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Assurity aim to future-proof their commuting emissions with CarbonWise

Assurity supports government agencies and businesses with digital projects.

From smoothing the path of digital change to developing more successful digital products, they help organisations thrive in our digital world.

Recently Assurity has committed to becoming a more environmentally sustainable organisation, and part of that is reducing their carbon footprint from commuting. We asked Assurity’s General Manager of Business Services, Tina Burn how CarbonWise supports their sustainability efforts.

Measuring our baseline commuting emissions

Tina explains,

We’re quite new to our sustainability journey. So, we started by doing some research and measurements ourselves, trying to understand where we create emissions and calculate things like how much waste we produce. Using tools on government websites, we realised the key areas we can improve are business travel and employee commuting.”

“The impact of employee commuting is really hard to estimate. You’ve no idea what commuting emissions your organisation is creating until you ask your people where they’re coming from and how they travel to work. We wanted to understand our baseline commuting emissions so I started looking for a tool to help us measure our commuting impact and found CarbonWise.”

“I emailed Abley and they ticked all my boxes, and suggested two surveys, one in the summer and one in the winter, because the season can dictate different commuting patterns.”


We care about the future of our people, and people yet to come

Sustainability matters to Assurity. Tina says,

One of our core values is we care. We live that value in many different ways, but one example is caring about our planet, the future of our people and the future of people yet to come. That’s important because the people we employ care about the planet as well and it matters to them to know their employer is taking climate change seriously. We felt it was really important to align our values with our team’s values, and not just talk about reducing emissions, but to do something about it.”

“As a consultancy, we’re a people business, so education is key. We want to educate our people so they’re fully equipped to make more sustainable choices when it comes to travel. A lot of people say, ‘I care for the environment, I offset my carbon emissions when I fly to Auckland.’ But it takes so much more than that.”

“We’re also noticing clients are asking more and more about our sustainable philosophy,  policy, and procedures. Particularly clients within government because the government has emission reduction goals to achieve. So, it feels like a good time to take action in this space.”

“Data is power. Getting visual commuting data from CarbonWise has been really powerful because data by itself is fine, but if it is visualised, people go, wow. Everyone reads data quite differently, and visual data is more accessible and engaging for many people.”

Tina BurnsGeneral Manager of Business Services, Assurity

Seamless, straightforward, and easy

Assurity did their first CarbonWise commuting survey in May 2023. Tina recalls,

It was straightforward and low maintenance. I didn’t have to read a great big manual to make CarbonWise work. Abley sent me the template for the survey. I selected the questions we wanted and sent it back. I had a couple of questions which Abley answered. I asked if they had any team comms templates we can use, and they sent some through. It was all very easy.”

“I sent the survey to a few folks at Assurity beforehand to test. They tested it and it was fine. And it isn’t always like that. We’re a digital consultancy and we have a group of software testers who are very particular about digital systems. They test them all the time and they pick up errors like there’s no tomorrow. And they didn’t say a thing.”

“70% of our team took part in the survey, which is really good, especially because I didn’t give them any incentive to complete it. And there was no drama, which was fantastic. No one in the company said, ‘How do I do this?’ ‘Why are we doing this?’ It was seamless.”

A collaborative journey for the whole Assurity team

Tina outlines what’s next on the cards for Assurity in their evolution to become a more sustainable consultancy.

We’ll do another CarbonWise survey in the warmer months. Once we’ve done the two baseline commuting surveys, the biggest thing will be educating our staff on their own personal commuting habits and choices. As a starting point, we’ll be encouraging our leaders to make some good decisions that others will follow. Our other goal is to reduce our carbon emissions from business travel, so cutting down on flights is the obvious one there.”

“Our staff came up with a lot of ideas for reducing our commuting impact, from subsidised public transport to discounts on e-bikes. Those ideas will need to be considered, prioritised by what’s going to have the most impact and what means the most to our people. Then we need to figure out whether low-impact commuting solutions become part of our benefits package and build them into our budgets. At this stage, nothing’s off the table. Understanding our current commuting impact will help us have these conversations in a more informed way.”

“We won’t lower our emissions by simply stating we want to be net zero. That won’t work. The only people who can help us change our commuting impact are our team. They need to be advocates. I don’t want our senior leadership team to dictate what we’re going to do. I want our team holding the flag themselves saying, ‘Hey, this is a thing we believe in.’ Our drive to be more sustainable needs to be an inclusive collaborative thing we’re all in together.”


Keep it simple and focus on what you can change

We asked Tina for her advice for other organisations seeking to become more sustainable. She says

With sustainability there’s a feeling of where do you start? It can be super overwhelming. There’s so much information out there and it’s hard to know what areas are important. My advice is don’t try and change the whole world because you’ll spread yourself far too thin.”

“Understand what’s really important to your company and more importantly, to the people within your organisation. We’re really focused on our climate action goal and gender equality. I held a workshop with the senior leadership team where we looked at The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and we felt those two were most important, and within our grasp.”

“We could have gone after so many Sustainable Development Goals. But we decided to really hone in on what we can actually control, influence, reduce or offset as opposed to trying to solve every problem that the world is facing. So, my advice is start simple, don’t boil the ocean and tackle one chunk at a time.”


Measure your organisation’s commuting emissions with CarbonWise

One of the most powerful things many organisations can do to slow climate change is reduce their employees’ commuting emissions. CarbonWise makes it easy to track emissions from commuting and working from home, and we can customise the tool to fit your needs. 

If you’re looking for a way to measure commuting emissions for your organisation, and to encourage your staff to use more sustainable travel options we’d love to introduce you to CarbonWise.

Learn more here or book a demo with us today. 

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We look forward to talking with you.