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Decarbonising a HR consultancy and recruitment firm

Decarbonising a HR consultancy and recruitment firm

A project done by Climate Action Catalyst

The brief

The company, a local Human Resource (HR) consultancy and recruitment company, was seeking to solidify their climate efforts. They have embarked on their climate journey by spreading awareness and updated news about the topic within the staff while imposing in-office measures to decrease waste (e.g. no-bin policy, fines for leaving lights on overnight unnecessarily). However, they lacked a concrete system to reflect their position in the journey towards net zero and measure their progress with their climate efforts.

As a professional service, their work is mainly done within the office or before their work devices so emission drivers mainly surrounded activities done there. Regarding calculation, the company was unsure about what to calculate and the methodology for accurate and precise calculation. The company, having several business goals and interest, also faced constraints devoting on their manpower and resources to their climate goals. They were hence seeking high impact solutions that required low effort and capital to implement.

The company has plans to expand regionally and bring these climate efforts over. They also aim to be a climate leader in the HR industry who can inspire and influence other companies to join them in their fight against the climate crisis.

The solution - Calculate

Our project was split into two parts of ‘Calculate’ and ‘Taking action’. For ‘Calculate’, we sought to calculate the carbon footprint of the company. To understand the unique emission drivers specific to the company, we looked closely into the end-to-end processes of the company and their direct subsidiaries.

From there, we drew on leading global frameworks like the GHG Protocol and the Science-Based Targets Initiative to create our own in-house carbon footprint framework and calculator that was lightweight enough to be deployed into the SME context.

The calculation was divided into scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. As the company had no scope 1 emissions, we focused solely on scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. For scope 2 emissions, we reviewed the company’s electricity bills and plugged in Singapore’s geographic-specific emission factor to derive scope 2 emissions.

For scope 3 emissions, we drew on the close investigation of the company’s processes to identify the various scope 3 sources. As scope 3 is often incredibly complex and immense, with many sources lying very much outside of the company’s control, we conducted a materiality assessment to understand which scope 3 sources were material to the company. We filtered the different drivers through the key criteria to prioritise them.

With that, we created a carbon map with quantified and qualified emissions from the company, allowing the company to get a clearer picture of their footprint and open a productive conversation on which emission drivers to target for reduction.

The solution - Taking Action

Based on the analysis of the carbon map, combined with our client’s appetite for investment, we devised recommendations for our clients to take action on the insights gained from calculation. This was further split into two parts, first to improve processes within the firm and second, to communicate their effort and leadership to stakeholders.

On improving internal processes to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, we engaged in a co-creation session to gain deeper and more specific insights on the company’s goals, appetite and preferences. Our team then tailored our recommendations to these insights and provided crucial information, relating to each recommendation, that will support the company in the implementation phase. We also moved a step further to connect with solution providers whom we have identified to match the company’s preference and investment appetite to understand the specifics of their products better. This allowed us to be confident that our recommendations are accurately designed to fit our client’s goals and constraints.

Our team acknowledges that it is important to the company that they are able to communicate their climate efforts and receive accreditation on them. We hence put together a robust report for the company to use as a communication piece once they have implemented climate strategies and achieved decarbonisation milestones. Our team also conducted in-depth research to recommend reliable certifications that suited their timeline which they can use to reinforce communication of their climate commitment.

With this, we charted out a feasible and meaningful decarbonisation pathway for the company to elevate their sustainability journey.

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