Global provider of digital operations platforms for enterprises, Sapphire Systems, is based in Southwark, London. The company joined Heart of the City as a member in 2010 and is now an ambassador, with CEO Ian Caswell on our council and Jan Phayre, Head of Responsible Business, on our board advisory panel.
Why Sapphire went carbon neutral
Sappire has always recognised that its everyday actions consume energy and produce carbon emissions, and it’s a worry. For years, it’s had an environmental policy which consisted of smaller, achievable goals and offered environmental volunteering opportunities to employees. But in 2019 Sapphire’s CEO wanted to do more.
Ian decided to make the business carbon neutral after watching Quentin Wilson (an ex presenter of Top Gear) talking about why he drives an electric car. Ian promised himself his next car would be electric and became more interested in the area. He saw that Sapphire could make a difference by becoming greener, and that it would set an example to employees, customers and suppliers.
Taking the first steps
Ian asked his responsible business (RB) team to look into offsetting Sapphire’s carbon footprint. At first, the RB team found the task quite daunting as it was something they’d never done before, like many companies. If you’re in the same boat, here’s what the team did to get started.
- They worked closely with the Sapphire finance team to find out flight, server, mileage and utility bill data. Fortunately for them the data was well organised and detailed, saving a lot of time. The most challenging task here was getting a recent utility bill!
- Then they researched carbon calculators and found a simple, free carbon calculator to convert the data.
- Jo Goddard, Director of Green and Good and Heart of the City council member, was introduced to Sapphire by Heart of the City, and she provided incredibly effective expert advice to support the process.