At Tyto, we’re following our mission of being perfect partners to our people, our clients, the communication industry as well as journalists across Europe – and last but not least to our planet. We do want to grow, but in a way that minimises our negative impact on the environment. To find out how much CO2 we are generating as a business, at the start of 2022 we launched our planet initiative and found a partner who helped us assess our climate footprint.
This is what we discovered: as an agency, we contributed 150 tons of CO2 over the entire course of 2021. This is approximately the same amount emitted as 100 commuters travelling to and from work 10-15 miles each day by car. In 2022, using the same calculation model, we contributed 167 tons.
Where did our emissions come from?
According to the leading Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol corporate standard, a company’s greenhouse gas emissions are classified into three scopes: scope 1, 2 and 3.
- Scope 1 covers any direct emissions caused by company facilities or fleets. We don’t have offices nor a fleet, so there is a big green zero in the books for us.
- Scope 2 emissions are electricity, heating, etc. that we would purchase for our own use as a company. As Tyto does not have any offices, there are no classic corporate emissions in this category.
- Scope 3 emissions are business travel, commute, leased assets (e.g., our Spaces memberships) transportation of goods (think Amazon), and purchased goods (e.g. tech). This is where all our emissions came from.
Our contribution? Investing in innovation
To win in the fight against climate change, two things are of paramount importance: carbon emissions need to be reduced massively, and we need to find ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere again. Planting trees is the obvious choice. Trees are highly efficient carbon removal machines. Trees might not be enough though. Trees take a long time to grow and therefore a long time to capture big amounts of CO2. Trees burn easily, especially in times of increasing heat. When they burn in forest fires, they release all the CO2 back into the atmosphere.
It is highly likely that we will need powerful technical solutions at scale to help arrest the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. These solutions do not exist yet, but there are pioneers in carbon capture or “air capture” technology that have built first proof of concepts. Climeworks from Switzerland is one such company. As a consultancy that works with clients who change the world every day, by means of creativity, innovation and technology, we decided that we will not compensate CO2 choosing one of the classic options, but rather by donating towards helping Climeworks develop their technology.
What Climeworks is doing
Climeworks is currently building “Mammoth” (latest progress update here), their largest direct air capture facility yet. It will be able to capture 36,000 tons of CO2 annually. While this is close to nothing when looking at the CO2 emissions of the UK (424 million tons in 2021), France (302) and Germany (678) alone, Climeworks is learning from every installation, and planning to scale to megaton and gigaton capacities. We hope that our contribution will help the company to achieve progress even faster.
What else? Travel policies and more
In addition to supporting Climeworks’ ongoing activity, we have implemented other measures to mitigate the environmental effects of our work. We won’t be able to avoid all airplane travel but decided to implement policies that help us control current and future emissions, and keep them as small as possible.
We have committed to travel by train nationally and whenever available and practical. And if we need to travel by airplane, we will be booking the airlines’ carbon emissions compensation option. Beyond this new policy and collaboration with Climeworks, we are constantly rethinking what other measures we can take to reduce the environmental impact of our business.
Looking beyond our own footprint, another possibility for us as communication professionals is to use our communication skills to support climate friendly initiatives, or motivate others to launch their own emission control and reduction projects. Any job can be a climate job (also a marketer’s, as Project Drawdown lays out here), if you think about it – and the climate will need all of us if it is to stabilise.
Unsplash, © Paul Blenkhorn