Sustainability report 2010

Since our establishment in 1999 we have prided ourselves on ‘walking the talk’ in the conduct of our business. We contribute to sustainability directly through our consultancy and research work. In this process we consume resources, create waste, emit CO2 and other greenhouse sases, have a social responsibility and generate an economic impact. Through the years we have built on our original environmental policy and have formalised our in-house sustainability monitoring. We recognise the importance of monitoring our impacts and communicating the progress we make and the barriers we encounter to our clients, partners and stakeholders.

This Achievement Report sets out our performance against indicators from the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) for the last year as well as our improvement objectives for the upcoming year. It measures our accomplishments and impacts on sustainability issues for a 12 month period from January 2010 to December 2010.

Our previous report covered an 18 month monitoring period, reflecting a change in our financial year from a June end-year to calendar years; therefore few comparisons to the previous year have been possible. In mid- February 2010 we moved offices this greatly affected our electricity, gas and water consumption. We no longer have individual electricity meters; instead we estimate our energy based on the proportion of office space we occupy. We have improved how we monitor and calculate other indicators: including weighing our food waste rather than using visual estimates, using actual measures for our recycling rather than standardised estimates and using GHG conversion factors rather than only CO2, etc.

For this year (and going forward), we calculated our emissions based on GHG emissions rather than only CO2 as this is a more holistic approach to carbon monitoring. Given this change in monitoring and our office move our overall emissions are not comparable to 2009. However, for those indicators where comparisons are feasible we have computed a 12 month figure from January 2009 to December 2009 to enable comparison with 2010. Our monitoring and reporting methodology is in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.

We recognise that, through the conduct of our business, we have an unavoidable impact on the environment. However, by monitoring employee transport, office energy usage and office food waste, and by having in place strategies that render our work less carbon intensive, we mitigate this impact.

In 2010, GHG emissions totalled 42, 215 kg CO2 eq. This equates to 2, 638 kg CO2 eq per employee. We emitted 0.038 kg of GHG for each pound earned.

The biggest contributor to our overall emissions is our energy consumption, electricity consumption. This is largely due to subletting a large office space where few energy efficient measures can be implemented (e.g. no double glazing).
 

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