The evidence is clear. The planet is warming, and human activity is the cause. The scientific consensus is that we must limit warming to 1.5C. To achieve this, we need to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
As a software developer, we consider ourselves a relatively low-carbon business. But there is still scope to reduce our carbon emissions and waste generation.
We identified the below as the most impactful actions we could take to ensure we’re a force for good in the fight for our planet's sustainability.
Hosting Synergist is our largest related energy use and, therefore, a potential source of carbon emissions. We've chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host Synergist Cloud due to their power efficiency and low carbon emissions. AWS is committed to being 100% renewable energy powered by 2025.
In 2022 our carbon emissions from hosting the Synergist Cloud were 0.014 MTCO2e. This equates to 99% fewer carbon emissions than if Synergist was hosted on typical on-premises infrastructure*.
*Carbon emissions would be greater than 8 MTCO2e per year based on figures from AWS Carbon Footprint Tool
Our second largest use of energy is our offices and consists primarily of heating, IT kit and lighting.
Heating. Our offices were heated with resistive electrical heaters. Unlike gas central heating, these have no direct emissions but consume large amounts of electricity. After considerable research, we chose to replace these with air-source heat pumps that have achieved a 68% reduction in heating-related electricity use.
IT kit. Team members typically had two desktop machines, one at home and one in the office. These were relatively power-hungry machines. After assessing energy usage, we decided to switch to laptops for all staff. These use less electricity and have halved the number of machines we purchase going forwards, significantly reducing electronic waste. All IT kit we no longer require is securely wiped and distributed to local charities and good causes for further use.
Lighting. All lighting has been switched to low-energy LED panels.
Internal servers. All internal servers are virtualised to ensure the minimum number of physical servers is required. The server room was cooled with conventional air conditioning, but we realised that most of our cooling needs could be met with fresh air. We've installed a forced fresh air cooling system with air conditioning backup which has resulted in a 95% reduction in the use of air conditioning. In total, we have achieved a 72% reduction in energy usage for our internal server hosting.
Whatever your agency looks like – 10 to 500 people, design to digital – Synergist can be shaped to the way you work.
Synergist consultants, Agency Works, will be in touch to arrange your bespoke demo. Their experience working with hundreds of agencies means they can help you work out if Synergist is right for you.