Onze eerste koolstofvoetafdruk (2020)
Why calculating our carbon footprint?
It is not a surprise: we must drastically reduce our CO2 emissions if we want to limit global warming to 2°C in the future. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), to achieve this goal, global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2050. For this to happen, the whole of society, including companies, must be mobilised. We have decided at Move&Rent to act on our own scale, with the aim of limiting our CO2 emissions. The first step was to calculate our carbon footprint.
Indeed, knowing our carbon footprint allows us:
- To be able to measure and quantify the direct and indirect CO2 emissions caused by our activity;
- To become aware of our impact on the environment and to raise awareness among all the company's stakeholders;
- To adopt improvement measures to try to limit our CO2 emissions despite our future development.
Back to the past: in 2020
Let's go back in time to give some context to our carbon footprint calculation. 2020 was, like everyone else, a special year. Firstly, our team has grown from 6 to 10 people (we now have 18 employees). At the same time, our activity, like many others, was impacted by the pandemic, preventing us from operating from mid-March to mid-May. Our activity then restarted gradually, before the whole team returned in mid-June, working from home or from the office. The figures we obtained therefore reflect an atypical year.
Carrying out our carbon assessment
Today, in 2021, the calculation of the carbon footprint is only mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees in France. As we are obviously not in this case, our approach is totally voluntary, like most of the other companies that have signed the Climate Act. By signing the Climate Act in June 2021, alongside 295 other companies (at the time of publication), we have committed to measuring our 2020 carbon footprint, sharing the conclusions of this assessment and defining the areas of action for the future.
To assist us in carrying out this carbon footprint, we used the Carbo solution, which, in addition to being intuitive and providing us with a responsive team, includes scopes 1, 2 and 3. But what do these famous scopes include, which are essential to become aware of the extent of the emissions linked to our activity?
- Scope 1 = the CO2 emissions for which we are directly responsible;
- Scope 2 = indirect and energy-related emissions;
- Scope 3 = all the rest = indirect emissions, upstream and downstream of our activity.
Today, only scopes 1 and 2 are mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees in France. However, scope 3 can represent, for example, 95% of the CO2 emissions linked to a company's activity! We wanted the carbon footprint to be as complete as possible and it seemed essential to us to include the 3 scopes.
The results of our carbon assessment
From January to December 2020, Move&Rent's activity resulted in the emission of 80 t of CO2 equivalent.
A first observation: this represents about 6 tCO2e per employee. When we know the CO2 emission objectives for 2050, which are 2 tCO2e/person including personal and professional life, we still have a long way to go!
Then, when we looked at the results, we had a few surprises. Commuting, support functions (administrative, accounting, legal, etc.) and external communication together account for 60 tCO2e, or 75% of our CO2 emissions. We did not expect such results.
One third of our total emissions concern our home-work commute, despite teleworking and successive confinements. Indeed, almost all of us live close to the office but we all come by car. External travel was almost non-existent in 2020, limiting emissions other than commuting.
The majority of CO2 emissions from external communication are related to online advertising. This still represents 17.5% of our total emissions: we had absolutely no idea that it polluted so much!
We also noticed the impact of our meals, and our meat consumption in particular, since 10% of our total emissions are related to our lunchtime meals.
Despite these few surprises, we also had some good news:
Customer deliveries account for 'only' 7.5% of our total CO2 emissions. We have succeeded in limiting CO2 emissions during deliveries to our customers thanks to the optimisation of last-mile logistics: 74% of our deliveries are made within 30km of our furniture assembly areas. Our products are put back into circulation at the end of the contract within the same perimeter.
Deliveries from our suppliers emit only 0.3 tCO2e: the transport of furniture by truck from the manufacturing plants emits relatively little CO2 when compared to each product transported.
Our digital footprint is rather small as the emissions generated by the electricity consumption of our devices, our networks and servers hosting our data represent "only" 0.5 tCO2e, i.e. less than 1% of our total emissions.
The limits of our carbon assessment
We wanted this carbon footprint analysis to be as complete as possible, but some of the data is imprecise. For example, a quarter of our emissions are linked to external support service providers (administrative, legal, accounting, etc.). They are calculated according to monetary ratios provided by ADEME (the French Agency for Ecological Transition) which, while they try to be as close to reality as possible, are still imperfect. When our partners carry out their own carbon assessment, we will be able to propose even more precise figures.
Remote working has become a habit for many of us. However, while it allows us to limit transport-related emissions, those related to the energy consumption of our personal accommodation increase and are not included in this carbon footprint.
Our areas of improvement
Although 2020 was a very special year, we will use this carbon footprint assessment as a basis for comparison for the 2021 footprint. Since the end of 2020, the team has almost doubled in size. The challenge will therefore be to avoid an explosion of CO2 emissions linked to our activity despite our expansion! We therefore hope to reduce (or at least maintain) this figure of 6 tCO2e/employee for 2021.
To achieve this, we have set ourselves several targets for progress:
Acting on the emissions linked to our home-work journeys: we are going to implement levers to develop coming to work by bike, two wheels and carpooling.
Involving our partners: because of our activity, we work with many service providers and suppliers. We will better formalise with them our sustainable commitment. We will also encourage them to carry out their own carbon assessments to obtain more accurate data.
Develop an easily identifiable offer of eco-responsible and short circuit furniture rental: we currently have eco-responsible furniture in our catalogue. We are going to think about better promoting them and expanding this category of furniture.
Continue to optimise last-mile logistics, by seeking out "clean" transport providers.
Use reconditioned IT equipment when possible.
Switching to an energy supplier that supports renewable energy: this was done a few months ago, we joined Ilek!
This first carbon footprint analysis made us want to unite our ecosystem around concrete actions and to ensure that our partners also get involved. Individual actions in this fight are almost insignificant, but, like hummingbirds, we are trying to do our part and we believe in the strength of the collective. 2021 and 2022 will tell us if our efforts have paid off!
If you too would like to embark on the carbon footprinting adventure, do not hesitate to contact Morgane, our Sustainable Development Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about our commitment to sustainable development, go here.