HyphenEarth – our attempt at helping to save the world

At Hyphen8 we are becoming more and more conscious of the impact that we are having on the planet – and think that there’s something each of us can do to work towards preserving our Earth.

We recently formed an action group at Hyphen8 to explore how we can work as a company to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve negative carbon emissions.

My initial thoughts as a homeworker were that our carbon emission must already be pretty low…and that there wouldn’t be much to it. But – having researched the topic thoroughly – it turns out us homeworkers have a long way to go if we really want to make a change.

Our journey has only just begun and we’re going to start by understanding what impact we’re really having – and then making the small changes to our daily habits. Starting small goes a long way in creating a sustainable and environmentally beneficial workplace (or workhomes)!

Understanding our current impact

Since we’re a reasonably small organisation, with less than 40 employees, we’ve decided to tackle the task of estimating our carbon emissions internally. We’ve found lots of useful tools and resources to help us do this, including the NET ZERO Toolkit and the Homeworking Emissions Whitepaper.

A simple way to start, for us, is by conducting a quick colleague survey to get a better view of what kinds of energy people are using during their working day at home. This can range from the type of laptop they have, to the frequency that they use lights and heating in their working spaces. From there, we can calculate an estimate of our baseline carbon emissions and set some targets for our organisation to reduce emissions and work towards a negative emission target.

Our tips for reducing everyday emissions

We’ve shared some tips with our colleagues to get us started on our journey towards lower carbon emissions – we wanted to share them with you too!

  1. Meat-free Mondays: reducing meat and dairy products from your diet can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by 73%! So we’re going to take baby steps and encourage our team to go meat-free one day a week
  2. Minimise your heating use by wrapping up and using heating controls: On those cold winter days it’s tempting to turn the heating dial up high and be cosy at your desk, but using heating controls can help to minimise the power that you use…and better still, working from home for most of us means that work attire is more flexible, so grab your familiar old hoody or a blanket!
  3. Set up workspaces in a naturally lit environment: not possible for everyone, but having your desk next to a window or glass door will minimise your need to switch your lights on….and save you money on bills!
  4. Turn off laptops and devices: an obvious one…but many of us have been guilty of not turning off our devices for fear that we will have to start again the next day…but we are reminding ourselves that modern technology allows us to pick up from where we left off – even when you click that power off button
  5. Fill your kettle with as much as you need (no more!): The more water…the more power…so when it’s time for that mid-morning pick me up, just fill the kettle enough for one cuppa
  6. Only travel when it is necessary: as a remote organisation, we are predominantly at home, but we recognise that sometimes it is best to do the work we need to do (and for our own mental wellbeing) to see our clients face to face

Offsetting our carbon footprint

Our future goal is to offset our carbon footprint – and we have begun to explore ways that we can do so. We’re keen to understand how other organisations are tackling this, so please get in touch with us if you have found ways that work for you and your organisation.