Environmental Policy (updated for 2024)

Carbon negative since 2020, carbon neutral for over a decade.

Connected is carbon negative; we sequester more carbon than we use. By 2030, we will have offset our total emissions since we founded in 1996.

Our carbon initiatives are broadly broken into four categories:

  • Lower carbon density: Use less carbon by using carbon-efficient methodologies, travel, technology, suppliers, energy, investment, and waste.
  • Reduced carbon consumption: Just using less makes a big difference. Technology helps us to reduce business miles by moving activity online. Super-skinny office models reduce commuting, energy, and waste levels.
  • Removing carbon from the atmosphere. We plant trees and invest in other carbon capture projects.
  • Contributing to activities that lower carbon emissions by directly funding and investing in wind farms and solar parks – allowing us and others access to low-carbon energy.

Extract more carbon than you produce

At the end of 2019, the Governor of the Bank of England warned about the very real risks of the climate crisis. He said “Companies and industries that are not moving towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt.”

The escalating climate crisis is the defining issue of the 21st century; the planet’s very survival is in our hands. We all have our part to play; whether that is junking the diesel cars, embarking on a tree planting programme, or simply cutting your carbon footprint, now is the time to act.

All organisations have their part to play and we have cut CO2 emissions by over 80% in twenty years; 100% of the energy used is renewable, and business travel miles are now 85%/15% public/private transport – the exact opposite of where it was at the turn of the century. Hybrid working for all arrived in 2012, blanket low emissions transport in 2015, and we reached carbon-negative status at the end of 2019.

We will do more:

  • Continue improving the shape and size of our environmental footprint above and beyond just carbon to include gross consumption, recycling, plastic use, air pollution, fair trade, tax equality, and ethical sourcing. For example, in 2023, we directly invested in Derril Water Solar Park which our participation is set to produce 240mWh of ultra-low carbon energy over the next 40 years. We are deadly serious and committed to the long term.
  • Spreading the word on climate issues and supporting individual causes and campaigns. We have always had a soft spot for the planet we call home and now we’re directly spending to ensure the world can be a better place. There is currently no “Planet B”.
  • Adjusting our working practices and policies to address the climate pinch-points that most businesses face. This includes zero commuting, no peak-hour travel, hybrid-working, home offices, supply-chain management, cloud-delivery of services, low-energy provision of digital services, and peer-to-peer hierarchy.
  • Continually review our policy to ensure it is still relevant, up to date and correct. Learning and information change understanding, and we must adapt quickly and decisively.
  • Not bow down to the gods of relentless growth-at-any-cost: Aggressively growing a business is wasteful, so we commit to growing our business organically and sustainably and be here for the long game, leaving as light a touch on the world around us.
  • Avoid carbon-intensive investments. This means zero direct investment in high-carbon industries and managing indirect exposure through green-focused funds.
  • Increasing our positive contribution to the planet over the years, and by 2030 we plan to sequester five times the carbon we produce and recycle/upcycle 90% of what we consume (i.e. close to zero landfill waste). For example, we directly fund the sequestering of carbon dioxide in trees, hedgerows, and plants in the U.K. through donations to The Woodland Trust.
  • All business transport is now low-carbon, where the majority of journeys will be low or zero emissions. From 2020, all new company vehicles are fully electric (BEV). Flying for business is actively discouraged, and rush-hour commuting is discouraged. Ultra-low emission zones are supported and we do not travel in those zones unless using zero-emissions vehicles or public transport – we actively supported the expansion of the London ULEZ in 2023.
  • Finally, inspired by Microsoft, we are committed to removing our entire carbon footprint dating back to 1996. This is on target to be complete before 2030, thereby reversing all CO2 output since 1996 in less than a decade.

There are always ways we can reduce CO2 output further, and we actively look to the longer term when making choices that affect carbon emissions.

For example, business miles are at an average of less than 50g/km. But we can do better – Rail travel, our preferred method of travel, emits approximately 14g per person per kilometre, and the London tube is 9g/km. Net business travel, including fully electric vehicles, CO2 emissions for the company travel are projected to fall under 10g/km by 2025.

And not just us

We are, by quite some margin, the cleanest part of our supply chain, and we are working to “green” the whole shooting match by driving down energy usage at the core of digital service delivery and by using more efficient suppliers, partners, and services. As of 2020, all our server hosting services are carbon neutral via renewable energy.

First published: 2011-06-14, updated 2024-01-04.