Sustainability matters: how we’re making a difference

At Cambridge Intelligence, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously. This blog post explores how our recent contributions to important ecological projects will help to combat climate change.

Environment awareness in the workplace

Sunshine through the trees at Cow Hollow Wood, Waterbeach, Cambridge UK

Some years back, volunteers across the company formed a Green Initiative Group (GIG) tasked with reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more eco-friendly. It’s made a significant impact across every aspect of the business; from reducing plastic and increasing recycling, to encouraging greener transport options and switching to a renewable electricity supplier.

We’re also honest about our eco status in areas where there’s still room for improvement. Restrictions as a result of the global pandemic reduced air travel during the company’s last financial year, but business flights still had an impact on our green credentials. This translated to 23 tonnes of carbon that had to be offset.

But doing the bare minimum didn’t seem right. Instead, we quadrupled our carbon offset costs and chose to contribute to two organizations doing great work to fight climate change – the Woodland Trust and Forest Carbon.

Woodland Trust: standing up for trees

Trees are the ultimate carbon-capture machines, absorbing carbon and keeping it locked up for hundreds of years.

A black squirrel in the trees at Cow Hollow Wood, Waterbeach, Cambridge UK

As the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, the Woodland Trust maintains over 1,000 freely-accessible woodlands. They’re instrumental in the UK’s effort to combat climate change with their mission to:

  • plant woods and trees and build a greener, wildlife-rich future
  • protect existing woodland from diseases, pests and unnecessary destruction
  • restore damaged ancient woodland and the vital ecosystems they provide

Our donation supports the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback: a pledge to get 50 million trees in the ground over the next 5 years. By their calculations, our contribution this year could help to capture and store around 40 tonnes of carbon.

Many of the Woodland Trust’s significant and ambitious tree-planting projects are well underway. They include the creation of a Young People’s Forest in Mead, Derbyshire, with plans for more than 250,000 new trees, open grasslands and ponds rich in biodiversity. Once complete, it’ll form an accessible landscape of more than 500 hectares for people to experience and enjoy.

Woodland Trust development officer, Katy Bradshaw, said:

A huge thank you for your generous donation. We’re running some really amazing projects in our ongoing commitment to stand up for trees. Contributions like yours help us to bring the countryside back into balance, mitigate the climate crisis and support nature’s recovery.

Interested in how we’ve visualized greenhouse gas emissions?

Read this KeyLines blog post

Forest Carbon: planting for carbon capture

Since 2006, Forest Carbon has been pioneering carbon capture projects through planting 9.5 million new trees and restoring vital peatlands. As an independent business, they invest in projects in advance at their own risk, using contributions from partners to recover their investment and start new initiatives.

We already know how effective trees are at absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, but it’s worth remembering that the world’s natural peatlands store more carbon than all other vegetation types combined. Once damaged, they’re a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so maintenance and restoration are essential.

We’re supporting the restoration of a large area of Scottish hills and fragile upland valleys to their natural state. Talla & Gameshope used to be home to native woodlands and natural vegetation. By planting over 750 acres of new woodland, the area will once again be a haven for wildlife and self-supporting habitats. Through Forest Carbon’s carbon credit scheme (approved under the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code), we’ve provided enough funds to offset 100 tonnes of carbon and plant 580 trees.

The hills and fragile upland valleys of Talla & Gameshope, Scotland
Forest Carbon’s Talla & Gameshope project – image reproduced by kind permission of Forest Carbon

Forest Carbon co-founder and director, Stephen Prior, said:

For 15 years Forest Carbon has been at the forefront of innovation in this area – being the first in the UK to create carbon funded woodlands and peatland restoration projects. We rely on partnerships with forward-thinking businesses like Cambridge Intelligence – investing in carbon credits – to enable us to keep developing new nature-based carbon reduction projects, with real, measured and monitored impacts.

Our future’s green – want to be part of it?

We’re proud of our green achievements so far, but there’s much more to do. As a business, we continue to prioritize initiatives to help combat climate change.

In fact, we’ve started working with a specialist who’s giving us professional advice on our ambitious plans for the future. See the steps we’re now taking as a business to be net-zero by 2030.

Anyone at Cambridge Intelligence is welcome to join the Green Initiative Group, share their passion for environmental matters, and make a difference.

If you’re keen to work for a progressive technology company that takes its eco-credentials seriously, take a look at our current job opportunities.

Sunshine through the trees viewed from a gate at Cow Hollow Wood, Waterbeach, Cambridge UK
Unless otherwise stated, all photos were taken by the author at Cow Hollow Wood, Cambridge, UK, which is managed by the Woodland Trust

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