Reducing Our Impact: Marmelab's Pursuit of a Smaller Carbon Footprint
Marmelab is a digital agency committed to sustainability. That's why we asked Greenly to analyze and create our carbon balance sheet. We've decided to openly share the results and discuss what we’re doing about it in this article.
Greenly is a renowned company that specializes in measuring and tracking an organization's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With more than 1,000 clients, they are one of the leading providers of carbon footprint analysis in France.
Their platform uses the Carbon Accounting methodology, which is a standardized methodology developed by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). Greenly utilized this methodology to analyze and summarize our carbon balance sheet for the year 2021. The analysis covers all three scopes of GHG emissions:
Greenly's model takes inputs from accounting records, usage metrics (electricity, gas, cloud, etc), and employee interviews.
The analysis revealed that Marmelab's total emissions for the year 2021 were 37 tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). Of these, scope 1 accounted for 15.5%, scope 2 for 0.4%, while scope 3 clearly outweighed both with a whopping 84.1%.
The breakdown by activity was as follows:
Digital activities contributed the most to our company's emissions at 26%, followed by energy consumption at 20%, and fixed assets (properties, equipment, etc) at 18%.
However, these numbers alone don't provide a complete picture. Beyond our own emissions, Greenly also addressed the question: How does Marmelab's carbon footprint compare to the sector average?
To compare companies of various sizes, the standard is to calculate the emissions per employee. For Marmelab, the emissions per employee were at 2.2tCO2e, equivalent to 11,400km by car. It is also lower than the average for digital agencies at 5.8tCO2e/employee - great news!
The analysis conducted by Greenly showed us that we still have some work to do. It also allowed us to identify the primary sources of carbon emissions, enabling us to develop a more targeted carbon reduction strategy.
As a result, we've formed a working group to propose ways to improve our carbon footprint and implement them. Some of our next steps include:
- reducing the page weights in our web applications (marmelab.com, react-admin, GreenFrame),
- optimizing our cloud usage,
- improving insulation in our offices,
- promoting vegetarianism,
- and many more.
What does this mean for our daily office practices? For example, to reduce the weight of our websites, we're using GreenFrame to detect and fix carbon leaks. We also implemented a vegetarian day at the office (that's Thursday). Finally, we hired a contractor to audit our office and make recommendations for improvements. Some of these recommendations are simple and inexpensive, like purchasing carpets to reduce the heating in the office.
We hope that sharing our carbon footprint inspires you to do the same and to follow our sustainability journey. Feel free to share your sustainability tips in the comments! 👇