8. September 2022
Julia Kriegel

Text-Book Approach in the Calculation of CO2-Emissions

Out of conviction, we took the first small steps towards our sustainability initiative VAST GREEN in 2021 as a whole VAST FORWARD team. After initial Lunch & Learns and internal surveys on our own sustainability status quo, we formulated 6 VAST GREEN principles from within the team as a foundation. Building on this, we worked with Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl to develop a sustainability strategy for VAST FORWARD. 

At the core of our strategy, we see a holistic approach that takes all three pillars of sustainability into account: Social, economic and environmental aspects should be considered for a truly sustainable development of our small organization. 

Today, the entire team is actively working in parallel working groups, as well as methodically in sprints to implement our VAST GREEN initiative.

WE DO NOT JUST COMPENSATE

We do not see carbon offsetting as a sufficient key to a more sustainable future. In order to make our contribution to meeting the UN’s 1.5 degree target, and to counteract man-made climate change to the best of our ability, real change and new strategies that go beyond offsetting CO2 emissions are important. 

However, offsetting CO2 emissions is unavoidable and therefore also part of our sustainability strategy – because of course we continue to produce CO2 emissions every day through our internal processes, e.g. by using the internet, plus we also have to take our supply chains into account when calculating our emissions.

PARTNERING

To get more clarity on our emissions, we took a close look at our supply chains in 2021. On the basis of sustainability criteria, we researched and conducted interviews with our network and customers – classifying and understanding was an important task in 2021. 

At the beginning of 2022, we started looking for a suitable partner to offset our Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions – i.e. all direct and indirect emissions. 

The offer is large yet not particularly versatile.

Today, sustainability is a business model and thus the market is bursting with offers for direct CO2 compensation. 

At first glance, the consulting offers seem to be multifaceted – looking closer, the majority of sustainability consultancies work according to the same scheme and criteria: Subscription models for consulting and technical platforms, certificate trading. Most of them have a solid offering, follow the standards of the GRI, and base their products and services on scientific findings. Yet, within the process, they do not really take into account the company seeking help – in our case, that’s exactly what we would have liked: a close look at ourselves – with the consulting knowledge on how we can optimize our actions in the long term.

TEXTBOOK APPROACH

That’s why it was difficult to choose the right partner for VAST FORWARD. In addition, many providers only calculate the CO2 emissions of the company and then offset them with the corresponding certificates. 

In our opinion, this alone is a short-term solution as offsetting alone does not bring about any change. Ideally, the emissions that a company releases should be reduced by developing, changing and optimizing supply chains and its own processes.

And this is exactly the problem: for companies like VAST FORWARD, there is no “one size fits all” solution. When we look at our numbers, as a 100% remote company we hardly release any CO2, because we don’t maintain an office, don’t commute to an office, nor do we maintain a fleet of company vehicles and hardly make any business trips. 

For the majority of sustainability consultancies, we are therefore already considered sustainable enough and would not actually need to compensate at all. 

Our ongoing implementation process with VAST GREEN is also often not included in the calculation by many providers, yet we already bring about measurable changes in the entire team – from our point of view, this is more in itself than most companies achieve with pure CO2 compensation.

HAPPY END, HAPPY BEGINNINGS

We are therefore all the more pleased to have finally found SPENOKI as a partner after long research and many initial discussions! 

SPENOKI offers its customers an intuitive software solution for holistic sustainability management and a selection of certificates for offsetting. The young, growing team from Southern Germany listened to us first and was open to our wishes and our input from the beginning. They also offered to integrate our remote structure more strongly into the product development at SPENOKI in the future. 

We believe that with SPENOKI we have found a partner that suits us because they enable us to achieve a transparent emissions calculation for our small organization and to further optimize our sustainability management in the future. 

The close contact and the monthly update calls, in which we look at our emissions reports together and identify direct pain points, are just as important as the fact that SPENOKI does not earn any money on the certificates it offers, but passes them on to its customers without a margin. 

Sustainability is certainly also the basis of SPENOKI’s business, but with a product that suits us, super transparent and with real added value!

RELATED ARTICLES

Apr 2022

VAST GREEN
A thought grown with
the team

In two of our L&L in 2020, we addressed the questions of how we can make a positive contribution on a personal level and as a company.

Apr 2022

We do not just
compensate

What is behind CO2 compensation and why are we trying to go one step further with VAST GREEN?