What is Sustainability ?
Climate change is one of the most urgent global issues of our time. While HighNet is not a major emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has a limited direct environmental impact, we have an important role to play in setting industry standards and demonstrating best practices. Our efforts to enhance our environmental performance and reach net-zero are described in this policy. In addition to our corporate commitments, we strive to support our own clients in their journey to net-zero through better understanding of scope 3 emissions in their IT related supply chain. We are committed to improving our environmental performance and to leveraging our expertise, resources, and values to drive system-wide change for better business, better lives, and better solutions.
In practice, what are we actually doing? Verified Carbon Neutral
The race to Net Zero has led to a massive amount of confusion and disinformation on what exactly the “right thing to do” is, with many well intended schemes competing for the limelight. At HighNet, we believe the immediate goal for us should be to achieve verified Carbon Neutral status, to the BSI PAS 2060:2014 specification. Once that is done most other objectives tend to fall into place as this provides the framework for a longerterm net-zero journey.
HighNet began a companywide commitment to this goal in May 2022 through the engagement of a professional carbon partner, Auditel. Working with Auditel our internal environmental team of stakeholders aim to become verified Carbon Neutral in Q1 2023.
Verified Carbon Neutral is achieved by following a simple 4 step process over 12 months.
Step 1: Measure the current footprint of the entire group, including all material scope 3 emissions such as employee commuting, business travel, inbound and outbound distribution. Of consideration will be the Carbon Footprint associated with the hardware products delivered and fitted for customers which make up circa 20% of revenue. We are currently 3 months into a detailed and thought carbon inventory which is being produced to meet PAS 2060:2014 requirements using Green House Gas Protocols Accounting standard. This detailed inventory is scheduled be complete in Q4 2022 using the 2021/22 financial years as our accounting period.
Step 2: Carbon Reduction Projects will then be identified and planned based on the emissions identified in the footprint report
Current projects already implemented include:
- Solar PV installation at our head office and data centre locations
- Companywide communication about our goals and journey to encourage behavioural change
- Cycle to work scheme to reduce commuter miles
Future projects under consideration include:
- Investment in a Scottish solar farm
- Replacement of engineering vans with EV’s
- 100% green energy procurement policy
- Increased use of MS Teams for virtual meetings to reduce business travel
- Flexi-working/homeworking policy to reduce commuter miles
Planning of further decarbonisation projects is scheduled for Q4 2022, once our detailed carbon inventory is completed.
Step 3: Offset the remaining emissions through the purchase & retirement of high-quality voluntary carbon credits.
Step 4: Verification of all the work in steps 1 to 3 to PAS 2060:2014 specifications by a UKAS certified accreditation body (similar to having an ISO verified)
Making low carbon a way of life Beyond the goal of becoming formally recognised as Carbon Neutral, we will also:
- promote responsibility for the environment within the organisation and communicate and implement this policy at all levels within the workforce;
- reduce the use of energy, water and other resources; • minimise waste by reduction, re-use and recycling methods;
- comply with all relevant environmental legislation/regulation;
- ensure that our policies and services are developed in a way that is complimentary to this policy;
- not prioritise funding needs ahead of sustainability requirements;
- encourage our clients and suppliers to commit to the sustainable development philosophy;
- identify and provide appropriate training, advice and information for staff and encourage them to develop new ideas and initiatives
- provide appropriate resources to meet the commitments of this policy; and
- promote and encourage involvement in local environmental initiatives/schemes.
This action plan is available to all staff on our intranet site and has been drawn to their attention. Senior Management awareness will be raised by briefing at the Executive Group and Leadership Group meetings. We have formed an internal environmental working group headed by co-founder Ralph Gilbert. This working group has stakeholder representation from various relevant departments of the business including finance, HR, Marketing, Procurement, Facilities Management and Senior Leadership.
We are committed to:
- Making our Environmental Sustainability Policy publicly available and actively communicating it to our employees
- Encouraging environmental awareness through employee training and education programs
- Engaging with stakeholders on HighNet environmental performance and providing transparency through an array of sustainability reports due to be produced following our embedding of PAS 2060:2014 verification
- Supporting environmental projects with corporate philanthropy.