In spring 2020, Elevate committed to the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative to implement sustainability principles. As part of that commitment, we resolved to report annually on our progress to support public accountability and transparency. A year has passed, and an update is in order.
To establish a baseline for the work ahead, we recently completed our first Environment Impact Assessment, measuring our total carbon footprint emitted by type, overall water and electricity consumption, and generation of ordinary waste and e-waste (waste from electronic appliances and equipment). We are not involved in manufacturing, mining or other typically carbon-intensive and environmentally damaging activities. Moreover, as a company that, including in 2019, was fully committed to WFH and video conferencing well before COVID, we expected that the analysis would find relatively minimal environmental impacts from our operations.
The report revealed that, in actuality, we have significant room for reducing our carbon footprint, especially around our employees’ commuting and business travel. In 2019 – the most recent year for which we have complete data – we commuted collectively approximately 6 million kilometres, and our travel footprint equalled the CO2 captured by 160 football fields’ worth of trees. These findings were especially surprising since we implemented widespread remote working and work-from-home well before COVID lockdowns forced other companies to do so.
In light of these findings, we have identified changes and strategic shifts to mitigate our environmental impact. Based on these efforts, we have resolved to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, with the “reach” goal of achieving neutrality in 2021.
We know many companies that have already committed to sustainability. We hope that even more, in our and our customers’ industries, will follow suit and begin assessing the impact of their activities, identifying ways to improve, and taking meaningful action towards the UN Global Compact’s sustainability goals. Every bit helps, and together we can make a tremendous impact for the sake of our communities and, indeed, the entire world.
Based on our efforts at reducing our carbon generation, we have resolved to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, with the “reach” goal of achieving neutrality in 2021.