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We are delighted to say we have achieved carbon neutral status in accordance with the global PAS 2060 standard. Working with ECA Business Energy, an independent energy management advice company, we spent the last 12months evaluating the Nurture Landscapes Group’s business processes and operations. This was a lengthy task with us having several regional offices nationwide, a fleet of over 700 vehicles and a workforce of over 1250 employees, so it was a great achievement to accomplish this four years ahead of our original target date of 2025
This has now provided us the scope to focus on becoming a net zero business by 2030, reducing our total emissions year on year to reach this goal.
Our commitment to making the world a better place for future generations is not something that will happen overnight, nor without considerable investment – it is something that each of us as individuals is responsible for working towards and becoming carbon neutral is just one chapter of this story.
While we have always been mindful of the impacts our actions have on the environment, we knew there was plenty more that we could be doing as an organisation. The UK government’s 2019 target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 was one of the catalysts which spurred us on. We undertook a full carbon assessment to determine what actions would be required if we were to become net zero ourselves.
“The journey to net zero will be weaved into our DNA”
Fully aware that this would be no mean feat, we settled on 2030 as an ambitious but realistic target. To reach it would involve examining all aspects of our business, considering attributes such as the fuel powering our vehicles and equipment, through to where our uniforms are manufactured and the material they are made from. In fact, the journey to net zero will be weaved into our DNA. We will question every decision we make and every action we take to make sure it aligns with our goals and helps us on that journey.
Undertaking this process has inspired us to step up our actions even further and put in place workable targets to ensure we keep ourselves accountable. These will be reviewed on a six-month basis, helping us to stay on the right path as we continue our journey onwards towards net zero.
But what does this mean to us as a company?
It’s one thing to say what we aim to accomplish and another to show the commitment in action. Beyond what will be taking place here at our Surrey headquarters and elsewhere in the UK, we are getting fully behind carbon offsetting projects overseas.
This includes two afforestation developments in Uruguay, the implementation of a clean air zone (CAZ) and reducing deforestation in Madagascar, and finally, the CIKEL Brazilian Amazon REDD APD Project which aims to conserve an area of the rainforest and prevent the release of nearly 9,500,000 tons of CO2 over the next decade, in line with Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) certification guidance.
These are all supported by other leading names in industry, the likes of Boeing and BUPA to name just two, the schemes also align with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To us at The Nurture Landscapes Group, these projects are symbolic of how much commercial weight we are investing in the future of our planet. Each has been chosen not just because of how much money we would be required to invest, but because of the difference it will make to the region and because they draw parallels with what we are about here in the UK.
For instance, the two projects in Uruguay will see the restoration of vast areas of grassland restored from being damaged by extensive cattle grazing to deliver high-value timber, which will be a vital export and provide local people with employment, in addition to the vast amount of carbon dioxide that will be absorbed from the atmosphere.
While there are many projects we could have chosen that can be supported quite cheaply and do not require the same level of monetary investment, we were keen to get behind those that are close to our hearts, that reflect our own company ethos, and which will have lasting benefits on our planet for many years to come.
Our employees will be at the heart of driving change here at Nurture. Starting with the small acts, like adhering to our new energy policies, through to using the latest generation of battery-powered equipment, Nurture employees will become ambassadors for showcasing our carbon neutral credentials. We are also looking at our wider supply chain to see where else we can reduce our carbon imprint and the appointment of new sustainability and purchasing managers will place added focus upon us reaching our goal, making sure we source locally and ethically at all times where we can.
And last but certainly not least, there’s our customers and the communities in which they are situated. You might live near one of the greenspaces we manage or work at one of the business parks – being carbon neutral means that we are able to continue making these areas pristine in a manner that will not contribute to global warming as a result.
Naturally, there is still plenty for us to do and accomplish in our net zero ambitions. However, being granted PAS 2060 status and committing to following its criteria year-on-year is a great way to start.
Peter Fane, CEO, Nurture Landscapes Holdings Limited