Why going carbon neutral is important

Illustrated flooding showing a submerged tree, car and house

Why going carbon neutral is important

It's no secret that we're living through a climate emergency. Our global carbon emissions are heating up the earth. This causes rising sea levels, reduced rainfall and increased heatwaves.

We're already seeing the widespread impact of climate change. Increased flooding, coral reefs being lost, dangerous wildfires and droughts to name a few.

And without action, we're on track to see entire regions of the planet become uninhabitable within decades.

We have a shared responsibility for our planet and for our own survival. And reducing our carbon footprint is essential if we want to limit the damage.

Measuring Confused.com's carbon footprint

First we need to figure out how much carbon we produce. We split this into two phases.

Pie chart showing Confused.com's carbon output in 2019 Pie chart showing Confused.com's carbon output in 2019

Measuring Confused.com's carbon footprint

First we need to figure out how much carbon we produce. We split this into two phases.

Phase 1 is the Confused.com office, its facilities and business travel. This is what we're calling our 'operational footprint'.

Phase 2 covers our staff. And we're not only talking about their commutes, or what they do during office hours. We're looking at the whole carbon output of every member of staff.

Here's how we worked out our operational footprint:

  • We gathered internal data about our facilities and transport use
  • We asessed our Scope 1,2 and 3 emissions as outlined by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol
  • We used DEFRA's conversion factors to calculate our emissions.

This is an ongoing process - we're still working out our Scope 3 emissions. Confused.com's operational emissions for 2019 was 247 tonnes of Co2 equivalent (CO2e). For context, this is the same as burning up 572 barrels of oil.

Phase 1: Confused.com offices and facilities

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Phase 1: Confused.com offices and facilities

Travel takes up a large part of our operating emissions. Confused.com is one of a family of comparison platforms across the world - known as Penguin Portals. With this comes the need to share knowledge and people, so there is some international travel.

This forms the lion's share of our emissions. Even a single round-trip flight can give off several tonnes of CO2e.

In response, we've ramped up our use of video calling. This way we can keep in touch with our international colleagues an massively reduce our carbon output.

Purchased electricity and aircon are the next largest for emissions. We've since committed to using energy providers that offer 100% renewable energy.

Phase 1: Offsetting with United Purpose

United Purpose logo

Phase 1: Offsetting with United Purpose

We'd love to become a zero-carbon company by getting rid of our emissions. We know that might not be entirely possible, but we're doing our best to keep our emissions as low as we can.

As a first step, we've partnered with United Purpose to offset our operational emissions.

United Purpose works with communities across the globe to help them become self-reliant. Some of these initiatives also fight climate change by reducing carbon emissions. We're investing in an initiative in Malawi to give access to clean drinking water. This helps fight diseases like cholera. It also offsets the carbon that the office has produced.

Phase 2: Confused.com employees

Illustration showing a no plastic bags sign, a selection of fruit, a group of people carpooling and a person planting a tree

Phase 2: Confused.com employees

Next we're tackling the emissions of our staff. We want every member of Confused.com to be as carbon neutral as the business. To do this, we've created an initiative called ARRO: Avoid, Reduce, Replace and Offset.

This encourages everyone to make concious decisions that reduce their carbon output. And where this isn't possible, we'll aim to offset this.

This is still a work in progress. We're calculating the emissions of everyone using the WWF Carbon Footprint calculator.

Phase 2: Offsetting with Forest Carbon

Forest Carbon logo

Phase 2: Offsetting with Forest Carbon

We're offsetting our staff emissions by funding forest planning projects in Carmarthen and the Outer Hebrides.

This is in partnership with Forest Carbon, who've planted over 7 million trees in the UK so far.

These forests are independently certified under the UK Woodland Carbon Code. As well as offsetting our carbon, the trees will increase biodiversity, reduce flood risk and improve air quality.

Over their lifetime, these trees will absorb 1782 tonnes of CO2e.

What's next?

Illustrated person holding an oversized lightbulb that contains a plant sapling

What's next?

There's much more work for us to do. By 2035, all new cars on the road will be electric. Sustainable energy suppliers are on the up. The world is waking up to the fact that we're all in the same storm. And we need to play our part to help this change.

We're working to ensure our partners are as passionate as us about their carbon footprint. This includes our suppliers and insurance partners.