Reducing our Environmental Impact 2024-01-18T08:33:07+00:00

Reducing our Environmental Impact

As a Social Enterprise committed to ending homelessness, we know that do well by people, we need to do well by the planet too: Social justice relies on environmental wellbeing.

Alongside our social purpose, we’re on a mission to reduce our environmental impact whilst delivering exceptional experiences and events. Here’s how we’re reducing our carbon emissions and working towards Net Zero.

01. Working towards Net Zero

02. Reducing carbon: what we’ve done so far and plans for 2024

03. Removing what we can’t reduce (yet)

04. Unavoidable offsets to date

05. Key documents for further reading

01. Working towards Net Zero

We’re aiming for Net Zero by 2030, and we’re working hard to reduce carbon across scopes 1, 2 and 3, with the knowledge that we must all reduce 10%+ year on year.

We have a Net Zero action plan in place which is aligned to ISO 14001 certification as part of an integrated management system 9000:1/14000:1, and which we developed whilst on Heart of the City’s ‘Climate for SMEs’ course in 2021 (a course funded by the City of London Corporation and uses methodology aligned to GHG Protocol.)

We’re a small team who meet quarterly to check in on progress and review our action plan annually. We’re proud to be on our way to Net Zero and improving data collection so that we know where our hotspots are, and we’re proud to work with clients and suppliers who are committed to supporting our drive to remove and reduce carbon too.

But the journey isn’t easy. Busy seasons and competing priorities mean that the activities we want to achieve get kicked down the road. In 2023, we had ambitions to introduce a new low-carbon pension provider, but a busy year – and a challenging one for many of the industries that we work with – meant that we couldn’t meet this ambition. We’re planning to relaunch low-carbon pensions in 2024, with the humble knowledge that things don’t always go to plan (or at least on time.)

We’re sure we’re in good company too. Every business has conflicting priorities, but we’re also in it together to drive positive climate action. Net Zero needs all of us putting in the work to achieve carbon reduction and hit our targets, whether they are 5, 10 or 15 years away.

For us, Net Zero can only happen with your support. Whether you’re a client, part of our community, a crew member or a supplier, let’s drive carbon down and hit our targets, together.

02. Reducing carbon 

Since 2020, we have been reducing our environmental impact. To date, we have:

  • Measured our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to identify carbon hotspots (2020)
  • Signed up to a 100% renewable energy tariff with Octopus (2021)
  • Introduced a Crew Carbon Levy to offset what we can’t remove yet, which over 90% of our clients participate in (2021)
  • Created and agreed a Net Zero action plan, with activities to reduce our hotspots (2022)
  • Engaged clients by communicating the carbon generated working with them (on an annual basis since 2022)
  • Introduced recycling practices and selected a new waste supplier, Greenline Environmental, to ensure waste from the office is treated appropriately and is reused and recycled and where these options aren’t possible, waste is tuned into energy to avoid landfill. (2022)
  • Launched ESG Impact Reports for projects over £5k, delivered by our sister company (2022)
  • Expanded our Environmental Policy to become our ESG Policy (2023)
  • Launched a Supplier Code of Conduct (2023)
  • Launched a crew survey to understand crew behaviour and preferences regarding travel, food consumed whilst on shift and uniform so that we can begin a crew engagement programme (2023)
  • Introduced an inventory management system for our materials so that every material has been codified with weight and key material and end of life information to help track the carbon footprint of materials used by our sister company (2023)
  • Initiated conversations about changing who we bank with and arrange our pensions through, to opt for providers that don’t invest in fossil fuel expansion (2023)

But there’s more work to do. Here are the activities we are planning to work on in 2024:

