Applying for B Corp

Datagraphic accelerates net-zero target to 2040

Wells: we want everyone to get involved
Wells: we want everyone to get involved

Digital mailing specialist Datagraphic has signed up to the Climate Pledge, bringing forward its net-zero ambitions to a 2040 deadline.

The firm had previously committed to reach net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The big difference,” explained Peter Wells, Datagrapic’s head of sustainability, “is that the Climate Pledge allows us to use credible offsets. 

“So if we get to 2040, and we’re not net-zero across our value chain, then we have committed to offset any remaining balance – and they have to be real and credible offsets, which are audited and done properly.”

Datagraphic claims credit as the only SME mailing house currently to have its net-zero targets approved and validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a highly respected standard for setting climate goals, set up by the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and other NGOs.

The decision to move to the Climate Pledge model, where offsetting – albeit only from credible sources – is permitted, came about after considering the slow progress in wider supply chains around the world.

“We’ve committed to being net-zero across our own business by 2030. The big difference there is that those are emissions within our control. Scope Three emissions – your suppliers upstream and downstream – you can only become net-zero on scope three when your suppliers become net-zero.

“Not many [suppliers] are on this journey, and not many people have had their targets validated under the SBTi.”

Datagraphic has itself made substantial progress on its scope one and two emissions – those from its own business activities – already, through measures such as installing 311,000 kWh of solar panels across its two sites. 

In the summer, it actually generates more electricity than it can use.

The firm has likewise signed up to accreditations including the ISO 50001 for energy use and 14001 for environmental impact, and is currently working to achieve B Corp status.

“Ultimately, for us, it’s about being better people. There are a lot of people out there that will record your emissions and give you a score, but, B Corp you actually have to change your articles of association so you legally have to consider the environment, the community. We’re changing the way we do business, to be better people and a better company to work with.”

Wells added: “It’s a long journey for everybody and that’s why we’ve changed our stance [to join the Climate Pledge]. We want people to join us, we want everybody to be involved. We’re sharing with partners, even competitors – we’re sharing, because we want people to join us on the journey.”

Datagraphic employs 100 across its office in Chesterfield and manufacturing site in Rugby, where it runs Xerox equipment.