DNS Belgium succeeded in meeting its climate goals for 2020 and was once again awarded the ‘climate neutral company’ certificate. Admittedly, this went more smoothly than usual due to the lockdown and the compulsory work from home. Still, the results are largely due to our continued efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.
In 2020, we had a climate footprint of 123 tonnes CO2-eq. That is a reduction of no less than 34% compared with the previous year. Converted per domain name, the footprint amounts to 72 grams of CO2. That is as much as the direct CO2 emissions of driving 475 metres with an average car.
More homeworking, less CO2
The measures we took for the coronavirus resulted in an even greater reduction in CO2 emissions in 2020 than in 2019. The tightened homeworking policy let to:
- A drastic reduction of more than 75% in emissions from office-related activities such as purchasing and waste disposal.
- A reduced energy consumption of 28.6%.
- A significant drop in travel of 75.9%.
- A 39.9% reduction in commuting.
The figure below comes from the report by the non-profit association Ecolife vzw, the Flemish knowledge centre for foot-printing and ecological behavioural change. It shows the development of the climate footprint of DNS Belgium in comparison with reference and reduction scenarios. This clearly shows how the total CO2 emissions, which have been falling sharply since 2016, will take a steep dive as of 2019 and will remain far below the proposed reduction scenarios.
‘The sharp drop in the current climate footprint of DNS Belgium is striking,' says Thomas Beyen of Ecolife. In 2020, that footprint will be halfway under the reduction scenario of the climate plan. This is due to the strong efforts made by DNS Belgium to reduce its climate footprint, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the 2020 emissions'.
Ecolife examined our CO2 consumption in accordance with the PAS 2060, a British Standards Institution specification which describes, through a consistent set of measures and requirements, how to demonstrate carbon neutrality for your organisation. It is therefore a reliable yardstick for organisations such as DNS Belgium that are keen to manage their climate footprint as consciously as possible.
Thanks to our efficient waste processing policy - including energy recovery for the incineration of residual waste and the recycling of paper and PMD waste - we managed to avoid 0.1 tonnes of CO2 in 2020. As our cars remain the largest source of CO2 emissions, there is still work to be done on this front. We want to continue to tackle this issue by investing further in more fuel-efficient cars and putting even more effort into more sustainable commuting. Homeworking and teleconferencing are now firmly established. And because they obviously have a positive impact on our CO2 emissions, we will continue to integrate them into our work culture in the future.
Further offsetting of emissions
We offset the CO2 we were not able to reduce by supporting projects that contribute directly to reducing CO2 emissions on our planet. For example, we sponsored the Myanmar Stoves Campaign, a project that provides poor and disadvantaged rural communities in Myanmar with access to fuel-efficient wood cookers. People thus cook in a safer and healthier environment, burn less wood and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process. By supporting this project we were able to offset 123 tonnes of CO2. That is our entire climate footprint for 2020.
Needless to say, we also support initiatives closer to home. The non-profit association planteenbos.be strives for more nature in Belgium in a very concrete manner. The organisation has since 2010 been buying land to afforest or to bring more variety to existing forests. Anyone who wants to can choose a piece of forest land to finance on www.planteenbos.be . You also get the opportunity to plant trees yourself. The result? Beautiful play forests that are accessible to all, more trees, less CO2.
The Smokkelbos in Menen is the most recent project that we helped to finance. On 11 November, a cooperative day will be held there for volunteers who will plant a large number of trees.
DNS Belgium has been supporting the projects of planteenbos.be for the past four years. Since 2017, our donations have enabled us to create 4800 m² of new forest and to endow 9600 m² of existing forest with more variety. This would be good for the absorption of 180 tonnes of CO2 over the next 50 years. We are very proud of what planteenbos.be is achieving and that we can contribute thereto.