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Big waves, small impact

October 2019

Environment and Ethics Report

As of September 2019 I have begun to review the ethical and ecological credentials of companies that provide me with goods and services. There are any number of metrics to judge a company on. I'm specifically looking at environmental, sustainability and ethical policies. I have a subscription to Ethical Consumer which is very useful, but mostly I have tried to go straight to the source. I will monitor this list constantly. Please get in contact if you have anything to add below.


Coffee

Extract Coffee Roasters

I have a subscription with these guys. Lots of incredible stuff on sustainability on their site. Take a look at their Sustainability Report. Bristol-based. Built a shop from scrap material. Use 100% recyclable cups and explain this choice over compostable. Extract don't use Fairtrade coffee but explain why in their FAQs.
5/5

Cafédirect

If I'm out of Extract and have to pop into a shop for ground coffee.
5/5

Transport

Wheels and feet

My commute is by bike or on foot.
5/5

Train or battery

If I need to go further afield I travel by train or in our Nissan Leaf.
4/5

Hosting

GreenGeeks

Have used these guys for years and never had any issues. Early adopters of green energy in hosting. Wish they had a UK data centre.
4/5

1and1 Ionos

Ionos use renewable energy to power their UK data centres. They also run recycling and responsible travel initiatives.
4/5

Technology

Apple

Apple MacBook Pro, Apple Thunderbolt display, Apple iPhone 8. Apple ranks middling in Ethical Consumer's list of technology companies. With the exception of my iPhone I tend to use Apple products for a long time. My iPhones go through the usual 24 month cycle and they normally get reused within my family. Same with laptops.
2.5/5

Communication

Ecotalk

I have recently switched my mobile network from O2 to Ecotalk by Ecotricity. They’re still piggybacking on the EE network but they use money from customer bills to give land back to nature. All of my calls and data are now powered by renewable energy. 4/5

Online services

Dropbox

No environmental reporting whatsoever. Discussed here. I have contacted them for more information (10/10/2019).
1/5

Harvest

I use Harvest for time tracking and invoicing. Love Harvest. But no environmental statement on their site! However they do get involved in community projects and have a track record of giving to charity.

Update. I contacted Harvest for more information and they wrote back immediately to emphasise the moves they have made around remote working, recycling and reusables in the offices. They mentioned their community projects and donations matching. All awesome things. I'm hoping they will do more in terms of environment-specific targets in the near future. I'll keep an eye on that.
2.5/5

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe do have a sustainability statement which includes a commitment to 100% renewable energy delivering their products. Greenpeace gave them a 'B' in their Clicking Green rating of IT companies (scores were A to F). Ethical Consumer ranks Adobe pretty poorly based on a range of ethical no-nos.
2.5/5

Fonts.com

Nothing to be found regarding environmental or sustainability commitments. I have contacted them for more information (10/10/2019).
1/5

Amazon S3 & Rackspace

Amazon's a big no-no. Tax avoidance on a massive scale, poor working conditions. Plus the always-on, get-it-by-this-afternoon consumer culture that they foster is a big factor in climate change. But I have found it hard to disentangle myself from their web services. They do, however, have commitments to renewable energy usage in their data centres, and a number of renewable energy plants across the US.
1.5/5

Rackspace have some clear ethical and environmental commitments.
4/5

Ecosia

The search engine that plants trees using 80% of their ad revenue to do it. Every 45 searches gets a tree planted. Seems like a pretty straightforward switch away from Google, although as they're using Microsoft's search it's just not quite as effective. But they're great on privacy and operate 100% renewables-powered data centres.
5/5

Banking

Starling

I recently moved my business banking from the Coop to Starling based on favourable reviews in Ethical Consumer. Very happy with the product and hopefully it maintains its high ethical score. It's a very new bank so I'll reserve some judgement.
4/5


Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash