Small feet

We are working towards a smaller carbon footprint. Follow our journey.

By Sophi Rose, Institute of Directors
14 May 2021
read time
2 min to read
Looking down on a person walking on a beach

Starting out

One organisation, 50 people, 8 branches, 256 events, 144 courses and 9300 members.

The aspiration: to measure and reduce our carbon footprint.

Let’s just say that my excitement for getting started is high – and while I know there will be some nit-picky detail to deal with to get going – I’m optimistic that we shall overcome!

When I raised my hand to do this project in late 2020, I had a discussion with a speaker from one of the IoD’s sustainability one-day courses. She advised that one of our biggest opportunities was to share the journey with our members as they are influential in creating change, and may be looking at how their companies may embark on a similar project themselves. She also noted that the IoD’s biggest footprint was likely to be our events and courses, and the associated travel and materials required to support them.

Our goal is to look at how we can have smaller feet – not stop our reason for being – but we want to be conscious by measuring, be aware and look at how we can realistically reduce our impact where possible. So project Small feet was born.

We decided to work with an organisation who could hold our hands, as we focused on our feet. After some consideration, we elected to work with Ekos, a small social enterprise based in Nelson. There are many good organisations doing this kind of work and it has been very helpful to have support.

Our initial discussions explored what measurement would involve, which elements were important and when we wanted to define our measure. We decided that we would look forward and not back. So rather than trying to measure 2020 we would get set up in 2021 to be able to measure effectively. This was for three reasons:

  1. 2020 was a unique year in so many ways and would be an odd first measure
  2. we have a number of complexities in what we measure, and
  3. as a small organisation, paddling quickly at all times, we needed to be kind to our people and allow them to engage and inform our journey.

So the goal for 2021 is to measure our footprint, put in place all the systems we need to do that, and try and iron out some of the niggles and challenges on the way. And hey presto at the end of the year we will have our first benchmark measure. That is the plan…at least!

I will share some of the insights, the lessons and the ups and downs with you as we go. I hope that you might find some useful elements if you are interested – or embarking on a similar journey yourselves. And if you have been there and done it – I’m always keen to hear about your experiences – and any lessons you’d like to share.

Stay tuned, as we get underway. If you want to share a lesson, or have any comments,  please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. 

Sophi Rose
About the author

Sophi Rose
General Manager, Brand, Marketing and Communications

Sophi works with a creative and talented Brand, Marketing and Communications team at the IoD and is passionate about the power of brand to drive a strong future for organisations and their stakeholders. She has a background working in brand, marketing, communications and PR in New Zealand, Australia, the US and UK across a range of industry sectors and businesses. Read more