It’s no secret that improving your company’s triple bottom line (environmental, social, and economic) can be a challenge. At RDH, we believe that the path to reducing our carbon footprint begins with regular measurement of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

With the help of Climate Smart, we’ve been taking inventory of our GHG emissions, tracking our emissions across all offices and in a variety of categories.

In April, we completed our 2015 inventory and received a comprehensive report on RDH’s progress. This update gives us a chance to gauge how successful our emissions reduction plan has been in achieving our goals, and provides up-to-date information we can use to develop our sustainability strategies moving forward.

Below are some highlighted achievements from our report, and a look at RDH’s next steps for continued sustainability and GHG emission reduction.

Where We’ve Succeeded

Vancouver Office Building Emissions Graph

An area of particular pride for RDH was our significant reduction in heating energy consumption at our Vancouver office, where we’ve reduced our emissions for heating by 72%, a savings of 9.4 tonnes of CO2e as the result of a major building enclosure retrofit. As a firm that offers energy efficiency services to our clients, we knew we couldn’t just “talk the talk”, so we “walked the walk” by adding insulation, improving the airtightness of our building enclosure, and replacing our old windows with triple-pane, fiberglass units, the same type of upgrades we do for many of our clients. The results were dramatic, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Also worth noting was RDH’s success in reducing GHG emissions from garbage and paper. Through simple changes like composting food waste in our offices, continuing to reduce paper use, and paper towel recycling, we’ve been able to reduce our garbage-related emissions by a whopping 82% and paper-related emissions by 43% since 2010.

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Managing Emissions and Corporate Growth

Our biggest challenge is managing emissions from transportation. RDH is a growing company. Since 2010, we’ve added new offices in Oakland, CA, Toronto, and Waterloo, ON. We’ve also increased our staff significantly, and expanded our services to new geographic regions. As a result, our GHG emissions increased since our last inventory.

We are continuing our efforts to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions by offering reimbursing transit passes for staff, encouraging ride-sharing when travelling to/from client meetings, opting for energy-efficient means of transportations whenever possible, and utilizing our teleconferencing services more frequently to supplement in-person meetings. We’re also brainstorming innovative ways that could help us further reduce our transportation footprint.

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Next Steps

As we move forward, we’ll continue to provide updates on our company-wide sustainability initiatives and will be looking carefully at our 2015 report for opportunities to improve. Many RDH’ers are deeply committed to sustainability, both in our project work and in our own operations. Completing periodic greenhouse gas inventories is only one step, but it’s an important step in continuing to reduce our environmental footprint.

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Brittany Coughlin
Written by:

Brittany Coughlin

As an Energy Specialist, Brittany's expertise is in building energy conservation and efficiency. Her work includes energy assessments, energy studies, whole building energy modeling, research, and guideline development related to energy efficiency.