13 Jan STEVEN SMITH SET TO BE CARBON NEGATIVE IN 2023
In 2022, in addition to commiting to plant a tree for every property sold,, we also began looking at what it would take for Steven Smith to be a carbon neutral estate agent.
We were challenged by the conversations taking place at the previous year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, more commonly referred to as COP26, and in particular, a quote from former Prime Minister Boris Johnson where he says, “let’s make this decade a moment of decisive change in the fight against climate change.”
Given the diversity of our office setup and the often remote nature of our work, working out what we as local estate agents need to do in order to be a carbon-neutral company isn’t a simple process but we believe that by pledging to look at doing the following we are doing the best that we can to ensure a ‘green’ future for our planet.
- Analysing our energy usage and carbon output in our office and offsetting any excess by funding tree planting and carbon offsetting projects.
- Calculating our annual mileage (including viewings and staff travel to and from work) and looking into ways of minimising this.
- Encouraging all our staff to walk, cycle and use public transport to our offices where at all possible.
- Swapping our utility providers to a green-only energy supplier in all our offices as soon as our existing contract allows.
- Only using recycled and recyclable office supplies and sundries.
- Reviewing our courier usage and using local suppliers and locally based businesses where possible.
- And by including everything else… like where does our tea and coffee come from, adopting a fix and repair ethos instead of always buying new, minimising travel and conducting online viewings, encouraging recycling in the office and cutting out excess plastic and other non-recyclable or reusable materials.
WHAT PROGRESS HAVE WE MADE SO FAR?
What we are working towards is an ongoing commitment, both as a responsible local business, but also as leaders in our communities to ensure a green future for the next generation and beyond. So far we have achieved the following:
- We have opted to source all our ‘for sale’ boards from a carbon-negative supplier, Kremer Sings, additionally, all the sale boards are produced using carbon-neutral methods and recycled materials which can be recycled into new sale boards when at the end of their usable life.
- So as to minimise travel we are actively encouraging online viewings and valuations as well as phone consultations.
- We are working with property developers and landlords to investigate ways to make future new build developments ‘green’ and more environmentally friendly both in their construction processes and for their long-term environment environmental impact.
What we have done:
What we are working on:
- Separate waste and recycling boxes in offices
- Internal lights turned off at night
- Paper used is either post or pre-consumer waste
- Donate broken/old computers and furniture
- Brochures are primarily distributed digitally
- Offering Zoom calls to minimise travel
- Putting LED lighting in place
- Electronic signatures waste and recycling boxes in offices
- Introducing environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals
- Locally sourced consumables
Managing Our Carbon Footprint
Measured in kgCO2e, our annually reported carbon output for 2022 was 13.64 tonnes.
This has been verified by the Carbon Trust and is rigorously based on our electricity and gas usage within our offices, our mileage for all office-related business including attending viewings, valuations and other related meetings including attending events etc. It also allows for carbon generated by couriers, people acting on our behalf and associated travel. It also includes staff travel to the office, however, in this instance an overestimation has been made.
Our hope is that through minimising our carbon footprint, and in turn offsetting any carbon generated, that we will have offset over 20 tonnes of carbon in our first year, meaning we will be carbon neutral within ten months, and then better still carbon negative from then on, both annually and every year.