The future is low-emission businesses

At Thankyou Payroll we believe in a sustainable future. We take action – every day – to work towards this. You can too.

When you partner with Thankyou Payroll, or simply use our payroll software and PAYE service, you automatically become part of positive impact. We measure beyond just a profit line to determine success.

It’s not always what you do that matters, it’s what kind of business you are.

Thankyou Payroll's CEO – Christina Bellis – presenting at the 10th Annual Bookkeepers conference in Napier
Thankyou Payroll’s CEO – Christina Bellis – presenting at the 10th Annual Bookkeepers conference in Napier

Recently, our Chief Executive was invited to share the ethics and company values that Thankyou Payroll champions at the 10th Annual Bookkeepers conference in Napier. Christina took the opportunity to talk about low emission business operations, and the environmental responsibility that has been a core value for Thankyou Payroll since the beginning. Despite this, it still took us 7 years to become accredited as Carbon Neutral – it’s an incremental journey, but one that we believe we all need to be on.

The climate has always changed, alternating between ice ages and greenhouse periods, but the alarming rate of recent change, and correlated to human activity, is what’s concerning.

We can all acknowledge that extreme weather events are causing devastation on multiple levels: 

  • Unpredictable patterns cause major issues for farming. We’ve built our practices for food security around knowing the weather, and this disrupts our crop growth, harvesting, distribution, and the economy. 
  • Erratic weather issues displace people. Temporary housing or shelter is erected, and in some places can become long-term.  This can quickly lead to overcrowding, bringing sanitation issues, and widespread disease. 
  • The threat of sea level rise will significantly affect many New Zealand’s communities as we live alongside the ocean. Our Pacific Island neighbours are already seeing their countries slowly disappear – and NZ will be their refuge. 

‘This isn’t a Pacific Island issue, or a New Zealand issue – it’s a global issue as it’s the atmosphere we all share’. 

In the last couple of years we’ve seen the NZ government propose, and adopt the Zero Carbon Amendment Act, which has a bold target of net zero emissions by 2050 (with an exception for biogenic methane set at a reduction between 24-47% of 2017 levels by 2050). The government will establish emission budgets in the next few years, and implement an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by 2025 for businesses, meaning we will pay for the emissions we use. This provides an incentive towards reduction goals. 

But we don’t become carbon neutral overnight – it’s a hill to climb to get there. Waiting for the Govt to get its ducks in a row and figure out its framework for monitoring and managing the ETS and the Zero Carbon act is wasting precious time. We’re all going to need to make changes, or we’ll be adding additional lines to our budget to pay for our emissions.            

  • The first step in what to do, is agreeing to start doing something.
  • The second step is to start measuring the carbon emissions your business uses to understand it better.  We can’t make informed decisions that make economical sense without first understanding the landscape.

At Thankyou Payroll we first started calculating our emission in 2016-2017. We did this ourselves, working through complex calculations and hoping we were doing it properly. Now, we record all of our emissions in a spreadsheet, and use our partner EKOS, experts in carbon calculating and offsetting, to run the numbers for us.

Climate change quote from Professor Kimberly Nicholas with a satellite photo of the Australian Bush fires.
European Space Agency satellite photo of NSW bush fires south of Nowra 31 Dec 2019.

In a nutshell, you have Scope 1, 2, & 3 emissions; 

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the organisation (ie, within the organisational boundary). For example, emissions from vehicles owned or controlled by the business, onsite landfills, waste water treatment, agriculture, and fuel combustion from factories. 
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy (in the form of electricity, heat or steam) that the organisation uses. 
  • Scope 3: Other indirect emissions occurring because of the activities of the organisation but generated from sources it does not own or control (eg, air travel, non-company vehicles, waste, freight, etc).

Thankyou Payroll doesn’t have any Scope 1 emissions. The majority of our emissions is from travel and we’ve been consciously working to reduce that. After reviewing our carbon calculation, we immediately changed our board meetings to an online forum, and only meet in person once a year for a weekend of strategic planning. For the rest of the business, we make a considerate effort to maximise opportunities with any other travel. 

We’ve also looked at our waste and conducted an internal waste audit. This helped us to engage our staff in what was being – sometimes mindlessly – discarded as rubbish instead of recycling, or composting. The following year, we decreased our waste by two thirds. It’s always a challenge, and in 2020 we moved offices and sent a bunch of broken furniture to landfill which increased our weight dramatically!

Thankyou Payroll's emissions audited by Ekos
Snapshot of Thankyou Payroll’s Carbon Footprint

We’ve increased our staff numbers over the years, but our emissions continue to decrease, because we actively consider what we need, and how we can achieve success in our business with a lighter footprint.

Thinking sustainably, we’ve implemented a procurement policy at Thankyou Payroll that serves as a guideline for what and where we acquire the things we need to run our business. 

Ensure you engage your team. This is really important as it helps employees understand the values the organisation upholds. It also offers them opportunities to share their knowledge and be part of solutions, and helps educate and mentor others on why this is important beyond just our businesses.

Over the years, we have had changeovers in staff, but many have claimed that they learned a lot about environmental responsibility from working with Thankyou Payroll, and that it also helped them change behaviours at home.

This makes us smile, and we know we’re winning because we’re actively part of the solution, helping to change behaviour towards a better future.

Do you want to learn more?

Please contact us using the form below if you’d like us to contact you to help you, and your business, become more sustainable.

 

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