At DSG, we are constantly coming up with new ways in which we can have a positive impact on our environment. It is with great pride that we can announce that we have been recognised as a carbon neutral business by Plannet Zero.
The Road to Carbon Neutrality
For many years now, it has been our goal to become a completely carbon neutral company. Working in the car finance sector, we see first-hand how vehicle usage can affect our world, and we know that it is our responsibility to help reduce and offset these negative impacts. We do this through the implementation of multiple schemes that have reduced our energy consumption and the waste that we create, and by supporting different environmental programs that are geared towards sustainability in both the natural world and the energy sector.
This year we have partnered with Mossy Earth on their Reforesting Scotland program; increased our company car fleet to 36 BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles); upgraded our offices with energy efficient lighting; and provided our teams with reusable coffee cups and water bottles in a (successful!) attempt to reduce the amount of waste that we produce.
In addition to these schemes, we have also teamed up with Redshaw Advisors Ltd by supporting two of their environmental projects: their Maísa REDD+ Project in Moju, Brazil, and their Karnataka Wind Farm in India.
Thanks to these initiatives, we have been assessed by Plannet Zero as a carbon neutral business. In order to be recognised as a carbon neutral business by Plannet Zero, we had to evaluate and document our carbon emissions, and how much we were offsetting this through the different environmental projects that we participate in.
Increasing the number of BEVs in our company car fleet has significantly reduced our carbon emissions.
Teas, Trees and Electric Automobile
For several years, our goal at DSG has been to reduce our carbon footprint to the point where we are carbon neutral. In 2021, we calculated that our Total Carbon Footprint was 171.83tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This was a significant reduction from previous years thanks to our efforts in trying to minimise our emissions. There are a number of ways in which we have achieved this goal.
We increased the number of BEVs in our company to 36 and, as BEVs have a net carbon emission of zero, we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint. Furthermore, our BEV company car fleet produces no exhaust fumes, meaning that as well as reducing our carbon footprint, we are helping to keep our air clean.
Creating Clean Air Zones (CAZs) and Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZs) across major UK cities has become a government priority in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and to improve the air quality in typically fume-filled city centres and areas of high traffic congestion. Our fleet of BEVs meet the Clean Air Zone zero emission criteria set out by the UK government, meaning that these vehicles incur no charges for travelling through CAZ and ULEZ areas.
In addition to upgrading our car fleet, we have also been upgrading our offices. Over the last few years, we have been making a conscious effort to reduce our energy and fuel consumption, and the amount of waste we produce. In order to achieve this, we have had energy efficient lighting installed; introduced a flexible working scheme where our teams are able to work from home, which both reduced our carbon emissions and our staff’s fuel bills; and we have provided all of our teams with their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups.
Another way we have achieved our carbon neutral status has been working with Mossy Earth on their Reforesting Scotland scheme. Mossy Earth have been helping to restore a diversity of trees to the Caledonian Forest in Scotland.
Historically, the Scottish Highlands were covered in forests. However, by the 1700s much of this had been cut down for wood and to create farmland, with the Caledonian Forest being reduced to small, isolated pockets. Mossy Earth’s Reforesting Scotland project aims to return idigenous trees and habitats to the area. Since partnering with Mossy Earth, we have helped to plant over 4000 trees!
DSG: Helping to protect the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazing Amazon
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Amazon”? For us it is the beauty and abundance of nature, both flora and fauna, and the unexplored depths of our planet’s largest rainforest. Sadly, an estimated 17% of the Amazon has already been destroyed by deforestation. At current rates, this is projected to reach 27% by 2030. This is why we decided to support Redshaw Advisors Ltd with their Amazon Rainforest project.
Redshaw Advisors Ltd’s Maísa REDD+ Project in Moju, Brazil, has been helping to protect the section of Amazon located in the municipality of Moju, Pará State, since May 2012. Between 2000 and 2009, this area suffered a deforestation rate of 46.25%.
By protecting this area of the Amazon, Redshaw Advisors Ltd has helped to reduce carbon emissions by 67,458 tonnes per year. They have also supported local communities in performing low emission activities, such as sustainable management of forest crops such as açaí, Brazil nuts and latex.
Another way we have supported Redshaw Advisors Ltd is on their Karnataka Wind Farm Project in India. Consisting of 30 wind turbine generators, the Karnataka Wind Farm has a total capacity of 60MW. The generated electricity is exported to the Indian grid, reducing the amount of electricity needed to be generated by high carbon emission fuels such as coal or gas.
During the construction of the Karnataka Wind Farm, great care was taken to minimise the environmental impact that it would have. The farm was constructed away from any natural bodies of water to reduce the risk of birds or bats from colliding with the structures.
Furthermore, fine particle pollution was managed by implementing vehicular speed limits to minimise dust agitation. Soil erosion was mitigated through the use of dedicated car parks, restriction of construction traffic to existing roads, and by limiting activities to dry months so that soil remained undisturbed during rainy seasons. Upon completion of the wind farm’s construction, the project area was revegetated.
As previously stated, our carbon emissions were measured at 171.83tCO2e. Through our participation in Redshaw Advisors Ltd’s Maísa REDD+ and Karnataka Wind Farm projects, we have donated towards carbon credits with a value of 189tCO2e – a figure that is 110% of our emissions.
Our Next Steps
We are extremely proud to have achieved carbon neutral status, and we are delighted that this has been officially recognised and certified by Plannet Zero. However, this does not mean that we have finished looking for new ways for us to further have a positive impact on our environment.
This year, we are aiming to increase our offset so that our emissions are at net 0, and then positive in the future; further decrease our carbon footprint through supporting other environmental projects; increase our BEV fleet; and by saving more energy in our offices through schemes tailored to reduce our waste and energy consumption. One of these initiatives is to install solar panels on the roofs of our office buildings. The aim of our solar panel project is to generate a minimum of 65% of the electricity we use through the panels.
Another target that we have set ourselves is to become B Corp certified. B Lab and their B Corp movement are the pinnacle of corporate sustainability, and they only certify businesses that meet their high standard of environmental, social and governance criteria.
B Lab’s aim is to help businesses to become a force for good – and not simply a money making mechanism. To be B Corp certified is highly prestigious, but equally difficult to achieve. For a business to be successful in their B Corp application, they must be assessed by Standards Analysts on the impact that they have on their workers, customers, community, and the environment.
We have already applied for our B Corp certification as we have exceeded their environmental requirements, and are well on our way to meeting their social and governance criteria.
Although it is our aim to be successful in our B Corp application, it is not the main driving force behind our desire to be a more environmentally friendly company. We believe that making the world a better place is a responsibility that we all share and should be done without the need for reward, and being a good business is the legacy that we want to leave. It is our hope that the name DSG Group becomes synonymous with sustainability, equality and protecting the environment – just as much as it already is with great car finance solutions!