Thinkhouse

Green Start: Our Ecoreview Case Study

Our Green Start Enterprise Ireland funded project - an Organisational CO2 Footprint report - is a key part of the beginning of our own carbon impact reduction journey.

We needed to analyse our baseline impact and create a process for measuring our ongoing impact, in order to set measurable targets and goals (in line with keeping warming below 1.5 degrees).

We partnered with Ecoreview to create our baseline figure (our environmental impact for 2019) and also to create a template for our team to be able to manage the measurement of our operational impact on an ongoing basis into the future.

Project objectives:

With the Green Start Grant, the THINKHOUSE objective was to create an Organisational Environmental Impact Assessment. This includes Benchmarking, Monitoring and Reporting Direct Impacts. The ultimate goal was a CO2 and Environmental footprint benchmark for 2019, and a CO2 and Environmental footprint measurement for 2020.

According to Jane McDaid, Founder and Head of Creative Innovation at THINKHOUSE:

“Profit and growth really matter and thinking about how we define and achieve growth, is really important for the survival and future – not just of our planet – but our businesses and brands. Our work is a vehicle for the change that we want to see in the world, born out of our mission to have a positive impact on the lives of today’s younger generation and our planet. We’ll put our hearts, bodies, minds and money on the line to do the right thing. The right thing to do is to protect the very existence of our planet, and our young people, through our gift – which is creative thinking, communicating and problem solving.”

According to Laura Costello, Strategy Director, Purpose & Planet at THINKHOUSE: “As ‘architects of desire’ we have a huge responsibility to use our skills to make sustainable lifestyles and behaviours more desirable. Taking responsibility for our own organisational impact is just one of the steps we are taking as part of our own transformation journey to Net Zero. It was brilliant to benefit from the Green Start Grant to kickstart our own data collection and analysis in this regard.”

Activities Carried out:

THINKHOUSE worked with Ecoreview to review environmental activities and practises on site, and get guidance on mitigating our environmental impact into the future, introducing new practises and reporting structures in the business.

This involved measuring the operational CO2 footprint for Thinkhouse Ireland’s activities, and providing a tool for Thinkhouse Ireland to monitor their CO2 footprint for current and future activities.

The three areas of activity measured for the 2019 CO2 footprint are:

1. Office overheads

o Utilities (heating, electricity)

o Consumables (paper)

o IT goods (laptops, phones, monitors, etc.)

o Wastes - recycling and landfilling

2. Travel: commuting from home to the office

3. Travel: business travel (on general business, non-chargeable)

Key Challenges:

When it came to creating our organisational environmental footprint, our key challenge was gathering the data. Some elements of this were more straightforward than others. When it comes to waste, we have a shared waste disposal facility, so calculating our waste proved more difficult than anticipated. We also needed to engage every employee when it came to getting data around commuting and travel.

As a growing business, a key challenge for Thinkhouse going forward is to create science-based targets to drive future action that reduces our impact while considering the rising number of employees at the company.

Project Outcomes

The results of this study provide a CO2 benchmark, being the 2019 CO2 footprint. This benchmark also acts as a guide to highlight where CO2 reduction can be achieved across future activities. The CO2 conversion factors are taken from SEAI for the electricity and natural gas, and for most other inputs are taken from the Ecoinvent database, version 3.5.

CO2 footprint of 2019 activities

The three areas of activity measured for the 2019 CO2 footprint are:

1. Office overheads (Utilities (heating, electricity), Consumables (paper), IT goods (laptops, phones, monitors, etc.), Wastes - recycling and landfilling

2. Travel: commuting from home to the office

3. Travel: business travel (on general business, non-chargeable)

The overall CO2 footprint of all these activities in 2019 totals 47.9 tonnes of CO2. Read the full report here.

Next Steps

THINKHOUSE is currently working on its 2020 & 2021 impact analysis. Future targets will be based on this tracking & analysis.

Actions planned include:

  • Investing in reducing impact eg via renewable energy
  • Reassessment of waste management system
  • Work from home policy (reducing travel/commuting)
  • Undertaking B Corp certification process

Note: As part of the Ad Net Zero roadmap we are also continuing to work on addressing and reducing our Scope 3 impact, engaging with the likes of Purpose Disruptor tools, driving forward new conversations and embedding meaningful action across our industry.

See also

CODE RED: WHAT DOES THE IPCC REPORT MEAN FOR BRANDS?
CODE RED: WHAT DOES THE IPCC REPORT MEAN FOR BRANDS?

“The IPCC report is a code red for humanity.” António Guterres, UN Secretary General