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Our sustainability goals for 2022

Vince Cox
Software Engineer
17th Jan 2022
3 min read

The end of the year is a time of reflection on what was achieved and planning for the next. 2021 was the first year of the Rocketmakers Green & Sustainability seat which I’ve had the privilege of sitting in (seats are the Rocketmakers equivalent of roles, but more fluid and less hierarchical than your classic organisation chart). Seeing the collapse of the climate in weekly headlines has a sobering effect—it’s easy to tend toward inaction. Thankfully, I haven’t been alone. The green team at Rocketmakers is a group of volunteers that are passionate about stopping climate change. Their capacity to look at that head on, square their shoulders and do what they can to stem the tide in whatever way they can will never cease to amaze.

When we started this journey a year ago, we knew that we had to focus on measuring our impact in the most accurate way possible. I knew there would be a challenge here, but I didn’t realise quite how complex and difficult it could be to measure our emissions. The first thing we learned was how to split up our emissions into scopes, as the Carbon trust explains here. We’ve measured our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions as best we can, but it has become evident to us that the majority of our emissions are in Scope 3, which is by far the broadest and hardest to get an accurate handle on. Given that the team are doing this in addition to their day-job, carving out times for sustainability when duties permit, we felt that we could be spending all of our time on measurement and none on actually improving the situation! That said, there are some really exciting startups in the Bristol and Bath area like Ecologi and Spherics that are helping to make this process more cost effective and efficient.

We focussed on the things we could do: we switched to a green energy supplier, we banded together with companies in our office building to get food waste recycling and we wrote and applied a sustainability policy. We also brought sustainability into our tech decisions on projects. The products we make have the potential to have the largest impact because they’re able to scale and be used by huge numbers of people. In tech, we have to focus on lots of very minor improvements in efficiency which at first glance seem inconsequential, but when you start to look at them multiplied by the amount of people that use the software, the numbers grow very quickly!

Looking out to 2022, we want to focus on setting a realistic organisational goal for net zero, while continuing to make the obvious improvements in front of our eyes. In order to do that, we’ve committed to investigating science based targets and the net zero standard, bolstered by using an automated carbon tracker solution to give us the data and ammunition to know our key levers of influence, and how we might best pull them! It’s shaping up to be an exciting year.

Rocketmakers is a Bath-based software development agency on a mission to have a direct, positive and meaningful impact on the lives of more than 50 million people through the software they build and the support they provide.