As of recently, Infinum is a part of the growing list of environmentally aware, Climate Neutral certified brands. Measuring, reducing, and offsetting our carbon emissions was a months-long process and a journey we wanted to share.
Our planet is at an inflection point when it comes to climate change. Global heating has already caused dangerous disruption in nature, human well-being, businesses, and economies worldwide. And this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the window to keep the average global temperature increase below the 1.5°C goal and avoid more catastrophic impacts is close to closing.
Aware of the seriousness of the situation, in 2022, we started working with the Climate Neutral organization to measure, reduce, and offset our carbon emissions. Having recently obtained the Climate Neutral certificate, we joined the growing list of environmentally aware companies dedicated to taking action against climate change.
Even when you decide to take the necessary steps to become more carbon-neutral, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of competing standards, technical jargon, and so-called greenwashing. In this space, sometimes confusing for business owners, Climate Neutral presents an effective and trusted framework that helps companies become more sustainable in the face of the looming climate crisis.
What is Climate Neutral?
Climate Neutral is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting businesses in their efforts to address the growing urgency of the climate crisis.
For four years, Climate Neutral has been standardizing environmental benchmarks for companies.
The Climate Neutral certificate is a well-known label for environmentally conscious clients who choose to collaborate with brands that invest in sustainable development.
Climate Neutral assists brands in their journey to measure, offset and reduce their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits. To keep the certificate, companies must renew it annually according to conditions that vary depending on their size and revenue.
By working to become Climate Neutral certified, businesses join a greater movement that allows all of our small changes to add up and support the fight against climate change.
Climate Neutral certified brands demonstrate a commitment to taking action
The recent report by the IPCC claims that countries are not on track to meet the conservative target of restricting global warming to 1.5°C, as set by the Paris Agreement. Carbon emissions are expected to peak soon, which should then be followed by a gradual reduction in order to mitigate the worsening impacts of climate change.
According to the report, to significantly reduce emissions, we need to abandon the substantial fossil fuel infrastructure, including coal assets by 2030, and oil and gas by around 2050. Besides the urge for major infrastructural changes, collective efforts in fighting climate change are mandatory.
As a company that highly values digital transformation and innovation, we have decided to take a more active role in accelerating climate action.
By demonstrating commitment, we are not only reducing our negative impact but also inspiring other companies in the industry to follow suit.
With our current headcount of around 400 employees and associates globally, contributing to higher social and environmental causes remains high on our list of priorities.
Wanting to implement the changes throughout the company, we sought to collaborate with an affirmed name in the industry. Climate Neutral provided us with a simple, accurate, and credible way of measuring and addressing our carbon footprint.
The Climate Neutral certification process
Climate Neutral’s process has three parts: measuring carbon emissions, drafting reduction plans, and carbon offsetting. On average, certifying brands collectively spend approximately four months to comprehend and tackle the negative impacts their business has on the environment. To emphasize the significance of understanding the matter, company representatives leading these projects also listen to educational lectures during the process.
In the first part of the process, we were set to find out how much carbon we actually emit building digital products. To reach this estimation, we used Climate Neutral’s signature software solution – the Brands Emissions Estimator (BEE). To be completely precise, we also followed the Greenhouse Gas Protocol: Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) and Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standards (Revised Edition).
Our carbon footprint was measured at 863 tonnes. To arrive at this number, we looked at all of the brand-level emissions from making and delivering our services. This includes our supply chain emissions, purchased goods and services, employee commuting, business travel, and utility bills.
When you learn about the state of your carbon emissions, you come to the challenging part – knowing how to address the generated impact, which makes the second part of the process the most intriguing one.
Merely offsetting your emissions is insufficient – the key lies in actively reducing the impact itself. Doing so is a two-step process that allows for better and more sustainable long-term outcomes.
Having identified the largest sources of our emissions, our hotspots, we devised time-bound Reduction Action Plans to effectively lower our emissions over the next 12-24 months. Our primary focus was addressing two significant sources of emissions: employee commuting and purchased goods and services.
To begin with, our first reduction plan involved replacing 70% of our high-carbon-footprint office maintenance products with sustainable, non-toxic alternatives. This strategic move has a substantial influence on reducing water pollution and curbing the use of single-use plastic. Moreover, by choosing locally produced products, we also contributed to lowering emissions that occur during transport.
In addition to this reduction plan, we made a shift in our supply policy, placing greater emphasis on bulk ordering and local sourcing. We also implemented stringent waste management and supply policies to minimize non-recyclable and single-use plastic waste.
Our second reduction plan centered around encouraging low-carbon commuting among our employees. To achieve this, we introduced a policy offering free chargers for employees who own electric vehicles. Further, we already provide free bicycle parking and have a flexible remote work policy in place, all of which contribute to reducing our carbon footprint associated with commuting.
Finally, we offset our annual emissions by investing in verified carbon credits that adhered to Climate Neutral’s stringent standards in collaboration with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and ClimeCo.
Besides the ecological benefits, the projects we chose to invest in also have a significant humanitarian impact. One of the projects is dedicated to tackling deforestation and forest preservation in Brazil, and it was recognized as the Carbon Offsetting Project of 2020. Another project focuses on eliminating HFC greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, while the third one, in partnership with ClimeCo, concentrates on NO2 abatement.
These projects not only make a substantial environmental impact but also contribute to technological development and support local employment in underprivileged regions worldwide.
What does it mean to be a Climate Neutral certified brand?
Obtaining any eco or social responsibility certification strongly indicates that a company is actively incorporating sustainability into its brand. Third-party certifications that require tangible actions, demonstrate a company’s commitment, and provide credibility while holding the company accountable for its efforts.
Moreover, reporting on impactful work is equally significant. Even though companies may make sustainability efforts without formal reports, having such reports raises awareness within the company and promotes the importance of sustainability. It showcases transparency and lets stakeholders understand the company’s progress and contributions toward a more sustainable future.
At Infinum, we are already thinking about our next initiative or goal regarding environmental social governance. We are discussing additional carbon reduction plans and new initiatives we could implement to raise awareness not only inside the company but across the industry.