
We were delighted to see our team grow and despite almost doubling our headcount compared to 2020, the impact of each employee has continued to decrease.
The total carbon footprint for Moneybox in 2021 was 159.63 tCO2e, with each employee’s individual footprint being 0.69 tCO2e/employee.
This has decreased from 0.75 tCO2e/employee in 2020 and 0.84 tCO2e/employee in 2019. Considering our team has grown fourfold, this is great news.
Moneybox’s office space has a very low carbon output thanks to a modern and efficient space, powered by renewable electricity.
However, the Moneybox team spent winter at both ends of the year working from home as per government guidelines, so work-from-home set ups had a significant contribution to our overall emissions. Home setups are less optimised for efficiency with many homes using natural gas for heating, resulting in a higher impact than last year. Work-from-home heating made for 21.49% of our total emissions.
The good news is that despite expanding our office space to make room for our growing team when we returned, the efficiency of our office facilities mean that the much larger floor plan hasn’t had a large impact on our emissions.
Similarly to 2020, purchased technology was the most significant contributing category to our overall emissions; however, Moneybox has a strong Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) strategy in place.
- As expected, IT equipment made up 30% of our total impact.
- Fortnightly Deliveroo vouchers returned as a work perk for a portion of the year, as with team-time social events. Since food is a relatively carbon-intensive product, social events and Deliveroo vouchers contributed to around 9% of the total.
- Lockdown employee gifts continued into 2021, contributing to approximately 8% of the total impact. Generally, the gifts tended to be local and well-sourced goods, which is a positive action.
- Cloud computing came in at 7.38 tCO2e which is around double 2020’s in line with our growth. We 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.
With the majority of 2021 spent working from home, travel-related emissions remained very low and accounted for 7.1% of our total emissions. For comparison, in the pre-COVID 2019 analysis, transport made up approximately 27% of the overall impact.
- On the rare occasion employees did make the commute, more than 98% of the distance travelled was with low-carbon transport methods.
- Like many businesses, Moneybox adopted a hybrid way of working, which opened the opportunity for people outside of London to join the team. As we’ve welcomed new employees across the country, we saw a slight increase in business-related travel when employees were needed in London. But since the majority of this distance was done by train, the impact was suppressed.
Moneybox carbon footprint per employee 🧑🤝🧑
We’re pleased to see that despite rapid growth of our team, our carbon footprint per employee has continued to decrease year-on-year, coming in at 0.69 tCO2e (before offsetting). Here’s a breakdown of the emissions:
How does our footprint in 2021 compare to previous years?
We saw huge growth in our business in 2021 and as such, the overall impact grew although the impact per employee dropped.
What was the outcome? 🌍
To offset our total company carbon footprint of 159.63 tCO2e, and remain a carbon neutral company, we have supported two 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:
- SDG13: Climate Action
- SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing
- SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitisation
The Moneybox team voted to support two projects that best targeted these SDGs – in fact, between these two projects alone, we’re supporting 7 SDGs.
SDGs Supported: 3, 5, 7, 13
The project provides locally made domestic fuel-efficient cooking stoves to rural households in Kenya. Each stove reduces the amount of wood fuel needed to cook by 50%, thereby reducing carbon emissions. This cleaner and cheaper technology also minimises indoor air pollution, which is linked to a broad range of health problems.
The new fuel-efficient stoves replace the traditional ‘three-stone fires, which are thermally inefficient and result in incomplete combustion and the production of large amounts of smoke and indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution has been linked to a range of health problems such as acute respiratory infections (ARI) in children, chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and asthma), lung cancer and neonatal complications.
Since the stoves are built in Kenya, this project is also a community led-project.
SDGs Supported: 3, 6, 8, 13 and 15
TerraClear is breaking down the barriers that make clean water access a challenge for rural communities. The project provides access to safe drinking water through the manufacture and distribution of more than 70,000 ceramic filters, reaching an estimated 300,000 people in more than 1,000 villages in Laos.
How the water purifiers benefit people:
• Give access safe drinking water, especially in rural areas
• Reduce time spent collecting firewood or boiling drinking water
• Reduce child and adult morbidity and mortality
• Improve attendance at school
Project impacts and benefits:
• Saves 15,000 tonnes of CO2e annually
• The filter is able to provide the average daily household consumption of 20-30 litres of clean water
• 65,000 households benefit from filter use
Where do we go from here? 🌱
We’re pleased to see that despite growing as a team and returning to the office, we’re in a strong position to maintain our low carbon footprint per employee in the years to come.
There’s always room for improvement though and this analysis is a great opportunity to reflect on our environmental impact as a company. So, here’s what we’ll continue to do and what we’ll introduce to ensure we’re making a difference into the future.
- Annual carbon footprint analysis – Regularly reviewing our energy consumption helps us monitor our progress and identify areas for improvement.
- Annual offsetting – Supporting offsetting projects to the value of our annual consumption means we’re contributing to positive community projects and ensures we remain a carbon neutral company.
- Signatory of the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative – 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.
- Hybrid working – In the time we were working from home, emissions from travel greatly reduced but emissions from energy consumption at home increased. A hybrid working model casts the right balance between the two and will ensure we maintain level energy use.
- Our ESG practices – We believe it’s important to be transparent about how we operate and what effect Moneybox has on the planet and its people. So, alongside this report, we’ve published all our environmental, social and governance practices on a new ESG at Moneybox webpage.
- Helping our colleagues reduce their carbon footprint – Waste knowledge and management was one of the top requests from our employee survey. So, we’re going to start sharing more knowledge and tips with the Moneybox team on how to reduce individual waste. Further, we’ve ensured all of our waste bins around the office are clearly labelled for normal waste and recycling.
- Cycle-to-work scheme – We’ve recently introduced a cycle-to-work scheme to encourage our team to travel green wherever possible.
- Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) – We have a strong EPP strategy which means purchasing products or services that have a less negative effect on people or the environment. Moneybox drives this strategy by choosing local suppliers and good quality goods. For example, our office coffee is supplied by Pact who source all coffee directly from farmers and pay 65% above the Fairtrade base price, on average.
*The project with Alectro was undertaken in the period between 7th February 2022 – 10th March 2022, based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered from the period between 1st January 2021 – 31st December 2021
**Emission profiles: Organisational Boundaries: Alectro have used the operational control approach to establish the organisational 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.
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 2022, and to provide your support to fight climate change please visit earthday.org/earth-day-2022