A drive to reduce carbon emissions – from commuting to water and paper usage – has led to an award for New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
All measured resources, other than gas, fell over a three-year period and the 68% fall in the LEP’s carbon footprint earned it silver accreditation from Investors in the Environment (iiE).
Organisations must show they have met a range of pre-defined criteria, set targets to cut their environmental impact and taken action to improve performance, while enhancing the communities in which they operate. This evidence is presented at an annual audit.
A report from iiE said the LEP had achieved a 94% reduction in commuter mileage and an 86% cut in staff mileage between the financial years 2019-2020 and 2021-2022, clear evidence of the impact of Covid. Usage of water had dropped by 24%, electricity by 1% and paper by 100%. Only gas usage was in the red – rising by 65% – the flipside of the shift towards remote working precipitated by the pandemic.
Overall, the LEP’s carbon footprint was reduced by 68%, giving it a score of 72% and silver accreditation.
The LEP, which works with businesses, local authority partners and education institutions to drive growth and enterprise in Norfolk and Suffolk, won praise for its “outstanding work” on collating data using SmartCarbon, the updating of its environmental policy, the creation of green champions, and the use of a dedicated TEAMS chat to highlight sustainability issues.
“This action not only provides a dedicated channel for sharing updates but for collating responses and encouraging good staff engagement which will embed positive behaviour change,” said the report.
Sustainability training sessions were also developed and delivered for staff and a volunteering day was organised to maintain woodland in Suffolk.
Ellen Goodwin, the LEP’s Infrastructure Manager who led on the work, said she was delighted with the silver accreditation. “This has been a real team effort from colleagues. By measuring and recording our carbon output and putting an environmental policy in place, we have been able to demonstrate our credentials and make some real progress on our journey to net zero.”
For tips about how your business can reduce its carbon footprint, visit https://newanglia.co.uk/clean-growth-for-business/