Pure Planet commits to offset employees’ commuting carbon emissions

Steven Day Pure Planet

Renewable energy supplier Pure Planet has launched a new initiative to offset the carbon emissions created by its employees’ daily commutes.

The Zero Commute policy, implemented in October 2019, aims to underline the organisation’s commitment to building a more sustainable and green environment. The programme also aligns with Pure Planet’s Zero Hero campaign, which celebrates individuals helping to reduce carbon pollution.

To action the new policy, Pure Planet surveyed its 80 members of staff to discover how they travel to work as well as the distance of their commute; some staff, for example, cycle or walk to work, while others travel more than 40 miles by car.

This information was used to calculate the total carbon emissions for the workforce’s collective commute, which equated to 480 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. To counterbalance this, Pure Planet is using carbon credits purchased in the Amazon rainforest; the organisation expects to undertake this offset process at least annually.

A carbon credit, or carbon offset, is a credit for greenhouse emissions removed from the atmosphere by an emission reduction project, which can be used to compensate for the emissions generated by an organisation or government body.

Moving forward, new recruits will be asked about their commute when they join the business, so that this can be added to the total.

The data from the Zero Commute policy will be used as a baseline, to help the organisation monitor and ultimately reduce its impact.

Pure Planet offers a number of employee benefits that are also designed to encourage staff to maintain a greener lifestyle. This includes offering interest-free train season tickets and discounted bus tickets, as well as a bikes-for-work scheme.

The organisation also provides an electric-only company car policy, promotes car sharing for those that live in rural areas and offers flexible and home working options.

The Zero Commute policy was communicated to staff in September 2019 via briefings, and employee feedback has been used throughout the design and adoption process.

Steven Day (pictured), co-founder at Pure Planet, said: “Pure Planet is a progressive, climate-positive business. This means constantly challenging ourselves to find new ways to lower our own emissions in the global effort to tackle climate change and to get Britain to net zero CO2 as soon as possible and no later than 2050.

“Carbon offsetting our teams’ commutes makes sense. We expect staff to travel to work to offer renewables to our members. But, that can cause emissions. So, it’s only right that we offset those emissions.

“It’s not an excuse though. We don’t want people using their cars more. We are still encouraging our team to make greener choices, including on their daily commute, and will work hard to get that emission level down. We’re committed to a carbon neutral future powered by fresh, clean renewables and a sustainable future.”