At AWA digital, we get out of bed every day to make buying from websites easier. Yet we must face the reality that our company, like all companies, plays a role in the story of human-caused climate change.
Rarely has there been a field with such universal consensus in the scientific and global communities as climate science; the evidence of global climate change is overwhelming and undeniable. In the past 115 years, global sea levels have risen 7-8 inches and Earth’s surface temperatures have risen 1.0°C. Currently, we are in the warmest period in the history of modern civilization. The projected effects of global climate change are wide-ranging and severe. Large swaths of the Earth will eventually become inhospitable for humans and animals alike unless immediate action is taken by those with the agency to do so.
We do not make a physical product at AWA, but as a group of like-minded people privileged to have the resources to make a difference, we believe that it is our responsibility to contribute however we can to the mitigation of global climate change and its projected impacts around the world.
To that end, we are pledging to become a carbon neutral company starting now, July 2018.
How will we achieve carbon neutrality?
Using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Standard’s three emissions scopes as a guide, we have identified the emissions associated with AWA's operations, measured in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (TCO2E). Last year, 2017, we estimate that we were responsible for 53 tonnes of emissions.
We will achieve carbon neutrality by reducing any emissions we can and purchasing carbon offsets for emissions that we cannot completely eliminate at this time.
We are taking steps internally to reduce our impact through less travel and more energy-efficient operations, as well as more intentionally choosing vendors to work with who share our values of environmental stewardship.
Additionally, we are purchasing 53 tonnes of carbon offsets through Native Energy to support a wind farm project in India. Native Energy is a leading carbon offset provider for individuals and businesses, and we have worked with them to verify the strength and legitimacy of this project.
Yet we see this as the bare minimum of our responsibility.
What else are we doing?
We also are committing to empowering our employees to live their lives more sustainably. Starting this year, AWA will give all employees a £300 budget for “personal sustainability projects”.
Johann Van Tonder, our COO will be using his budget to help reduce water consumption in his home in Cape Town, where they are facing a serious drought. Jonny Green, one of our optimisers, has used his budget on a Nest Smart Thermostat for his home.
Finally, we recognise that our environmental commitment is a promise to our neighbours in the global community we must constantly work to keep. As we grow as a business, our goal is to continue to reduce our emissions each year.
We’re proud to have made this commitment, and we encourage anyone interested in making a similar commitment to reach out with any questions you may have about our process.