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Our Work

Aiimi goes carbon neutral.

by Helen Patenall

We’re excited to announce that Aiimi is now a certified Carbon Neutral Plus organisation, meaning we now offset the same amount of carbon that we create.

Tackling climate change and sustaining our environment for future generations is so important to us all. At Aiimi, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to be part of the solution. When we set up the Aiimi Goes Green initiative last year, we decided that carbon neutral (net zero) status would be our primary environmental goal for 2020.

Understanding our impact

The first step was an independent assessment of our carbon footprint, measuring factors like on-site energy use and employee travel. We discovered that as a business, we produced 166.93 tonnes of carbon in 2019 (1.96 tonnes per employee). That’s equivalent to the emissions from:

We were also able to see how and where we generate carbon – in 2019, this was mostly from powering the Aiimi office and travelling between home and the office/customer sites. Armed with this information, the next steps were to decide how to offset those emissions and look at how we can reduce future emissions.

We made the commitment to become Carbon Neutral Plus, meaning our emissions were rounded up to 206 tonnes to cover estimated error margins and ensure we offset our footprint in full. Carbon offsetting balances out the emissions we’ve already caused by providing financial support to projects that help tackle climate change. Many of these projects also bring additional benefits to local communities, so we had an important decision to make.

Balancing carbon with clean water

We’ve chosen to invest in a Borehole Rehabilitation Project in Uganda, to provide a source of clean drinking water to local communities.

Clean water is considered the most vital requirement to sustain life, but for many rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa, the struggle to find clean, safe drinking water can use up much of a family’s resources. More often than not, the burden falls to women and children to collect water a long way from home, walking up to three hours a day. And even then, the water collected isn’t safe to drink. Pools and rivers are often contaminated with pollutants and potentially lethal bacteria that cause illness and infection, so the water has to be boiled before drinking.

The Borehole Rehabilitation Project works with local communities to identify and repair the many broken boreholes in the region, giving families access to clean, safe drinking water within their community. This also means they no longer have to boil water before drinking, saving on firewood and preventing carbon emissions.

At Aiimi, we understand how precious our water supply is from our work with UK water companies, including Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water, and the impact of a safe water source in the heart of the community cannot be overestimated.

“Becoming carbon neutral was a vital step for Aiimi. By supporting the Borehole Rehabilitation Project, we’re not only offsetting our carbon emissions – we’re also supporting an important safe water project in Uganda, one that aligns with our commitment to long-term sustainability and effective resourcing of water as a member of the UK Water Partnership.” Steve Salvin, Aiimi CEO

In addition to a clean water supply, women participating in the Borehole Rehabilitation Project have said the many hours previously spent walking can now be invested in working on the farm and learning new skills to generate income. The project in the Lango sub-region will be the very first to implement the new Gender Equality methodology from Gold Standard, which manages best practice for climate and sustainable development interventions.

Striving for better

Becoming carbon neutral is an important part of our journey that we’re proud to have achieved. But our work isn’t done – the next step is to look at how we can reduce our future carbon emissions. We’ll be working to set some clear targets, then monitoring our energy use to ensure we’re staying on track, as well as looking at how to improve the accuracy of our emissions data.

Our long-term goal is to continue to offset and reduce our emissions, on our journey to Zero Carbon status – where we no longer generate any carbon as a product of running Aiimi. To do this, we’ll need to expand our measurement capabilities to understand the footprint of all aspects of the business, including our InsightMaker product and supply chain. We’re working on a strategy right now and will publish our plans in early 2021.

In the meantime, the Aiimi Goes Green team will lead the way in helping everyone at Aiimi to maximise energy efficiency and identify opportunities to reduce energy waste. This is a group effort, and we’re always striving to learn more and do better. Recently, we hosted the Mission Zero data hack at Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival, to help the water industry and its customers understand carbon costs and tackle climate change. Head over to our social channels to see how we got on, and stay tuned for other exciting updates!

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