We are proud to be working with Red-Inc, a sustainable office supply delivery company pioneering new ways for the workplace to have a more positive impact. Read their journey to carbon neutral deliveries from CEO Adam through supporting our Cordillera Azul project in Peru.
Improvement in any aspect of life is generally hard work – to eat better, be healthy, do more – the list is endless. It all takes planning and understanding of where you are now, the obstacles and where you want to be, to make sure you are doing better in the future. Work is no different.
Despite the best intentions, a small company doesn’t always have the time or resources to tackle long term or weighty projects. Being a certified B Corp is a huge help for companies seeking to continuously improve and use business for good.
B Corp is for business what Fairtrade is for coffee. B Corps are commercial companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Perhaps the most useful area of being a certified B Corp is the rigor of the B Corp Impact Assessment. It assesses a company’s impacts from business operations from the last year and must be completed every two years where the bar for passing gradually increases over time. Through this process, companies naturally uncover various aspects to improve about how they do business to ensure they are always pushing the envelope on using business for good.
This in turn gives companies an empowering stack of information to talk about to potential clients, suppliers, to used socially, in marketing and of course to improve the business itself.
At Red-Inc, a proud B Corp, having got through the Impact Assessment once, we can’t now sit back and simply hope that we will do again. The rigour of the assessment is good, because it challenges us to do better. And I don’t know one B Corp that hasn’t set new goals for improved scores.
Understanding where you are with any project is key, and setting goals and KPI’s means you commit to hitting them – they are always present. Being a B Corp makes you accountable without a doubt. One of our targets for 2017 was to further improve on our carbon emissions and get a healthy reduction.
As a SME it can be quite hard to strike a balance, especially when you are absolutely committed to doing the best you can, but don’t have endless cash to implement some of this good stuff. Outside of our blue-sky thinking meetings, things cost money to implement!
The emissions from our deliveries sit heavy with us; they make up a whopping 56% of our company’s total emissions and are a core part of our business model! This is both good and bad. Bad that it is so much, but good that overall we are a low emissions company aside from that. We are proud that all our energy comes from 100% renewable sources.
So over the years we have organically reduced these delivery emissions just by best business practice and common sense. For example, we have reduced the number of next day’s deliveries with our smart forward-thinking clients, streamlined our routes and, by offering 100% fulfilment, we are omitting the need for second deliveries.
In our local city of Brighton and Hove we have launched project Peddle Power, whereby this congested, compact business area now receives their stationery and print via pedal Bike! However, while this works here in Brighton, and is scalable to a point, it doesn’t work for some of the larger clients we service.
So, by the start of 2017, we had gone as far as we felt we could go through planning and business operations to reduce our emissions from delivering our goods. We needed to make further reductions, but how?
The best thing we could do is change our delivery fleet. But when we last looked at this we couldn’t actually use electric vehicles due to the current models’ range and capacity. This is not to say that the future won’t bring us what we require. With a recent powerful announcement from Volvo that they will only be making electric and hybrid cars from 2019, we have hope that the commercial world will be under pressure to follow this trend and provide more solutions that are practical for business use.
This left us with offsetting our remaining emissions as a good, short term solution to implement immediately.
Whilst connecting with like-minded businesses through the B Corp UK community, we found Ecosphere+, a trusted partner that we engaged with through our common goal of “doing business for good”. Ecosphere+ enables urgently needed climate action by channelling investment into living forests. They help clients to strategically and innovatively address climate impacts by investing in sustainable land use – which can provide up to 50% of the pre-2020 climate mitigation that’s needed to meet the Paris Agreement commitments. Ecosphere+ helped us to calculate the emissions and price per mile our delivery fleet drives, an easy metric to implement.
Now, when our team sets off to deliver products to our clients, we know they are saving the threatened rainforest of the Cordillera Azul project in Peru with every mile. Each delivery helps to protect habitat for species such as the jaguar and the spectacled bear (the original Paddington Bear!), support local smallholder farmers develop livelihoods that work with the forest rather than against it and make critical emissions reductions by halting deforestation in the Amazon.
So far, in 2017, we have protected nearly 1900 trees!
Our deliveries are now carbon neutral because we believe in taking responsibility for our impacts and we understand that even in areas where we can’t reasonably reduce the actual activity it is still ours to own. By working with Ecosphere+, we are able to not only continuously improve our business through reducing our harmful impacts but we are actually making a positive social and environmental impact on the world and helping to provide a solution to some of the world’s major challenges – climate change and the loss of our global forests. This is how we are living out our mission to be a business that is #positivelydifferent.
Are you looking for office supplies that are the best for you and for the environment? Check out Red-Inc today.