A Barnsley manufacturer has calculated that its annual carbon output is equivalent to brewing 109 million cups of Yorkshire Tea!
Furniture manufacturer Metalliform put its business through a carbon calculator to get a baseline figure for the size of its carbon footprint, as part of the Net Zero Barnsley programme.
But, when the result showed it creates 9,517 tons of carbon a year, managers asked ‘What does this mean?’ and Net Zero Barnsley consultant Sarah Whale came up with the cups of Yorkshire Tea analogy.
Sarah said: “People struggle to visualise what 9,517 tons of carbon looks like so we translated that into something tangible for the team at Metalliform to get their heads around. It takes the same amount of carbon – 9,517 tons - to make 109 million cups of Yorkshire Tea.”
Metalliform can now monitor the progress they make in reducing carbon by counting down on their comparative cups of tea scale.
The ‘cup of tea’ unit for carbon includes the energy and materials needed to grow, harvest, process, transport and package the tea. So, it’s not just boiling the kettle!
Similar carbon equivalent measures being used globally, to help people understand their carbon emissions, include cups of coffee and flights to New York. But Metalliform related better to their favourite cuppa.
Health, safety, quality and environment manager Cally Bristow said: “We’re committed to becoming a sustainable business and Net Zero Barnsley’s carbon calculator has helped us establish our baseline figures across everything we do, so we can track our progress on reducing carbon emissions.
“Having the ‘cups of Yorkshire Tea’ comparison helps the whole team understand the size of the challenge we face, and we look forward to counting down the teacups to demonstrate how we are reducing carbon and to celebrate the improvements we make.”
Cally says they’ll still be drinking lots of tea of course, but it will be sustainably-sourced and staff will be encouraged to only boil the kettle when they’re are ready and only boil as much water as needed. Metalliform has already reduced its environmental impact through waste control, the introduction of electric vehicles, PIR lighting and smart energy management technology.
It joined the Net Zero Barnsley programme earlier this year to accelerate its journey to net zero.
Net Zero Barnsley, a free accelerator run by The Business Village, has helped 38 companies measure their baseline carbon emissions and start reducing them.
Every business needs to meet the Government’s legal requirement for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050, and Barnsley borough’s own target to achieve this ahead of the national deadline by 2045.
The carbon calculator is key to helping companies start this process. It takes into account a business’ production processes, heating and lighting, procurement and deliveries, staff commutes and office culture.
Sarah Whale said: “The ethos of the Net Zero Barnsley project is to help local businesses understand where and how they are producing carbon now, so they can get started on the challenge of reducing their emissions to meet net zero targets.
“The findings can often be surprising for businesses and really help them to draw up focused and effective sustainability strategies and to keep on track following them.”
Funding for the Net Zero Barnsley programme comes from the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Barnsley Metropolitan Council.