Offsetting carbon emissions works for Commercial Group

Cheltenham-based office services outfit Commercial Group (Commercial) is reaping the rewards after embarking on a programme to offset its carbon emissions. The company spent around £120,000 in trying to achieve a carbon neutral status.


Cheltenham-based office services outfit Commercial Group (Commercial) is reaping the rewards after embarking on a programme to offset its carbon emissions. The company spent around £120,000 in trying to achieve a carbon neutral status.

Cheltenham-based office services outfit Commercial Group (Commercial) is reaping the rewards after embarking on a programme to offset its carbon emissions. The company spent around £120,000 in trying to achieve a carbon neutral status.

Simone Mann, a director at Commercial, says the returns on last year’s investment are already tangible, leading to benefits for both the environment and the balance sheet. ‘I know we have won £1 million worth of business as a result of this,’ she tells GrowthBusiness.co.uk.

Recent gains for the company include a £200,000 contract with the social housing repairs and maintenance provider Mears Group. Mann adds: ‘Fifty per cent of their decision to use us was because of our decision to show we are an ethically-minded organisation.’

Power of film

Mann says she was inspired by the recent Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth. According to Gore, the world has less than 50 years to rectify the already catastrophic impact of its carbon emissions before the damage is irreversible.

Every organisation – from services through to manufacturing – produces global warming gases as a by-product of doing business.

With an initial “carbon footprint” of 1,078 tonnes, Commercial has already established a strategy that will dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions over the next 12 months.

What’s more, its remaining non-reducible emissions are being off-set against projects across the world, including solar home lighting in India and Sri Lanka, wind generation in New Zealand, and energy-efficient lighting in Jamaica.

Mann says another benefit has been the lift given to employees at the company. ‘I know that as a business, it is making us work more effectively and efficiently, and we have people who are more motivated than they have been,’ she explains.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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