Environmental Sustainability Policy

Date of this document:
15 May 2018

This document sets out our environmental sustainability policy. We offer it as a record for ourselves, for comment and criticism by others and in the hope that it may inspire similar initiatives elsewhere.

 
 Ed Hawkins' Climate Spiral - Global temperature averages each month for 167 years. Click through for more info.

Ed Hawkins' Climate Spiral - Global temperature averages each month for 167 years. Click through for more info.

 

Introduction

The healthy and pleasant environment we currently enjoy is not something we can take for granted.

Climate change caused by excessive CO2 emissions, over-consumption of resources, environmental degradation and species loss all pose growing and imminent threats.

Unless we collectively take serious and concerted action now our children and grand-children will face existential challenges in many dimensions. They will not thank us for our complacency.

Time to wake up!

Cogapp is committed to playing its part and encouraging others to do the same.

Please feel free to adapt this policy for your own situation and, if you do, please let us know how you get on so we can compare notes.

Our Policy

Our policy is to do what we can to help reduce and, if possible, reverse the effects of, excess CO2 emissions, over-consumption of resources and related threats to our environment and influence others to do the same.

  • We will put this policy into effect using an OODA loop: Observe; Orient; Decide; Act repeat.

  • We will observe and measure our environmental impact and our progress with this programme.

  • We will orient through research; investigating ways to reduce, re-use, recycle and offset our own footprint.

  • We will take practical steps to follow through on what we learn. 

  • We will also try to have a wider impact by supporting third-party initiatives and encouraging our clients and associates to adopt similar aims and policies.

  • We will meet regularly to maintain progress and to keep moving round the loop.

Progress to Date

We have established a three person team with authority and resources to develop, run and evolve this programme.

Measurement

We have measured, at a high level, our energy usage and resource consumption.

 
 
 
 

Natural Gas

Electricity

Flights

Other factors

2017 Total

7.1 tons of CO 2 equivalent

1.3 tons of CO 2 equivalent

6.5 tons of CO 2 equivalent

negligible (road, rail travel etc)

14.9 tons of CO 2 equivalent

Note: we initially thought that we might need to commission a consultant to help us measure our energy usage but the advice we have received is that for a relatively small and straight-forward organization like ours it isn’t necessary and the online calculators are reasonably reliable.

We have researched ways to reduce our energy usage, to improve our sources of supply and to offset what we can not eliminate.

Initial actions

Based on our observations and research we have taken the following actions: 

  • Improved passive climate control in our studio: insulation to reduce winter heating costs and solar-film to reduce cooling costs.

  • Moved our electricity and gas supply to a green energy supplier. In our case we have moved to Ecotricity.

  • Continued to encourage sustainable travel particularly via take-up of our cycle-to-work scheme and use of public transport for all regular travel to meetings.

  • Reviewed our international travel plans to minimize use of air travel.

  • Selected three carbon offset programmes and purchased carbon credits to offset all our emissions on each one. These have a range of integrated ecological and social benefits:

  • Even if only one of these schemes is effective (and as far as we know they all are) based on our calculations and projections (including a large margin for error) we will have more than fully offset our 2018 emissions. 

  • Continued to recycle as much as possible using an established local supplier. In our case we use Brighton Paper Round

Next steps

Raise consciousness internally by circulating and discussing this policy at company meetings.

Write up, circulate to clients and associates and encourage them to join us. 

Schedule a regular sequence of meetings to keep moving round the OODA loop.

Comments and suggestions

If you have any comments or suggestions please let us know using the form on our Contact us page.  We would love to hear from you. 


Designers Accord

In formulating our policy we are grateful for the inspiration and example of others including, notably, Designers Accord.

Led by Valerie Casey, Designers Accord was created in 2007 as a five-year project to mainstream sustainability in the global creative community.

  • Designers Accord proposed five principles for participating organizations to adopt: 

    • Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.

    • Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with each and every client. Rework client contracts to favor environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.

    • Undertake a program to educate our teams about sustainability and sustainable design.

    • Consider our ethical footprint. Understand the impact of our organizations – from operations to output – and work to measure and manage it on an ongoing basis.

    • Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

Our policy has been inspired by these principles.