One year ago, we published our Environmental Responsibility Programme. How did we do, and how has the Environmental Responsibility Programme changed our activities?
Our carbon footprint
One of the goals in the Environmental Responsibility Programme was halving our carbon footprint in 2021. We reached this goal already in 2020, and it was, in fact, child’s play. At the start, our carbon footprint was 55 tons CO2e, and in 2020, it was 10 tons CO2e. The greatest factor for the success was unfortunately not us, but a certain virus.
Flying has left the biggest carbon footprint. We did not fly a metre in 2020, so our carbon footprint was reduced by 60 percent compared to the previous measurement. Our events and services were also hit hard by the coronavirus. The decrease was from three tons to one ton.
Purchases were the only observed factor that went up (by +0.7 tons). Replacing our electronic equipment increased the footprint regarding this area.
Corona had no impact on energy consumption. We reduced the emissions by a little less than one ton by switching the office’s source of electricity to hydroelectric power. The majority of the emissions come from heating, so the reduction was only around 15 percent.
How would things have gone without the coronavirus?
I estimate that the final result would have been 3‒6 tons, with the carbon footprint being between 5 and 10 percent smaller. This is assuming that we would have travelled to international events as usual.
What about 2022?
2022 will presumably be the first year we will be able to take proper count. Are we going to get down to or below 27 tons CO2e? It will be possible, but challenging. There is little to cut down regarding events, food, and procurements. Vegetarian food, energy saving spaces and smart procurements may reduce the emissions by 2–3 tons.
A good 20 tons worth of reduction must come from energy and travel. There will be no expected change to heating. We will not reach the goal solely by taking direct flights. We can presume that in 2022, it will be possible to take part in international meetings online, which makes it possible to travel less.
This is incalculable, but the food served in 2020 was vegetarian, which has had a big impact. We have used recycled materials when purchasing medals, and our use of paper has been fairly insignificant. Other than that, we did not see much success in purchases when it comes to natural diversity. We are updating our procurement rules in compliance with the Environmental Responsibility Programme, so ignorance will not fly as an explanation in the future.
I am pleased with how the employees and the Board have met with the environmental measures. People have knocked on my door and asked questions about food and purchases and how they should go about regarding this or that. And so we have done. I am proud of us, and I believe that we will reach our goal in 2022!
Education and events specialist
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Page last updated 27.5.2021