This significant decrease in emissions was achieved mostly through lower electricity and natural gas usage combined with a reduction in business-related travel. Together these areas accounted for more than 70% of the Newark office’s carbon footprint. In 2017 alone they have achieved a reduction of circa 20 tonnes in carbon emissions.
Aspiring to build on the efficiencies realised this year, RPS are targeting a goal of a further 5% reduction in emissions during the next 12 months.
By achieving The Planet Mark Certification, the office has protected 3 acres of rainforest in total. One acre of protected rainforest translates to: 240 trees protected; 245 types of animals sheltered; 260 tonnes of stored carbon; 2960 people supported; 22 endangered species protected; and 76,000 litres of water produced annually.
On presenting their award, Steve Makin, CEO & Founder of The Planet Mark commented: “What’s exciting about working with RPS is that not only are they tackling sustainability locally in their Newark office, they are translating this commitment to every customer and every project that they work with. A 14.3% reduction in their fifth year of carbon footprint reporting is testament to RPS’ commitment to improving their sustainability performance.”
To drive further reductions, The Planet Mark has recommended that RPS conduct an energy audit in their Newark Office, to identify where wastage is occurring. To aid this initiative the collection of monthly meter readings will be essential, ensuring that the audit is based on accurate information. Alongside energy wastage, the recommendations also include a switch to recycled paper, with increased access to recycling bins in the workplace. Travel efficiencies can also be achieved by encouraging the use of public transport whenever feasible and by training staff to drive as fuel efficiently as possible.
Andy Childs, Senior Director at RPS, commented: “we are very proud of the efforts of the office and in particular the staff who all contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. We are supported in this by our own Green Team, an internal group of staff who provide help and ideas so that we can improve further. It is amazing what can be achieved with a little enthusiasm”.
That fact the Newark office achieved a significant decrease in their carbon footprint despite growing their workforce demonstrates the company’s clear commitment to the sustainability agenda. We are confident RPS will take this level of resolve forward into the next year of carbon reporting and we look forward to seeing them build on the successes of these past 12 months.
The Planet Mark is an internationally recognised and trusted sustainability certification programme, recognising commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Partnered with the Eden Project, The Planet Mark contributes 5% of all certification fees to the award-winning visitor attraction. Each certification also comes with 12 free tickets to The Eden Project, encouraging organisations to learn more about climate change and the importance of biodiversity.
The first year of certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders. In subsequent years, holders of The Planet Mark have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year. The average absolute carbon reduction achieved by holders is 4% per annum and 12% per employee per annum.