Why a b-corp?
Milepost Consulting believes that having a positive impact on our employees, our clients, our community and the environment is essential to our business strategy. B Labs – a driving force behind the Benefit Corporation movement – has certified that Milepost considers social and environmental impacts when making decisions and maintains transparency around both our positive and negative impact. As an environmentally-focused company, we support our clients’ efforts to incorporate social and environmental responsibility into their business practices. Being a certified B-Corporation helps Milepost be the change we hope to see in all business.
OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT – YES, WE WANT YOU TO KNOW
Reducing carbon emissions is a core objective for Milepost’s business strategy and a challenge we take seriously. Our strategy to reduce and offset our emissions involves four-steps:
- Establish a baseline
- Set a goal
- Develop and implement a plan
- Purchase offsets for the remainder
- Establish a Baseline
As a Seattle Climate Action Partner, we used the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment’s carbon calculator to establish our baseline emissions, which in 2011 were estimated at 62.4 metric tons of CO2e. However, our team felt that this calculator did not capture all of the emissions for which we are responsible. Let’s face it – we travel…a lot. We wanted to be as transparent as possible and this requires including the emissions associated with our hotel stays, which brings our total estimated 2011 emissions to 75.8 metric tons of CO2e.
- Set a Goal
We are firm believers in the saying - what gets measured gets managed but what gets reported gets done. Establishing the baseline helps us manage our emissions but to reduce our emissions we need to set a goal and report on our progress towards that goal. What’s our goal? We don’t have one yet. We’ll be monitoring emissions for 2012 and will establish a reduction goal for 2013. In the meantime, we are reducing our emissions related travel as you’ll see below.
- Develop and Implement a Plan
Milepost continues to explore opportunities to deliver best in class results to our clients while continuing to reduce our carbon impact. For 2012, we are expanding our video conferencing abilities in order to reduce our air and ground travel impact while maintaining our high level communication resources for partners and clients. We continue to use 100% post-consumer recycled paper, reduce our use of paper, compost our lunch leftovers and use reusable cups. Many of our staff ride their bikes to work and all staff have access to an ORCA pass (our local bus/ferry/light rail commuter pass), both of which reduce emissions in the larger emitter category for the City of Seattle: transportation. We’re making progress but we’re excited to develop and share our 2013 – 2014 plans for reduction!
- Purchase offsets for the remainder
Our self-imposed requirement for making project based carbon offsets was that the project maximize co-benefits in conservation and social development. For this reason we have decided to make a commitment to the “Cocobolo Project” in Panama based upon our emissions. This project run by the non-profit CREA is protecting a valuable piece of rainforest in heart of Panama. CREA has developed a well-supported carbon quantification methodology that takes into account carbon sequestration in managed reforestation, natural forest regeneration and that already fixed in mature forest. The co-benefits of offsetting our carbon emissions through the Cocobolo Project include, being part of a well-established conservation program fully endorsed by the IUCN, an education center that has trained hundreds of young Americans and Panamanians and a program that is providing crucial sustainable agriculture knowledge to local and indigenous communities of the region. This project is unique and one that we are very proud to be able to support.
In keeping with our mission to be as transparent as possible, there are many carbon emissions variables that we don’t have solid calculations for at this time:
IMPROVEMENTS SINCE 2010
- Trash – How we track the amount of waste we produce is still being determined. For our report, we used an estimated average of quantity per day and multiplied that out over the year. We also recycle and compost, but these quantities are also an estimate and not a solid calculation.
- Water – We only have the ability to track water usage at the building level. Our usage is an estimation of the amount of water we use annually as a company.
When we calculated our carbon footprint for 2010, we were only able to estimate the number of air and car miles traveled. We recognized an opportunity to better integrate this metric into our existing business processes, and initiated a requirement for all employees to list air and car miles traveled on a per trip basis. For 2011, we were able to report an accurate account of total air and car miles traveled.