TMC are Carbon Neutral!
At TMC we are always looking to improve the ways we operate, whether that be farming using more regenerative and sustainable farming methods or becoming carbon neutral at our butcher's shop in Richmond. It is for the latter that we found help from the local professionals at Carbon Mark. Back in April they performed a carbon audit of our business to determine a baseline of our carbon footprint for 2021. We were then advised on ways in which we can offset our carbon emissions entirely for the year by purchasing carbon credits. Carbon credits serve to finance decarbonisation and sustainability projects throughout the world. None of this would have been possible without the help and advice of Rose and Scott at Pennine who guided us on what information they required from us and kept us informed of their progress. We can highly recommend using this great, local company to help achieve, what we believe to be of paramount importance in today's world.
What does this mean?
Carbon neutrality is a state of which our greenhouse gas emissions total 0 for the year. But how does this work? Well, obviously our company emits greenhouse gases. There are very few companies in the world that manage to operate without emitting any greenhouse gases. We package, sell, and deliver meat. We own premises and delivery vans. All these activities emit carbon dioxide.
We are a business centred around best practice methods, sustainability, and transparency. Therefore, we wanted to do all we can to ensure we have the smallest carbon footprint economically viable for our business as possible. We have partnered with Pennine Energy Solutions to firstly measure all the carbon that our business emits yearly and to look at ways of reducing the carbon we emit. Then we looked at the total of carbon we were left with at the end of the year and purchased enough carbon offsets to verify our company as carbon neutral.
What is carbon offsetting?
The principle of generating offsets is that greenhouse gases have the same impact on the climate independent of where they are emitted, so if a tonne of CO2 can be absorbed from the atmosphere in one part of the world it will cancel out a tonne of CO2 in another. An offset is something that either avoids, reduces, or removes greenhouse gas emissions. Offsetting projects take place all over the world and the offsets that each project generates are all priced differently.
What have we done to become carbon neutral?
We firstly looked to decrease our carbon emissions as much as possible. This included doing things such as only buying our produce from local farms and suppliers. This reduces the distance that delivery vehicles must drive to deliver our produce, therefore minimising greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
Our packaging consists of recyclable cardboard boxes, sheep’s wool insulation and reusable icepacks, or for locals, a reusable TMC cool bag. This has reduced our waste disposal emissions. A lot of waste ends up in landfills, landfills are notorious for emitting a gas called methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So, by reducing our waste to landfill, we minimise methane emissions from our business.
We are on a green tariff meaning that all the electricity we purchase is ‘matched’ by the purchase of renewable energy that out energy supplier makes on our behalf. Which essentially neutralised the carbon that our electricity generation produces.
After all these measures we thought we would get our company audited to see where our carbon footprint was at, and it turned out to be pretty great! As a company, including scope 1,2 and 3 emissions we emitted in 2021 10.295 tonnes of CO2e. However, we still felt like we could do more, which is where we decided to partner with Carbon Mark to ensure we could validate and reduce this as far as we could. Doing so allowed us to offset the remainder of our emissions, while also supporting a hydroelectric plant in Turkey, which provides the area with clean renewable energy, clean water for drinking and irrigation, and jobs for the local community.
So what now?
Our offsets cover us until the end of 2022, therefore this year we will continue implementing our carbon reduction strategies to drive our carbon emission figure down even further. Any remaining emissions at the end of this process we will once again offset through Carbon Mark by financing another great sustainability product in an area that fits with our values.