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World Environment Day: How we’re making a real difference

| Sally-Anne Hurn | 5 June 2024

As countries around the globe celebrate and mark World Environment Day, we’re reflecting on the role we play in supporting the natural environment.

Having become one of the largest accountancy groups in the Midlands, we’re making a conscious effort to do everything we can to have a greater positive impact on the world around us. Our people care about the environment and the areas in which they live and work and always aspire to get involved in supporting the natural world as much as possible.

We’re determined to reduce our emissions and build a more sustainable future for our business, the local community and our planet - but just how are we doing this?

ESG targets

To help us lessen our impact on the environment, we have set ourselves a number of ESG targets across all aspects of the business.

These are:

  • To work with carbon emissions consultants to achieve net zero status for the Duncan & Toplis group
  • To work towards B Corp Status
  • To provide ESG advice and support to clients
  • To develop our Sustainability Project Group further by introducing more initiatives for team members to take part in
  • To develop the role of our Sustainability Champion and recruit more team members to assist
  • To increase reporting on sustainability matters across the company on an ongoing basis
  • To make a commitment to implementing Sustainable Development Goals by January 2025
  • To better promote our environmental pension schemes to team members
  • To implement sustainable stationery across all locations and phase out the use of paper business cards by December 2024

By implementing these targets, we have given ourselves measurable goals that will allow us to track our commitment to sustainability.

'On the Road to Net Zero'

Setting a target is a good start but we’re making sure that this is more than just words. We’re making firm commitments and taking decisive action to achieve these goals.

We have set ourselves the ambitious target of reducing and compensating for our greenhouse gas emissions, as part of a five to eight-year journey to become completely net zero as a business.

This would mean that, as a whole, our total carbon emissions are equal to or less than the carbon emissions we offset.

Our commitment to net zero has been accredited by sustainability platform Net Zero Now which has certified that we are officially ‘On the Road to Net Zero’. The formal recognition came after we signed up for the platform’s Net Zero Accountancy Initiative and made a series of green commitments to start the journey to eliminating our overall carbon footprint.

These commitments include:

  • Completing an annual carbon footprint calculation
  • Taking action to achieve targets to support restricting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees
  • Compensating for residual emissions
  • Agreeing to publish greenhouse gas emissions data

We have calculated our greenhouse gas emissions to help us focus our efforts so they will have the greatest impact. Currently, the majority are produced by utilities, transport, IT and goods and services so, in order to reduce this as much as possible, our targets will be predominantly focused on reducing greenhouse gases in these key areas.

Sustainability Project Group

Our Sustainability Project Group was founded to work on different initiatives for our team members to take part in. The group is spearheaded by myself, the Sustainability Champion, and I'm responsible for monitoring our ESG position and working with the group to build their skills - so they can help clients with their own ESG policies.

One of the group’s initiatives included enhancing the garden areas at Melton in Leicestershire, to make it more attractive to wildlife and encourage more to live there. To do this, we created a wildflower meadow and added more insect-attractive plants, as well as relocating the bird boxes in the hope they would be used more.

In addition to this, some of our team members are involved in monthly litter-picking activities and we are planning to introduce more eco-friendly, sustainable stationery for the business. This includes but is not limited to, pens, notebooks, pencils, paper and diaries. Digital business cards will also replace paper business cards to reduce our paper usage.

And we’re also committed to helping our team members reduce their own environmental impact. Presently, we are researching options for environmental pension schemes which we hope to offer to all our team members, helping everyone increase their own positive impact on the environment.

We’re passionate about making a difference and are perfectly placed to do so. We’re very proud of the work we’ve done so far, but we’re only just getting started and can’t wait to continue the journey.

To find out more, you can read our ESG Impact Report here.

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