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Climate Neutral Now

They say the first step is the most important. SME’s looking to take that first step measuring their carbon footprint often don’t know where to start, have no road map, or even a pair of shoes in place to take that step. Couple that with the loud rhetoric and finger pointing at businesses that they are all failing the planet and SME’s can be left feeling overwhelmed by the task. Even if they do manage to find a start line, a map and some shoes would it even make a dent in the enormity of the issue?

Yes it would make a dent! Collectively SME’s are enormous. At the start of 2021 there were over 5.5 million SME’s in the UK ( 0-49 employees.) SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector. If SME’s all measured their carbon footprint, introduced reduction targets and in the meantime off set their carbon it would be a massive shift in the UKs carbon footprint. The problem for most SME’s is getting to the start line, finding a map and putting on the right shoes.

When Workbench started to define its footprint in 2020, it was tough to find independent information. First port of call was The Carbon Trust, who were very communicative but unable to help us due to our size and their workload. A Google search produced many companies that offered various foot printing products but without any knowledge of the process or any independent information it was difficult to work out how to assess the quality of those services.

Fortunately ISOQAR the certification body for the Workbench ISO14001 accreditation were able to assist. We were able to start a dialogue with a company that work with the United Nations Climate Neutral Now initiative and gave independent advice. Thier team also specialised in carbon footprinting for SME’s! We were on the start line with a SAT NAV and new trainers.

Defining Scope 1,2 and 3 is a big task for any company but SME’s are normally agile and have good sight of the information that needs to be measured. It is daunting but our advice is, JUST TAKE THAT FIRST STEP. It has been a 14 month journey for us that has highlighted many interesting observations about our supply chain as well as starting collaborative initiatives going forward.

Workbench is the first UK office furniture company to be listed on the United Nations Climate Neutral Now website, our carbon footprint audit has been certified by a 3rd party. You can read more about our journey, our carbon neutrality and our reduction targets on the Workbench Climate Neutral webpage. Measuring our footprint and our listing on the United Nation Climate Neutral Now initiative is just the first step….new trainers please!👟


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