Earth Day 2021
April 21, 2021
Our Sustainability network shares the importance of today and their plans for the future.
Earth day 2021
Today is Earth Day worldwide - an opportunity for countries around the world to put environmental concerns on the front page and for climate & sustainability groups to unite in their call for action. For this reason, we thought we'd use the day in a similar vein to share more about the sustainability group at Auto Trader.
Since its inception in 2017, the sustainability network at Auto Trader now has over 180 people in the wider network and more than 10 facilitators who meet regularly to help organise internal events and discussions and progress the network's commitments.
This year, those commitments fall into 4 main categories:
- Making our colleagues more environmentally aware
- Raising the profile of Auto Trader as a leading sustainable business
- Supporting our customers on their own sustainability journey
- Educating people on the industry's journey to electrification
We are in a climate crisis, and now, more than ever, sustainability is being seen as a priority. As a business that operates in the automotive sector (one not exactly renowned for being the most eco-conscious) and as the destination where people come to buy and sell vehicles, we have both a responsibility, and the ability to make a difference.
We are still in the early stages of our journey and are working with several partners to help us get a much clearer picture of where we currently stand regarding our carbon impact. We're now calculating our emissions for the last year, and we will widen our scope 3 emissions in our reporting. We have also signed up to the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), and we will be validating our targets to reduce those emissions.
What are we doing already?
We believe that education and spreading knowledge about how we can make a difference is vital. With the support of the Carbon Literacy Project, over 20% of Auto Trader employees have completed the Carbon Literacy course in just over a year, making us the first FTSE 100 company to receive ‘silver' accreditation. The short course is a fantastic way to learn about climate change, and the impact on everyday life and ideas on how we can help the wider good (you can read more about this in a previous post). We'll offer the training to even more colleagues over the next year, working towards the next level of ‘gold' accreditation which will see the number of people trained increase to over 50%.
We'll also be hosting virtual (and maybe even in-person) coffee chats throughout the year with our colleagues to discuss various topics. Most recently, we held one to discuss Seaspiracy - the Netflix documentary that brought to life a worrying picture about the state of our oceans from the impact of the fishing industry.
We've partnered with Ecologi to start our climate positive workforce journey and have planted over 30,000 trees and offset more than 534 tonnes of CO2 since we started less than a year ago. We know offsetting isn't the solution, though, and our main focus over the next year will be around investigating how we can reduce our emissions.
Other things we've already done to reduce our impact:
Our main offices are already using 100% renewable energy and have a BREEAM rating of either ‘excellent' or ‘outstanding'
We massively reduced our electricity consumption in our data centres by moving our services into the cloud, powered by renewable energy
Introduced several changes in our offices to reduce waste from single-use plastics in the canteen and have recycling bins to help reduce waste going to landfill
We have installed new equipment in our offices to facilitate enhanced virtual meetings
How we're helping consumers
In the last 12 months, we've almost tripled the number of electric vehicles (EVs) advertised on Auto Trader, with 75 models and over 8000 adverts. In March 2021, EVs appeared in more than 100 million searches with almost 4 million advert views. This year you'll see even more EV content on our site, and we'll be launching a total cost of ownership page to help consumers see the true cost of an electric vehicle, along with more information to help them understand more about EVs. We're also continuing our monthly EV giveaway and filming more videos with EVs to go on our YouTube channel.
We've still got a long way to go, and we know we can do more, but we're really excited about the things we've got planned and can't wait to tell you all about them.