workbench climate neutral initiative
climate neutral now
This is the second year we have calculated and reported our carbon footprint, and listed our report on the United Nations website. Workbench is carbon neutral for year 2021-2022 having reduced our carbon intensity by 10% during the year, offsetting the entire remaining footprint [link].
We were the first UK office furniture company to measure and list our carbon footprint publicly on the United Nations website as we believe that unless our clients know our current carbon footprint it is impossible to substantiate claims of year-on-year carbon reductions.
What did we measure?
Working with the United Nations Climate Neutral Now, we have measured our complete carbon footprint and have defined scope 1, 2 and full scope 3 of the Green House Gas Protocol for our entire operation including all the products we design and manufacture.
Defining scope 1 and 2 is reasonably straight forward. Scope 3 is often described as the “the big one” and that is because it is. Scope 3 encompasses emissions that are not produced by Workbench itself, but by those that we are indirectly responsible for, up and down our value chain. For Workbench this means calculating the carbon for every component, material, the energy required including human energy, for every product we supply during the year. We have to work closely with our supply chain to measure timbers, core board, metal tube, sheet metal, glass, electrics, fixings, labour in fabrication, labour installation, accounting, software, banking, insurance the list goes on.
scope 3 encompasses emissions that are not produced by workbench itself, so we calculate a carbon value for every material used, including those from our supply chain
What are our targets?
We started on our net zero journey by calculating our foot print from 2020-2021 and set the target of reducing our carbon intensity by 7%. We have achieved over a 9% reduction in our carbon intensity for the year 2021-2022. We would love to say that we will do that year on year however after the first measure it was easy to see how we could make meaningful reductions with reasonably simple changes. This next year we can see that we will need to drill down further into our process and supply chains to find reductions some of which may take years to start to deliver.
So, what next in our carbon reduction journey?
We have our net Zero plan in place with the aim to be Net Zero by 2040. We aim to make a reduction of 3% in next year. It has been hard for us to see how, for example, we will reduce the carbon footprint for the materials we use in our products significantly in the near future. This is where a large portion of our carbon production is attributed, and we are already specifying European FSC timbers and European steel which are some of the lowest carbon options for those materials. This is why measuring is so important to Workbench as it has given us a clear picture what changes we need to start making now to be able to achieve significant carbon reduction in future years. We are including in the design of our product the ability for the client to reuse the parts and materials at the end of its service. While this will not reduce our footprint now, in five plus years as products come to the of their life there could be meaningful carbon reduction in our material use if clients chose to let the product ‘Workbeyond‘ for their new requirement and Workbench can reuse and refinish existing materials. Workbeyond is in its infancy, but we have recognised it is critical to reducing our material carbon footprint in years to come and in doing so achieving Net Zero.
The ongoing achievements of our carbon neutral journey...
Workbench is carbon neutral for year 2021-2022 having reduced our carbon intensity by 10% during the year, we have offset the entire remaining footprint by investing in Project 2936 : 24 MW Bhilangana – 111 Hydro Power Project [link], full project outline [link].
This project provides a wealth of opportunities socially, economically, as well as environmentally. By providing energy to areas previously without, along with jobs, infrastructure and training, the project will aim to ‘adhere to and contribute to India’s national policy of providing clean energy’, which benefits all nations.
Workbench is a leading British designer and maker of furniture and bespoke joinery and we are recognised by our industry for the way we manage and minimise the environmental impacts of our activities, products and services.
To achieve this, we operate a UKAS accredited environmental management system to the ISO 14001:2015 management system standard.
To support this, we are committed to:
Consider the full life cycle impact of the products that we design and manufacture so that they have the least long-term environmental impact, balanced against our customers specific requirements.
Protect the environment and prevent pollution through using processes, techniques, materials, products, services or energy to avoid the creation of any type of pollutant or waste.
Work proactively with our suppliers to understand and where possible reduce the environmental aspects and impacts of the products we produce.
Take these impacts into account when deciding which suppliers to use.
Wherever possible specify FSC or PEFC “Chain of Custody” timber.
Manage our office show room as an exemplar of best environmental practice.
Set ongoing environmental objectives and programmes, to continue to improve our environmental management system and enhance our environmental performance.
Comply with all applicable legislation, regulations or other requirements relating to our activities and the environment.
Have clearly defined environmental responsibilities for each member of staff.
Proactively develop our own organisational knowledge on environmental issues which we will share with customers, suppliers and other interested organisations.
Review the suitability of this policy annually.