Environmental Policy, Audit and Action Plan

About Bookwhen

Bookwhen provides a powerful booking system solution for thousands of businesses around the world. We facilitate half a million bookings each month for customers, who use desktop and mobile to access our app. We’re founded in the UK and we’re a remote-first team, working across different locations.

One of Bookwhen’s key values is to put people and the environment first - both in our operations and decision making. This is born from a genuine passion for environmental issues in our personal and professional lives. From tropical ecology to sustainability and veganism - our diverse professional backgrounds and life choices mean we’re acutely aware of our responsibility towards our natural world and climate change.

The Climate Challenge

Our planet faces unprecedented challenges, and we want to make sure Bookwhen operates responsibly and contributes to a positive change. In 2018, the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The message is very clear: the next twelve years will be crucial to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5°C, and any increase above that will have catastrophic consequences. The report has resulted in a flurry of activity from across the globe: we are all responsible for climate change, and we can all contribute to a drastic change in the system.

This document sets out our commitment to the environment, quantifies our impacts and details the actions we’re taking to reduce those impacts and contribute to a positive system change.

Our Commitment

Our ambition is to become ‘net positive’ in terms of our carbon emissions, meaning that we’re responsible for saving more carbon emissions than we create. We limit our emissions and are working towards the global target of reducing emissions to Net Zero by 2050. For us, this means running the business solely on renewable energy. We also commit to only working with suppliers who take responsibility for managing their environmental impacts and meet high standards.

For unavoidable carbon emissions, we will offset our emissions by four times their value. Carbon offsets are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (via a certified project, e.g. providing fuel-efficient stoves for communities in less developed economies) to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. Whilst we are committed to reducing our climate impact, we are also keen to raise awareness on the fact that carbon offsets should not be used as a licence to pollute. Our main target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

With this in mind, we are investing our carbon offset fund into projects with rigorous science-based standards addressing the decarbonisation economy, biodiversity protection, enhancing resilience to climate change, adaptation to climate change, and with long-term societal benefits. We aim to invest in a portfolio of climate solutions and encourage our thousands of businesses to support these projects.

Our Impacts

Direct impacts from our business activities are quantifiable (we used factors published by the UK government to calculate). In the financial year 2018/19, these equated to 11.5 tonnes of CO₂. This is the equivalent of flying around the world four times. Our impacts come from: -

  • Energy used in home-office and offices for equipment and heating.
  • Travel for company meetups, conferences and business meetings.
  • Computer hardware, other miscellaneous supplies and services.

Data centres (used for hosting our system, database and website) require significant energy to run and be cooled. Our provider (Google Cloud Platform) purchase 100% of their energy from renewable sources and they achieve world-class levels of energy efficiency across all of their facilities.

Action Plan

In all of the impacts we have identified, there will always be an opportunity to reduce our impacts. We are already taking some key actions to reduce our impacts and we will review progress on a quarterly basis, and report annually. We’ll conduct a carbon audit annually to quantify our impact and measure progress.

What we’re doing -

  • Choosing web, app and database hosting that is 100% renewably powered.
  • Taking the train wherever practical, instead of flying or driving.
  • Being remote-first, we have zero commuting emissions - we either work from home offices or walk to local working spaces.
  • Offsetting our direct carbon emissions by four times their value. We donate to Trees For Life, Sumatran Orangutan Society and The Converging World.
  • Employing an approach of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ for our supplies and waste.
  • Choosing rented accommodation (e.g. AirBnB) instead of hotels for accommodation during work trips, wherever possible.

What we plan to do -

  • Work towards moving across to 100% renewable energy suppliers for home workers, this is our biggest direct impact.
  • Consider moving banking services to a bank with high ethical and environmental standards.
  • Volunteer time to environmental causes.
  • Provide employees with the tools to measure and manage environmental impacts in their personal lives.
  • Ask key suppliers for their environmental policies.
  • A preference for non-meat and non-dairy options when buying food at meetings.