Our commitment to sustainability and countering our carbon footprint

Our commitment to sustainability and countering our carbon footprint

We are very conscious of the impact our industry has on the world we all share. That’s why we decided to make a dedication to countering our carbon footprint. Starting with combating the damage caused by the cars we help put on the roads. Given everything we already know, ignoring climate change was never an option for DSG.

A recent report in The Guardian suggested that the cars sold in the UK in 2019 alone, produced average emissions of just under 130g of co2 per kilometre. This is an alarming figure, especially when scaled up to just 10km, it’s over a kilogram of co2!

So, we did some research to see how we could actively take action.

That’s how sustainability became one of our core values. Now we have a range of effective initiatives and guidelines to follow. Along with some incredible partnerships with like-minded companies/causes. 

One of these forward-thinking companies is Mossy Earth, whose purpose is to work with one mission in mind. Their aim is to restore wild ecosystems, support wildlife and biodiversity, and to help fight climate change. 

As part of our partnership, we pay Mossy Earth to plant a tree every time we finance a car through our sister brands Unity Auto Finance and Flow Car Finance. What’s more, they will plant two trees when an electric car is financed through Flow! 

Mossy Earth plant the trees in two batches, during autumn and spring, to ensure they have a long life. Following this, we send all our customers a picture of the tree they helped plant, along with the GPS location. That way, they can literally ‘Track their tree’ and watch it flourish over the years!

You can reduce your carbon footprint too!

We hope that promoting this has a positive impact on our customers and possibly leads them to consider a membership. It only costs £10 a month for a single user. Through this, Mossy Earth plants 48 native trees annually and allows individuals to vote for 6 rewilding projects a year. They also calculate the customers co2 footprint and provide helpful tips on how to reduce it.

One of our main goals is to combat our emissions. We believe that our partnership with Mossy Earth is the best way that we can begin to accomplish this.

What really enticed us to forge this relationship was their unique approach to the work they are doing, as they state on their website…

“We do not see ourselves as a typical carbon offsetting organisation and do not issue carbon credits. This allows us to do things differently and address many of the concerns that people have about supporting reforestation projects to tackle climate change.”

In addition to our partnership, we have many in-house efforts to tackle our footprint. We have placed a ban on plastic bottles in the office and instead, we gifted all staff with reusable travel mugs and sustainable water bottles.

In theory, this may not seem like it would make a huge difference, however, if every member of staff brought in a plastic bottle from Monday to Friday, that would equate to over 700 plastic bottles a week ending up in landfills.

This would lead to over 3000 bottles a month and more than 35,000 bottles a year! Furthermore, every ton of plastic creates 3 tons of co2 throughout the process according to recent reports. Co2 becomes poisonous when there is too much of it in the air, which is why we want to put the breaks on this!

Recycling Initiative & Tesla

To further increase our efforts, we also reached out to leading waste management company Business Waste LTD to develop a more efficient and effective process of recycling our office waste. They have a 0% landfill rate, meaning every bit of waste is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.

We chose Business Waste LTD due to their promise to steer clear of landfills, as they can be just as damaging to the environment as the co2  emissions.

This is because most of the waste in landfills is not biodegradable and so can pollute soils, rivers and oceans and harm creatures that live in different habitats. However, it can also affect humans as well! If the soil where food is grown becomes polluted, then the food could subsequently cause serious damage to our health.

This is why we aim to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also completely eradicate our contribution to landfills.

In 2017, the leadership team switched to Teslas to become more environmentally friendly and to cancel out a lot of miles that the sales team rack up when travelling the country to meet new dealers, as well as general travel!

Research by the European Energy Agency found that electric cars produce around 17-30% lower emissions than a standard petrol or diesel engine. However, this figure dramatically rises if low carbon electricity such as that from solar, wind and geothermal.

Not only do Teslas have less moving components, but they rarely have to be serviced. This lowers emissions that would generate from new parts being made, as they are not needed as regularly. One of the most commonly overlooked culprits of air pollution is the brakes in a car. An article by Kings College London states that brake dust could be just as harmful for air pollution as a diesel exhaust.

Leadership

That’s why our fleet is investing in more Tesla vehicles. Thanks to the regenerative braking, the mechanism is used less frequently compared to a regular car. As a result, they produce significantly less dust.

It is inspiring to see our management teams leading the way to change and choosing electric cars. In fact, so many of them have made the switch, the group decided to install charging stations at our HQ. Now all our people can charge up their batteries free of charge!

Currently, our fleet of vehicles totals 42 cars and more than half of those are electric. Our aim is to eventually bring our average emissions down to zero; with our current average level being 44 grams of co2 per KM.

We’re serious about sustainability and our passion to become a more eco-friendly business has only grown stronger over the years. For us this isn’t just a trend or a way for us to get brownie points in the business world. As the natural resources of our beautiful planet run out, we feel it’s our responsibility to do our bit to provide a brighter, safer future for the younger generation.

We are so proud of our efforts to go green under the guidance of Richard Hoggart and the group. We can’t wait to see what comes of the changes we have made and we hope our work encourages more businesses and individuals to do the same. If the state of the planet isn’t enough motivation, it may be worth considering the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report. 

According to the report, 71% of employees agree it is critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times, such as industry issues, political events, national crisis and employee-driven issues. So come on CEOs, we’re rooting for you!

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