Inspired by the company’s wider ESG approach, the Group Marketing team have set itself a challenge to become the first carbon neutral team in the business. I’m really passionate about finding ways to tackle the climate emergency and make sustainable choices in my personal life and in my community, and so I’m thrilled that I’m able to lead this project for the Marketing team, and be able to make a positive impact in my professional life as well.
Everything we do creates carbon emissions. As part of this objective, we will be calculating the carbon impact of the ways we work and the projects we deliver in an attempt to firstly (and most importantly!), reduce unnecessary carbon emissions and secondly invest in projects that directly impact atmospheric CO2 levels and therefore offset our emissions.
Carbon neutral emails
The first activity we have tackled is offsetting the emails we send every year to our customers across EMIS and Patient.Info, which include important clinical and system updates as well as new product and campaign emails. Every email sent requires electricity to run not only the computer, but the servers and routers and manufacture the equipment needed to send and receive them.
We worked with our partner Ecologi to calculate the cost of all the customer emails we sent in 2021, and offset 2,140 tonnes of CO2e (equivalent to 6,420m2 of sea ice saved!) by investing in two projects:
- Producing electricity from wind power in Northeast Thailand - supporting West Huaybong 2 and West Huaybong 3 wind farms which together will generate over 500,000 MWh of electricity every year to feed into Thailand’s national grid (read more here)
- Wind power generation in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam - Reduce reliance on coal-generated electricity by generating 320,000 MWh of renewable electricity every year to feed into Vietnam’s national grid and help bridge the gap between supply and demand (read more here)
We’ve committed to doing the same at the end of 2022 too.
Moving forward we’ll be looking to assign a carbon cost to everything that we do, whether that is how much it costs to host our brand-new website (coming soon!) or what the impact is from any events we attend or deliver. Events in particular come with significant merchandise, travel and accommodation emissions so we will be looking at how we can reduce and offset as much as possible for 2022.
It’s important that we have these conversations with our suppliers too to ensure we are carbon conscious at every step. We will also be looking at simple ways we can optimise our daily ways of working, such as reducing the file size of branded resources which are regularly downloaded and shared across the business, to move us closer to our carbon neutral goal!
To mark the start of this journey, we have also started to grow our own forest, planting just over 8,000 trees this month at sites in Madagascar, Kenya and Uganda. We will be looking at creative ways we can use tree planting alongside our regular marketing activities to help grow our forest and encourage others to keep the environment at the forefront of their minds.
We’re looking forward to providing an update on our progress in the coming months, in the meantime we have our noses in Mike Berners-Lee's incredible book ‘How Bad are Bananas?’ to learn more about the carbon footprint of everything and how we can make a difference in our personal and professional lives!
By Michaella Biscomb, Head of Customer Communications at EMIS.