Here at Outerbridge, we’re by no means perfect, but we do our best to minimise our environmental impact and be a green web developer. This is reflected in how we do business; how we use transport, how we recycle and how we interact with clients. However, there’s sometimes a trade-off between offering competitive prices to our customers and being green. For example, we recently investigated the cost of using green electricity and gas, but the difference in cost was just too much to absorb. So we decided to compromise and offset the carbon generated instead.
HOW? – We worked out our carbon footprint (the vast majority of which comes from running our servers and IT equipment). We now make corresponding carbon offset payments which we estimate offset twice our carbon usage. These payments are used to support projects which are carbon positive, such as planting trees or undertaking environmental projects in developing countries.
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ENERGY – We have a brilliant new gadget in the office; an electricity meter which helps us to see which electrical items are using electricity, and to turn things off if we don’t need them. We always turn off all unnecessary equipment and lights when we leave the office.
OUR SUPPLIERS – We look for environmentally conscious suppliers whenever possible, providing they are not so costly that we would need to raise our prices to customers.
TRANSPORT – We try not to travel unnecessarily. However, banning travel altogether would compromise customer service. So if possible, we travel by train to minimise our carbon emissions.
OUR OFFICE – We work from home, so our commute is very short indeed. Our home is very modern and therefore highly insulated and very energy efficient. We have a green roof, which has several benefits including absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife and helping to lower air temperatures. We also aim to minimise our use of artificial chemicals.
COMMUNICATION – We communicate wherever possible by using VOIP technologies – like Skype, and we encourage clients to do the same. However, we are more than happy to meet up; we do like to meet our clients in the flesh and seeing their business environments and people in action helps us to design appropriate solutions for them. The default option for communicating with our customers is via e-mail. Invoices, letters, proposals, quotes etc. are all issued electronically wherever possible and we communicate with and pay suppliers electronically too.
RECYCLING – We recycle everything we can using the kerbside collection service. Other items which cannot be recycled in this way are taken to local recycling centres wherever possible.
On a personal level, we are supporters of the Marine Conservation Society and Population Matters.