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3 min read

Impression becomes carbon negative

This article was updated on: 11.03.2022

We’re really pleased to announce that a longstanding and value-driven ambition of Impression has been reached today, as we become a “carbon negative” business.

Initially we were wanting to calculate our direct carbon emissions, but you may already sense these measurements are difficult to come by in a robust manner – especially if as an SME you’re “marking your own homework”. We calculated that our Scope 1, Scope 2 and some (but not all) Scope 3 emissions were around 3.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per month, in pre-Covid-19 months.

Scope 1 typically includes all fuel and direct emissions directly resulting from the business operations on site. Scope two includes all purchased energy and its emissions, such as heat and electricity. Scope three then includes the supply chain of all materials used in the company. Outside of these scopes is then all employees’ own carbon emissions, which aren’t necessarily in the control of the company so are excluded.

We then started to look at how we could offset this, and tree planting seemed like a sensible and popular way of doing so. The trouble is, trees take a long time to grow and so the efficacy of tree planting to immediately offset carbon emissions here and now is almost null.

Through our research we became aware of Ecologi, a business which makes buying carbon certificates and tree planting simpler, and easier to talk about. They work with reputable reforestation partners with robust annual reporting and auditing, and purchase carbon certificates only from Gold Standard accredited schemes, so we know our donations are going to only good causes around the world.

Ecologi supports businesses in their carbon aspirations by funding both tree planting initiatives as well as shorter term renewable energy schemes for more immediate effects. We at Impression will balance our continued investment into both initiatives.

The Ecologi model is also different to our original plan, in that through Ecologi’s methods the calculations cover the carbon emissions created by our employees’ entire lives (based on UK averages) — plus a 15% overage. This is why we can now proudly say we have a climate positive workforce!

Based on our line of work versus the UK average, we’re confident this only makes us more of a carbon negative business!

Offsetting is one thing, but having a true commitment to reducing our overall carbon footprint is another. This is a key element in our ongoing work to become a more impactful business in the coming months.

And, rather than just starting today, we’ve actually back-dated our donations to include the past year. So that means we’ve paid for 7,345 trees (and counting) and in addition, we’ve also contributed to removing 258.35 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere through recent carbon projects.

You can see the details of our contributions to reforestation projects around the world, here.