Net Zero Journey

At Techbuyer we make it no secret that the environment is one of our core priorities, and so we are proud to announce that we have taken the next step along our sustainability journey this year by setting a Net Zero pledge!  

We have pledged that by 2050 we will be a Net Zero business, with an interim target of reducing our carbon footprint by 42% by 2030.  

We caught up with UK sustainability coordinator James Buckley who shared his experience of setting this pledge alongside our sustainability team.  

Why is Techbuyer Undertaking this Journey to Net Zero?  

“I suppose the first thing to note would be ‘why net zero?’  

When you’re looking at carbon reduction plans, you’ve got Net Zero, carbon neutral and climate neutral. Net Zero is the only one that aims to reduce actual emissions as close as possible to zero without relying on offsets. With Net Zero, you’re not potentially buying offsets that are difficult to conduct due diligence on, you’re making a pledge that aligns with science-based targets to limit global warming within 1.5 degrees.” 

In terms of why now, we could get a credible base line year across Scope 1,2 and 3 by including supply chain emissions which takes time to achieve.” 

What Steps Have We Been Taking to Measure Current Carbon Production?  

“In terms of getting the full set of data, it involves recording every single measurable set of data that we can. Our global offices measure everything that we are required to, as well as the rest and supply us with that information to. So, for example, taking the UK reports we would look at things like electric usage, water usage, paper and waste, couriers, business flights and trains etc.”   

“The idea is to make as in-depth a footprint as possible and then we can use calculations to work out the carbon footprint. For example, if you were looking at all hours of electricity use, you would use grid intensity statistics to work out how that translated to a carbon footprint.”  

What Difficulties have We Faced so Far with Carbon Reporting and How have We Overcome Them? 

“There are different levels of detail that suppliers give you. For example, one of our couriers in the UK offers very granular information on the carbon cost of all our deliveries. Others only offer this as a bespoke service that is much more difficult to come by. We need to use market data to fill the gaps on these kinds of suppliers.   

"As we make more effort to take control of and reduce our carbon intensity, we expect to have more precise ways of gathering data. We would expect this to be true of our suppliers too, as legislation moves in the direction of public reporting on carbon emissions." 

What Steps have We Already Taken to Reduce Carbon Footprint?  

“With data and help from our Accounts Team, we’ve done research on the energy efficiency of our UK drive test department which is a huge electricity user.

Our IT Department helped us to execute this information and reduce the energy draw of our drive testing. We installed smart meters to investigate how and why we were using power. Our facilities team put out an awareness campaign in the UK on the energy savings of turning off your machines, turning off everything before you leave the office, including lights and PCs.” 

“We have done some research into potential carbon sequestration and carbon capture schemes. It's early days and a lot of this still needs to be developed at scale, but there are some great technologies out there. These include things like Biochar, an alternative to Charcoal that stabilizes the Carbon in Biowaste by heating it in a special way and then using it as a fertilizer, and enhanced weathering which spreads crushed Basalt across areas of farmland to absorb CO2 and remineralize the soil.” 

Find out more about Scope 3 here.  

Now that We have the Target in Place, What is Our Focus Moving Forwards? 

“We need it to be a global effort if it's going to work. Our recent efficiency measures have been trialled in our UK head office to get an idea of percentage savings. Then the information has been shared with all other offices so that they can achieve similar percentage changes.” 

“We are lucky in that we have some very creative, smart and caring people across the company, so we'd expect other ideas to be trialled and shared in a similar way.” 

“We are also expanding our IEMA environmental training to offer it to all employees worldwide to help them understand their impact and the role that they can play within the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”  

“Sustainability is a new practice and a lot of the time, we are educating ourselves at the same time as educating other people. The same goes when you’re making a Net Zero pathway. If you don’t have data for something you have to look at the sound methodology. There’s quite a lot of learning to do.” 

“Finalising a baseline year is a major milestone in my career, it’s a big deal to be part of something like this and it’s a baseline year from which all of our reductions will be based. This process began back in September 2021 and the efforts of the team across our offices have taken us far. There’s a responsibility to get this right.”  

Moving Forward Towards a Cleaner Future 

We encourage all of our customers to make the sustainable choice to decrease the impact of technology on the planet. We have always centered our efforts on having as little negative impact as possible, and so making a Net Zero pledge felt like the next natural milestone for our organization.  
Reports on our progress will be available in our yearly sustainability reports and we’re sure you’ll hear us shouting from the rooftops for any successes along the way!  

Find out more about our current sustainability efforts, including our industry research, here.