General

Published: October 8, 2019 | Updated: October 8, 2019

Great work by Good Oaks: Home care provider leads industry in combating carbon emissions

Celebrating Good Oaks Home Care’s carbon neutral status are (left to right) Jane Cameron, Ben Ashton, Zoe Kelly, Sam Jones and Jo Wood.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Dorset-based home care provider is leading the care industry in combating carbon emissions.

Good Oaks Home Care has become one of the first in its sector to become carbon neutral.

It has received the Carbon Footprint Standard accreditation following an audit of its carbon emissions.

Good Oaks worked with the team at Carbon Footprint Ltd to calculate its carbon emissions across all four of its offices based in Dorset, Hampshire, Reading and Mid Sussex.

Carbon Footprint evaluated the emissions recorded by Good Oaks and identified recommendations to reduce them.

The company chose to offset all unavoidable carbon emissions by investing in Carbon Footprint’s carbon offset projects.

Its Poole office, the company’s largest with more than 100 employees, was responsible for the majority of carbon emissions.

These will be offset through a tree-planting scheme in the South West, which plants trees at schools and other bio-diversity sites. The planting will take place in the autumn.

The majority of the company’s emissions were generated by carers travelling by car to provide care at clients’ homes.

The other significant source of emissions was electricity consumption across the four sites.

Ben Ashton, Co-Founder of Good Oaks, said: “Becoming carbon neutral was an important investment for us to make. We didn’t want to wait for legislation to make this compulsory for smaller businesses.

“It is essential that other home care companies across the UK follow our lead, to calculate, reduce and offset their carbon emissions. As far as we know, we’re the only home care provider to have this accreditation and this needs to change.

“Due to the nature of the service we provide, helping support vulnerable people in their own homes, our carers currently need to use their cars to get between visits.

“Electric vehicles aren’t an affordable option yet and we needed to take action to reduce the impact of our carbon emissions now. Offsetting is just part of our long-term environmental strategy which will see us work hard to reduce our impact on the environment wherever we can.

“When our contract ends with our current energy supplier, we will also ensure our electricity is provided by 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Carbon Footprint’s tree-planting project ensures that all trees planted are native, broad leaf species that help to preserve the UK’s biodiversity.

For every tree that is planted, Good Oaks’ investment will also save one tree from being cut down in the Brazilian Amazon via Carbon Footprint’s avoided deforestation programme in South America.

The carbon emissions from Good Oaks’ three other offices will be offset by investment in solar power in one of Carbon Footprint’s projects in the states of Tamil Nadu and Telangana in India. The project develops renewable energy generation plants based on Solar PV technology to deliver electricity to the grid.

Dr. Wendy Buckley, Client Director at Carbon Footprint Ltd, said: “Good Oaks has taken a leading position by assessing the carbon impact of its business – even though there is no legislative requirement for them to do this.

“By offsetting unavoidable emissions, they are assuring that the service they deliver to their customers is sustainable and projects support communities both near and far.”

The Good Oaks team used Carbon Footprint’s online carbon calculator to calculate the company’s carbon footprint, for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30 this year. The calculation uses the 2018 metrics developed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

The carbon footprint assessment includes:

  • Building electricity consumption
  • Car travel
  • Bus and rail travel

Good Oaks Home Care was founded in 2011.

Based in Poole it has franchises in Mid Sussex, the New Forest and Reading.