Back

CultureApr 22, 2021

Sustainability: Establishing a Carbon Emissions Baseline 

Christian Buechel

On Earth Day 2020, Credera launched an internal Sustainability Committee to begin addressing the environmental gap we recognized in our commitment to corporate social responsibility. This marked the beginning of a long journey of increasing environmental sustainability in our company’s operations. We began by focusing on quick wins around our offices such as reducing energy usage, efficiently utilizing office space, minimizing waste, and finding ways to encourage smarter commuting and business travel. But like many companies in the past year, our efforts were momentarily paused as we spent the last year working from home away from our offices and the normal business rhythms. 

Rather than waiting for in-office work to resume to find ways to improve, the Credera Sustainability Committee decided to forge ahead with another important goal: establishing our first carbon emissions baseline as a company. This effort required partnership with our newly acquired Credera UK office, contributions from disciplines around the company, and a generous time commitment from members of our committee. We are excited to share our high-level methodology, the results of this effort, and our next steps. 

By calculating our carbon footprint, we will be capable of focusing on reductions in our biggest emissions categories and acquire a better understanding of what we need to do to create our own science-based targets. 

Credera’s Carbon Emissions Baseline Methodology

Standard Used

First, we leveraged the GHG Protocol to quantify our emissions as a company. GHG Protocol is a comprehensive global standardized framework that measures and manages greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from private operations. These guidelines equipped us with the tools needed to take a rigorous, proven approach to self-calculate our carbon footprint measured in metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent, which includes methane, nitrous oxide, and others). Our emissions include Scope 1, 2, and 3 to provide a full view of our impact.

Credera Offices Included

These include operations in our Credera U.S. offices (Dallas, Houston, Denver, Chicago, NYC, and Los Angeles), our newly acquired Credera UK offices (London, Leeds, and Manchester), and our build center operations located in Costa Rica, Mauritius, and India. 

Timeframe Used

To ensure we were not undercounting our emissions by using a skewed sample of fiscal year 2020, we decided to utilize fiscal year 2019 data extrapolated to our headcount as of March 2021 across all our offices. This would present us with the most realistic picture of “business as usual” emissions for Credera under normal circumstances. 

Additional Information

Each section of the GHG Protocol has various emissions factors, calculations, and unique assumptions to arrive at the most accurate estimation of emissions. These will be thoroughly explained and documented in a subsequent article laying out our detailed methodology. 

Our Calculated Emissions

Without further ado, we’d like to present Credera’s first emissions calculation. According to our estimations, Credera emits 5,584 metric tons of CO2e yearly. The breakdown is outlined below:

To put this into context:

Source: EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator 

A Step Along the Way

Calculating our total emissions is only one step in our pursuit of continuous improvement in environmental sustainability. Credera has many opportunities ahead to reduce this number even as we continue to grow. Nonetheless, it is an important step to have a quantifiable baseline for our emissions as a company so we can measure reductions and offset where reductions are not possible in the future.

Some of the actions we plan to take with this information are:

  • Plan for accreditation: We recognize that self-calculation may contain inaccuracies and that accreditation by a certified organization is necessary to have the most accurate picture of our emissions. We plan to work toward partnering with such an organization in the near future.

  • Improve our collection of data: Throughout the arduous process of collecting, standardizing, and calculating our emissions across each of the GHG Protocol’s categories, we have identified many places in which we can better track key metrics. Potential examples include setting up monthly reports with our building management to determine an estimated electricity usage, tracking expenses with more precision, and standing up data systems to collect monthly data.

  • Act on our largest emissions categories: With this new data, we have a better idea of where we should focus our emission reduction efforts to make the biggest impact. Alongside this, we will have a better idea of what actions we need to take to create science-based targets for the future

  • Explore carbon offset opportunities: We plan to evaluate carbon offset programs that would align with Credera’s values and have a positive impact on communities. 

As we continue to mature in our commitment to environmental sustainability, we plan to continually publish this information so we can highlight improvements and document steps. We hope it may spur others to do the same. 

Learn more about Credera or find more of our insights on sustainability here

Have a Question?

Please complete the Captcha