As we officially launch the theme for micebook Ventures Chapter II, which takes place at Birch Selsdon on 5-7 June, we share insights from Broadsword MD Anna Green on the agency’s sustainability journey so far, and why attending our first Ventures in Liverpool helped renew her commitment to doing business better…
In September, Broadsword announced it had achieved its goal of carbon neutrality ahead of schedule. The agency worked with environmental consultancy C Free to measure the carbon footprint of it’s businesses and services. C Free has built a set of tools and algorithms to read through large data sets to understand the carbon emissions related to the financial operations of a business.
The agency calculated its carbon footprint for the previous year, with scope 1, 2 and 3 total gross emissions measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) as per the recommendation of international standards. This was followed by carbon offsetting which involves the purchase and retirement of verified emission reductions (carbon credits or offsets). Each credit refers to the removal or avoidance of 1 metric tonne of CO2e.
Broadsword made sure to support Gold Standard VERs as they’re the highest quality voluntary offsets on the market, investing in the Sidrap Wind Energy Farm Project, located in Indonesia – a fantastic initiative doing great things for the local community.
Green says she was impatient to do something tangible around sustainability that the team could be proud of and that would inspire them to get on board with being more sustainable. This, along with become a member of isla, is what drove to her researching and finding C Free and setting and achieving the goal of being carbon neutral.
“It was hugely motivating to know where our verified carbon credits were going, but this is only the start. We are now implementing isla’s TRACE tool, to calculate the emissions of our event delivery more accurately, relying less on the spend based method as we move forwards,” she says.
“We will be able to achieve more accurate and granular data through TRACE. But more importantly than that, TRACE will raise an awareness among our team and influence the conversations they are having with clients, and this is the reason why I want it to be used on every event. That is our ambition. We have been in a discovery phase with TRACE since September, where everyone is using it on an example event that they are working on with a view to using it on every event from 2023.”
Green says that she found the time spent at Ventures both educational and inspiring, particularly being able to spend one-to-one time with isla community lead Ellie Ashton-Melia. “It was a real lightbulb moment for me, being able to have that time to chat to her, which helped to remove so many of the barriers that we as a team are facing. Other agencies also contributed to the conversation, some of whom are using TRACE so were able to share their experiences and how they overcame challenges.
“I was able to take that back to my team and tell them from the horse’s mouth what I had learnt, and it assured them that it was worth doing. The other useful thing was meeting with venues and suppliers and realising how much data they have and are ready to share, which makes our job of measuring carbon emissions much easier.
“I felt that Ventures had the right mix of people, not necessarily to answer all my questions, because it’s a big and complex topic, but to give me enough tools to go back to my team and set them on the right path. It’s not just about knowledge and education, but it’s about our will and our want to do this, and sometimes it feels like a struggle.
“There must be a real desire from the team to adopt a new approach. Ventures has given me loads of ideas and inspiration to lead by example and renewed my commitment, energy and resolve to continue this journey. We don’t have to be perfect at it, but we need to keep trying to influence our clients wherever we can to make better decisions.”
Get in touch with the team for more information on Ventures 2023 or find out more here