UK tech sector served four-part plan to cut emissions by over 80 million tonnes
The UK tech sector could cut carbon emissions by 81.8 million tonnes by committing to four key changes to the way businesses operate, according to a report by startup Tech Nation.
By switching to sustainable offices, green pension funds, plant based foods and reducing travel costs, the insight specialist said that the sector will be well on its way to reaching net zero.
According to Tech Nation, employees, investors and customers are becoming increasingly hot on carbon emissions: 26% of employees want more opportunities to share feedback on their company’s climate action plan, and at the same time, the majority of c-suite leaders (71%) are now feeling pressure from investors to implement sustainability plans.
Yet the issue startups face is the inability to collect robust emissions data.
“In practice, complete decarbonisation – producing no carbon emissions – is likely to take years if not decades even for the most ambitious companies,” let alone startups, Tech Nation added.
However, most of these companies said that the majority of their emissions are indirect, such as purchased goods and services which can be easier to tackle compared to direct emissions from company cars or energy consumed by owned assets for example.
If enterprises across the tech sector used solely plant based foods at events, reduced unnecessary travel, and chose a more sustainable pension provider for employees, in total, emissions reductions could reach 81.8m tonnes of CO2.
“This is equivalent to 17.6m petrol-powered cars driving for a year, 10.3m homes’ energy consumption for a year, or emissions from 206 natural gas power plants for a year,” the organisations said in the report.
“It would take 1.35bn tree seedlings planted for 10 years to remove this amount of carbon.”
According to its calculations, if UK tech firms switched their staff to sustainability-focused pension funds, emissions would be cut by 78.72 million tonnes annually. Similarly, leasing green-powered office spaces would cut emissions up to 1.23 million tonnes a year.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that if all meals served at events hosted or primarily attended by tech startups and scaleups were plant-based, this would also cut emissions by 465,000 tonnes.
In terms of business travel, if tech firms halved their employee business travel and hotel stays, and cut their commuting by a third, this would reduce emissions by 1.42 million tonnes each year.
“By implementing policies on sustainable offices, green pensions, plant-based food, and reducing air and car travel, UK tech can drive down emissions enormously,” said George Windsor, director of data and research at Tech Nation.
“I hope that today’s report gives tech companies across the UK the confidence to begin their net-zero journey, join our Tech Zero community, and take action to do what is right for our planet.”
This report makes the latest piece of action Tech Nation has taken to encourage tech enterprises to do their bit in the fight against climate change, and follows its Tech Zero initiative founded in March 2021.
Similarly, IBM unveiled its new Sustainability Accelerator Program earlier this year, focussing on accelerating clean energy projects among vulnerable populations.
Energy company Shell is also going green, fuelling new initiatives with the UK’s governing body for cycling, British Cycling to accelerate its path to net zero.
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