Sustainability has the connotation that it is only environmental related. But it isn’t. There are three pillars of sustainability:
- Economic. A slow but steady economic growth has always been the basis of Easy LMS. With each new subscription, we grow. Day by day. Month by month. Year by year.
- Social. Having a positive social impact on our employees by providing a workplace where they can feel safe and grow is also part of our DNA. And supporting our clients in their learning goals anyway. We also have long-lasting cooperation with a local rowing club, offering workshops, etc.
- Environmental. We want to have a more positive impact on the environment but didn’t succeed in making a robust action plan.
So the first two are covered. At the last pillar, we could make a significant step forward. But how do you do that as a SaaS company like ours? What do you need to take into account?
Emissions aren't emissions
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges our global world is facing these days. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions (especially CO2) to limit global warming is an agreed goal by many nations and companies. What sorts of emissions are we talking about, especially as a SaaS company that is not producing any physical goods?
- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, which doesn’t apply to Easy LMS - we don’t own any power plant. But maybe we should have our own wind turbine in the future ?
- Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. This applies to us. We can improve on that.
- Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions not included in scope 2, e.g. stemming from goods we purchase from our suppliers. Usually, the biggest levers to reduce carbon emissions lie in this scope, but they are also the hardest to calculate and reduce. This applies to us too!
So what are we actually doing to cut our scope 2 and 3 emissions and have an overall smaller impact on our environment? We stick to our mantra: small steps make a big change.
We want to take it a bit further
From green energy to separating waste
We started our challenge this winter. But we do not start from scratch, of course. In the past, we already took some steps:
- Choosing an electricity provider that offers 100% green energy.
- Our gas for heating is forest compensated gas. We want to improve on this, but it is difficult to exchange the gas heating in a rented office.
- Giving old hardware devices like PCs that still can be used to people who aren’t well off.
- Purchasing our food for lunch from organic supermarket cooperation Odin.
We are aware that these steps aren't by far enough to reach our goals. We want to take it a bit further. Therefore, we have a long to-do list with small steps. Currently, we are focussing on these three steps:
Step 1: Improving the waste separation in the office
We will separate packaging and organic waste too
We already used to separate paper and glass from general waste. Now, we will separate packaging and organic waste too. To not lose anyone in the separation jungle of 5 different bins, info sheets will explain what goes where to make waste separation as easy as possible for everyone in the office. An experiment will be to get the packaging waste collected by an electric bike from the inzamelhelden. If it’s a success, we will expand.
Step 2: Getting in contact with our suppliers
We want to get in contact with our suppliers (e.g. our server provider) to see what they do to cut their emissions, which are our scope 3 emissions. In the first place, we want to show our interest in their activities and see if they join us in our mission. In order to calculate our CO2 footprint, we might need some data from them to calculate our scope 3 emissions. We will have to see what further actions we want to take towards our suppliers.
Step 3: Increasing energy efficiency
We try to increase the energy efficiency in the office by switching all lamps to LED lamps. Seems obvious, but in a rented office, sluggishness sometimes hinders you from getting active.
With all these small steps, we want to reach our bigger long-term goal: become a CO2 neutral company! As said, this is just the beginning, many more steps will follow (soon). We will keep you updated about our journey!