Jan 20, 2021

SHIFT Team environmental report

To practice what we preach, we assessed our own environmental impacts. Our reporting period was 1st October 2019 – 30th September 2020 and here’s how we did:

Offices

  • Our office space has no gas supply, and instead uses a ground source heat pump for space heating. Solar PV and solar thermal are also in operation. These measures mean energy use at the office is very low, with just 0.77 tonnes of carbon per year attributed to our employees, or 18.19 kg CO2 per m2 of office space, well below our 2050 long term target.

  • Our office based activities are estimated to have generated 108 kgs of waste in the 12 month period (or 43 kgs per employee). 100% of waste generated is diverted from landfill as our general waste gets sorted for any recyclables and the remainder is used to generate energy from waste.

  • We used roughly 19 m3 of water over the reporting period, equating to 7.9 m3 per employee. This is above our long term 2030 target and gives us an area to target for future assessments.

  • 57.5% of office consumables were demonstrated as responsibly sourced.

  • Our office space is considered to be at low risk from tidal, fluvial and surface water flooding.

  • Low levels of solar radiation, high thermal mass due to thick walls, no complaints and natural ventilation indicated our office space was at low risk of overheating.

Business Mileage

Business mileage across the reporting period consisted of public transport expenses and car mileage claims. This equated to 643.2 kgs CO2 per annum. Our business mileage was definitely impacted by the pandemic as we have not travelled since March, which may mean we are artificially low this year.

Strategy and Management

At SHIFT we are fully committed to improving human wellbeing by driving environmental improvements. We also recognise that legal and good practice policies contribute to national wellbeing. Maximising wellbeing is a common theme of both environmental improvement and observing good business practice. That is why we have called our strategy document “Wellbeing policies”.

Our Environmental Policy within our Wellbeing Policies document gives our SMART targets derived from the SHIFT methodology and was updated 18th December 2020. Additionally, the policy has a formal review process and direct responsibilities are shown. We’ve reproduced the relevant section here:

Environmental Policy

SHIFT is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its operations and products through the adoption of sustainable practices and continuous improvements in environmental performance.

Environmental Principles –

To implement effective environmental management systems and to ensure the environmental awareness of our workforce. We encourage every employee to act in an environmentally responsible manner

  • To meet the requirements of relevant legislation in the regions we operate

  • To improve the environmental performance of our processes by preventing and reducing emissions, minimising waste and using responsibly sourced supplies.

  • Contribute to sustainable development by using energy, water and raw materials more efficiently

  • To monitor/audit environmental performance and to report progress on policy objectives and improvement targets on a regular basis.

  • To encourage suppliers and contractors to act in a responsible manner and maintain sound environmental practices.

Environmental Targets –

  • Reduce carbon emissions for our office to 25kgCO2 / m2  by 2050.

  • Reduce water usage to 3m3 / employee / year by 2030.

  • Divert 100% of waste from landfill by 2050.

  • Ensure that 100% of office consumables are responsibly sourced by 2050.

SHIFT employees will look to prioritise carbon reduction in business mileage by using public transport to travel to meetings and other business activities. We also use videoconferencing.

This shows that organisations of any size can assess their own impacts and take action to achieve a sustainable built environment.  If you wish to hear more or would like help to reduce your own office emissions (see our blog Reducing office carbon emissions) please get in touch: [email protected]