  • Using the data revealed in our crew survey, which was completed last year, to nudge positive behaviour and engage crew and office staff to make more environmentally positive choices, such as washing clothes at lower temperatures and using public transport. We’ll begin with sharing vegan recipes through our crew newsletter to mark 2024’s veganuary.
  • Exploring uniform suppliers that offer plastic free, circular or 100% recycled products
  • Introducing low-carbon pensions for our team from providers committed to investing in climate solutions and ending fossil fuel expansion.
  • Collaborating with suppliers through our new Supplier Code of Conduct to drive carbon reduction through our supply chain.
  • Keep our clients engaged with the carbon that is both removed and offset (see below) through annual reporting, and having the data available upon request too.
  • Changing our banking provider for a bank that has tangible commitments to divest from fossil fuel investment
  • Continue to drive our re-use and circularity of materials used by our sister company, up from 89.5% (achieved in 2023)

03. Removing what we can’t reduce (yet)

Whilst we’re working hard to reduce carbon generated through our operations and activities, since 2020 we’ve been removing and offsetting unavoidable carbon that’s created through our crewing activities.

Removing and offsetting isn’t the answer and it’s not our end goal. However, we’ve chosen to use it as a steppingstone to help us remove emissions that are being generated right now, whilst we work to reduce these are far as possible both in our operations and in our supply chain.

We currently offset through the We Are Albert Creative Offset Scheme which is run in partnership with Ecologi (and formerly run with Natural Capital Partners up until 2021.) The carbon we offset is created through three key crewing activities:

The value of carbon generated across these three activities per crew member, per shift, is equivalent to 6.6kg.

Our Carbon Levy

Working in partnership with our clients plays a huge role in helping to reduce the impact of the events and experiences that we help build. In 2021, we introduced our Carbon Levy; a small additional charge that’s added to our client invoices to cover the cost of removing the unavoidable carbon that’s generated by crew activities (transport, uniform and food.)

Here’s how the carbon levy is broken down:

Our data is based on taking an average crew shift that assumes a crew member travels 35km to site (equivalent to a return trip from Walthamstow to Westminster, using the tube and bus), and buys one meat meal that’s eaten during the shift.

To date, over 90% of our clients participate in our London Carbon Levy, working in partnership with us to create positive, longer-lasting change across all of our industries.

04. Unavoidable offsets so far 

We’re committed to being transparent and communicating the environmental impact of our work. From early 2023, we have made public the total amount of carbon (in tonnes) offset through our work, which we release on an annual basis.

Our journey to remove the unavoidable carbon generated through our crew’s activities began in 2020, when we removed 35 tonnes of CO2e. In 2021, we removed 79 tonnes of CO2e. We offset and removed this carbon through the We Are Albert’s Creative Offset Scheme that was partnered with Natural Capital Partners at the time.

In 2022, in partnership with our clients through our carbon levy, we removed and offset 144 tonnes of CO2e which were generated through crew activities. A further 121 tonnes was offset through our sister company. This carbon was offset via Ecologi and the We Are Albert Creative Offset Scheme and helped fund three verified carbon avoidance projects: protecting the Tambopata-Bahuaja Biodiversity Reserve in Peru, supporting solar power generation across India and a wind power project in Thailand.

We want to be proactive in not just offsetting but making a tangible difference, so alongside offsetting this carbon, we also planted 490 trees in 2022.

Finally, in 2023 we removed 172 tonnes of CO2e which were generated through crew activities, and 95 tonnes generated through our sister company.

We aim to talk more regularly about the things we’re doing to reduce our carbon emissions, and how we’re getting on with these activities – both when it goes to plan and when it doesn’t.

We’re always open to chatting about carbon – how we can reduce it through our work together, what we’re doing right now and what our plans are for the future. So, if you have any questions or you’d just like to know more, drop us a line at bookings@connectioncrew.co.uk

05. Key documents for further reading

Our Crew Carbon Levy 
Our ESG Policy
Our Supplier Code of Conduct 

Data sources used (accessed 2020)
Travel in/around London: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/health-safety-and-environment
Travel outside of London: https://www.lner.co.uk/tickets-savings/the-best-way-to-travel/our-commitment-to-the-environment/
Food on site for a medium-meat eater: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
Cradle-to-grave carbon impact of uniform: https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-news/2018/the-carbon-footprint-of-getting-dressed

We’re proud members of the following partners:

We Are Albert Supplier  Race to Net Zero logo