Environmental Sustainability

risual is committed to being a sustainable organisation. We’ve recently been focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to help guide us on our journey – specifically Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. We have way to go but we are beginning to improve our environmental performance across all our business processes.

I thought I’d give you a little insight into some of the impacts of our business processes and why it’s important we focus on them.

As a consultancy organisation, travel plays a big part in our emissions and is our biggest area to tackle over the coming year – whether that’s from employees driving their personal petrol or diesel cars, or from taking trains or flights to get to the client’s site and stopping overnight in a hotel. With the lockdown, we saw just under an 80% reduction in our emissions caused by travelling to client site in comparison to a year without lockdown restrictions, whilst still delivering to the same high standards remotely. Whilst there will be times where we need to attend site, we are committed to ensuring this is only when required. By demonstrating the environment impacts of travelling to site to our employees but also to our clients, this will enable open conversations about the environmental benefits we can all realise from working remotely where its suitable.

We have offices in Stafford which need to be powered so we can turn the lights on and charge our laptops. We purchase supplies for those offices and use items that produce waste which could end up in landfill. We’ve been using a green energy provider for a good while now but have recently set a purchasing policy to ensure that, for all items and services purchased, we have considered it’s impacts on the environment which informs a decision around whether it should be purchased or not. Some example aims of this policy are to:
• Reduce the purchasing of items that end up in landfill
• Giving preference to items that are manufactured with a highly recycled content
• Consider the energy usage and ratings of items prior to purchase
• By local where possible to reduce the carbon footprint of items getting to the delivery address
• Favour suppliers that are committed to environmental sustainability

Cloud Services
risual use Microsoft cloud services as opposed to anything running on on-premise infrastructure which we power at our offices. Thankfully, Microsoft have a Microsoft Sustainability Calculator which allows us to understand our greenhouse gas emissions associated with cloud usage. Interestingly, through investments in energy efficiency, optimisation and renewable energy, their cloud services are provided with a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to if we have an on-premise datacentre. In fact, when we configured this calculator for risual’s environment, our emissions are reduced by 99% by using the Microsoft Cloud instead of an on-premise alternative. Check out my colleague’s blog if you’re interested in understanding this further How sustainable is your datacentre? – Risual

risual’s journey has only just begun but we have big environmental objectives and I hope to continue to share with you as we progress!

If you’re organisation hasn’t begun identifying and controlling your sources of emissions, I challenge you to get started , as the longer we wait, the more we continue to negatively impact the world we live in.

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