Step-by-step: Sedulo Group’s journey to a carbon neutral business
Learn how we're moving a growing mid-tier business to a carbon neutral organisation,step-by-step
In order to achieve our mission of making positive change to the communities we work in, we must build a sustainable business.
The only way to do this is to address issues impacting the environment. This commitment has driven us to record our emissions and identify ways to reduce the amount of Carbon we use.
We understand that it’s a long-term endeavor but we’re fully committed to it, so this page is a dedicated, first-hand account of our sustainability journey with every step, success, and lesson learned documented.
Here are the milestones from our sustainability journey so far…
- Beginning our sustainability journey
- Establishing an in-house sustainability committee for positive change
- Becoming Scope 1 and 2 Carbon Neutral
- Offsetting our emissions through verra-certified projects
We speak to the experts...
We enlisted the help of sustainability platform Zellar to help us record our emissions through scopes 1, 2 & 3 and implement processes to reduce them.
External link - Scope 1,2 & 3 blog post written by us.
Setting our Carbon Neutral objectives
To identify areas for improving our operating practises, we must achieve two main goals to help ensure a sustainable future.
1. Accurately record our emissions by the end of 2023.
2. Produce an annual sustainability report released in December 2023.
We can only offset emissions once we understand how to reduce and maintain our carbon output. Producing a yearly impact report creates accountability and allows us to be transparent in our messaging.
Pledging to become one of Manchester's first 50 Carbon Neutral businesses
To create further accountability, we have pledged with the SME Climate Hub and become one of Zellar's first 50 in Manchester to commit to sustainability.
Establishing a Sustainability Committee
We formed a sustainability committee of people who directly impact each of the three scopes and volunteers who are committed to helping build a sustainable business.
A committee allows us to create internal accountability and report to the broader business.
Understanding the impact of business travel on becoming Carbon Neutral
We can report on the carbon produced by business travel using internal expense data, reported annually in December. Since 2019 and accelerated by the 2020 lockdown, video calls have become commonplace for cross-office meetings, negating the need to travel.
December 22 | Employee emissions
We are responsible for how our team travels to work from an emissions perspective. We conduct an annual commute survey to record the distance travelled and method of travel for each team member.
With this data, we can assess the feasibility of an electric-car scheme to the already implemented bike-to-work and rail-pass schemes.
December 22 | Scope 1 & 2
Using historic energy supplier invoices, we measured each office's energy consumption for 2021 and 2022. With 2 additional data sets to compare, we can identify trends when adding energy consumption to our overall emissions total for 2023.
With this information, we learnt how opening new offices and expanding our team had impacted emission output, allowing us to make further forecasts for growth.
December 22 | Progress
Recording all of our Scope 2 emissions built a better picture of our impact on the environment. Whilst our Leeds and London offices used sustainable providers and our Liverpool used an Ofgen-compliant supplier, our Manchester office needed to switch. When the switch was confirmed, Scope 1 and 2 carbon neutral status is recognised as long as suppliers remain.
Manchester: Good Energy
Leeds: Good Energy
London: Smartest Energy
Liverpool: Brook Green
January 23 | Review progress
Using the Zellar platform, we can track our progress and complete the tasks they suggest. This includes moving all our servers to a cloud-based provider, reviewing our banking, web-hosting and insurance platforms, and contacting a full office sustainability check.
February 23 | Site visit
To be as thorough as possible, we invited Zellar to conduct on-site audits of our office spaces. This unearthed some quick wins we still needed to consider and confirmed some positive sustainability measures already in place.
Zellar's team provided an audit report, which gave our sustainability committee some clear direction.
April 23 | Recycling
After reviewing our recycling capabilities across our sites, we understood some changes we needed to make to maximise our efficiency, including switching our waste management provider in Manchester.
Other than food waste, we have full recycling capability nationwide. We constantly look at ways to minimise food waste through sharing apps and ordering exact amounts when providing food.
April 23 | Supply chain
It is crucial to track the weights and materials of our inbound supply chain. We track purchases through our PO system, and identifying our top 10 suppliers provided a breakdown of what we buy and through which departments.
Making this process more efficient and accurate is a focus for us as a business.
May 23 | LED lights
Although using suppliers compliant with the GHG Protocol, we must be mindful of the energy we use from the sustainable market. Our primary consumer is lighting, so a complete replacement to LED means we have a much more efficiently operated workplace.
June 23 | Data storage
Every MB stored on-site generates around 20 Grams of CO2. Moving to a cloud-based solution reduces a significant impact on our company emissions.
August 23 | Scope 1 & 2 Neutral
When officially switching energy provider in Manchester, it meant, across the group, our energy consumption emissions. This ensures an overall lower carbon output for 2024 onwards and allows us to focus on the project's more challenging scope 3 aspects.
August 2023 | Carl-bon
We quickly recognised that we needed to address sustainability from a cultural perspective within the office inline with our three pillars.
We get results together. We give back together. We have fun together.
Be sustainable together.
Carl-bon Neutral is our in-house sustainability chatbot. The bot reminds the team of their energy usage and sends reminders to turn off monitors, lights and temperature controls when not in use. It is also a place for our team to engage with the project and learn more.
We are developing this tool with a vision to give it more autonomy using AI.
August 23 | Sustainability days
As part of developing our culture and in response to the passion demonstrated by our team members, we have introduced a sustainability day to be taken in addition to annual leave.
Each team member can dedicate a day to a sustainability, biodiversity or conservation cause, equating to over 1,200 hours per year.
We have identified numerous projects close to our office locations and arranged opportunities for the team to use these days.
August 23 | Sustainability policy
A sustainability policy is essential for recording our official stance on sustainability. It provides team members, clients and suppliers with clarity on our position moving forward with sustainability.
Download the latest version here.
August 23 | Offsetting
Ultimately, until we achieve true carbon net zero, we must offset the emissions we produce. For 2023, we have supported the conversion of land in the east of Uruguay expected to be used for long-lived products, ensuring continued carbon storage that is re-planted after felling providing continuous rotations of carbon capture.
Only 33% of the world’s timber comes from sustainable sources – projects such as this are vital to protecting old-growth forests.
As this is our first year recording emissions, we have overestimated our impact to cover any inaccuracies in our data.
We recognise that we need to do more than maintain projects currently active. Our team is looking into new projects to ensure more carbon is removed from our environment as we aim for a net negative impact.
In Buxton, 2000 trees are planted in Sedulo Forest. In 40 years these trees will sequester approximately 370 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
More sites are being indentified across the UK for further forestation.