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More Activity Generating 20% Less Carbon at Clean Air

By Will Perrott

Less Carbon at Clean Air

We’ve introduced a suite of measures across the business to help us towards our goal of reducing our carbon footprint: Solar panels; mild-hybrid vans; recycled paper; improved waste management; remote client meetings – who knew they would take off the way they did!

We had already been monitoring our carbon footprint for three years, so we had data to check our progress against. We’ve stated we want to lead the fume cupboard industry in sustainability. Well, we’ve finished calculating our operational carbon footprint for 2020 and we’re delighted with another year-on-year reduction.

Over the last five years, Clean Air’s Scope 1&2 footprint has reduced by over 20%, whereas our turnover has increased significantly during the same period. Many clients contact us looking for a sustainable supply chain, and we can offer them evidenced actions and results.

What Is Scope 1&2?

Scope 1&2 is the simplest part of a company’s footprint to measure. It’s the electricity and fuel (gas for heating, plus petrol and diesel for company cars and vans) used by a business. It’s a simple, at-a-glance tool to see how your company is performing year on year.

In fact, it’s so easy to monitor that there’s no excuse at all for organisations not to monitor it. After all, if you don’t measure something how can you improve it?

We’ve also started monitoring Scope 3 results which include other items such as water, waste and other travel. Our Scope 3 footprint is also reducing each year.

Where Are The Carbon Reductions?

Most of 2020 was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We saw a big reduction in our sales department business mileage with the majority of meetings now being carried out remotely. This change has knocked 1.3 tonnes CO2e off the footprint. It’s definitely an area we’ll be monitoring closely once the world returns to normality.

The amount of diesel fuel used by our vans was reduced even though mileage was similar to last year. We’ve put this down to our investment in our first two mild hybrid vans and the close monitoring of our drivers’ speed. This gives us another 1.5 tonnes reduction.

Our investment in solar panels has definitely paid off. The amount of electricity bought from the grid last year was lower – over 75% of our power requirement was generated on our roof.

Unfortunately, our gas heating for the offices and factory increased. This could have been due to colder weather, or maybe because the MD was working from home so the thermostat wasn’t turned down as often!

Looking Towards Even Less Carbon at Clean Air

We know there’s further to go. We’re looking into more complex areas such as embedded carbon. And we’ve acknowledged that offsetting will probably have a part to play in reaching our coveted carbon neutral status. However, we’ll make sure we do that offsetting honestly and as sustainably as possible.

We’ll keep working on ways of reducing our carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a sustainable fume cupboard supplier, just get in touch.

To find out more about learning to become a greener company or how to measure your carbon footprint, visit The Carbon Trust.

Will Perrott

About The Author

Will Perrott - Managing Director

Will has considerable experience in the laboratory market. He has been MD of a market-leading laboratory furniture design and manufacture company for 20 years, and spent seven years with ELE International, specialising in the sales and marketing of lab equipment and environmental instrumentation

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