Measuring, reducing and removing Society’s carbon footprint

Our firm is committed to collective and immediate action to reverse the current climate trajectory and to build an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system.

On 10th November 2019, we declared a climate emergency and committed ourselves to reaching Net Zero by 2030. There is growing recognition that achieving net zero emissions as a matter of urgency is going to be essential to the world meeting its obligations under the Paris Climate Accords, and Society was keen to be at the forefront of that movement. We have also chosen to become part of the B Corp Climate Collective, a group of Certified B Corporations working together on climate action.

During 2022, we worked with a new partner called Supercritical to re-calculate our annual emissions. We were keen to take a more expansive view of our footprint and knew that the return of business travel after COVID-19 would drive up emissions throughout our supply chain.

We uploaded the required data to Supercritical’s platform and following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, combined with the most up-to-date emission factors. This provided us with a detailed picture of our current carbon footprint which we are now using as our new ‘baseline year’.

The results were sobering:

Our Emissions Breakdown

The different scopes of emissions, commonly used in corporate carbon accounting, categorise greenhouse gas emissions based on their source and control.

  • Scope 1 - emissions encompass direct emissions from sources a company owns or controls, like on-site combustion, or fuel emissions from driving an owned car 
  • Scope 2 – emissions consist of indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heat, or steam. 
  • Scope 3 – emissions represent a broader range of indirect emissions throughout the company’s value chain, including supplier and customer activities, transportation, and product use. 

As Society does not own its own or directly operate any of its office spaces (either in Auckland, Edinburgh, London, or New York) all our emissions are linked to Scope 3. These are highlighted below:

Our Climate Pledge 

Armed with this information, we are now reformulating our reduction plan as follows:

  • Aiming to reduce our footprint to 2.76 tonnes CO₂e per employee by 2024, thereby establishing a potential 12% reduction in emissions. 
  • Only using verified high quality offsets, emphasising more durable carbon removal projects, for those emissions we cannot eliminate.
  • Embedding a culture of sustainability throughout the company, formalising this in our various policies (sustainable procurement, sustainable travel and expenses, technology, home working) and sending regular reminders to all colleagues identifying areas where they can be more sustainable.
  • Encouraging our suppliers to engage with the topic of sustainability and asking them to measure their own carbon footprint, and set their own Net Zero targets.
  • Reviewing our suppliers regularly and, where necessary and practicable, switching to those who have committed to similar sustainability goals either independently or through their B Corp journey.
  • Ensuring that the above are adhered to globally throughout all our subsidiaries.

As this is a constantly moving picture, we are committed to measuring annually and continually reviewing and re-evaluating our approach.

Let’s Unite and Join Forces

Every individual, organisation, and government plays a crucial role in making a sustainable impact. By coming together, we can leverage combined knowledge, resources, and innovation to implement effective strategies. Small lifestyle changes, such as energy conservation and using greener transportation, can create significant ripple effects when adopted en masse. Collaborative initiatives enable us to transition towards renewable energy sources, promote sustainable practices, and protect fragile ecosystems.

If we all do our little bit, we secure a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and preserving the planet for all living beings.

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