How can an organisation reduce its environmental footprint?

Proposed by Professor Andy Humphris


There are a number of reasons why large companies are interested in their carbon emissions. Firstly, UK companies must comply with 2013 legislation and report on C-emissions. Secondly, companies are also aware that their customers care about the environment and they do not want to lose customers to other “greener” rivals. Thirdly, a good reputation in this context can also enhance company value – as investors are increasingly guided by environmental performance. For companies to win bid contracts with government organisations this has become very important.


What are the contributing factors to a company’s environmental footprint in different sectors? How does the product, and usage of that product, impact the environment? The team could focus on one element, e.g. waste reduction, energy reduction, changes in working practices etc. within a specific industry – for example, the ICT (information and communication technology) industries or the clothing industry.

Alternatively, the team could target behaviours that impact all industries. How could the team support industries, organisations and individuals to calculate and monitor their environmental footprint?

Output ideas

  1. To evaluate whether one solution fits all: big tech vs. small tech organisations.
  2. For the findings to be put into action at a named organisation e.g. Infinitesima. The team could look to embed the outputs in the organisation’s social values.
  3. Developing a protocol or method to measure the impact in specific areas such as energy consumption, waste reduction, reuse or recycling more materials.


The following UK government websites are a good starting point: