Signature, the UK’s leading awarding organisation in deaf communication qualifications, announces that we will be moving to a new office. From 5th July 2021 Signature will be moving to Shannon House, an office located on Mandale Business Park, Durham.
Our new office at Shannon House will see us downsize to a space that more suitably fits our current size.
Lindsay Foster, Executive Director at Signature said “the last 18 months have been difficult for many organisations, and Signature is no different. We have faced challenges that we weren’t expecting, and I am proud of the way we have handled this unprecedented situation.
But now we must look to the future, we must think about what is important to us and what is important to our staff.
So, with all that in mind, I am pleased to tell you that Signature is today committing to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2025. We will achieve this by both reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions. Our commitment reflects our focus toward becoming a more sustainable awarding organisation by improving environmental performance and driving long-term, sustainable growth for our organisation.”
What we have done so far
Signature have already made positive steps towards becoming more sustainable.
Our office move will mean we can substantially reduce our office energy consumption. We will no longer be using energy for additional meeting space and rooms that are not used regularly.
In 2020 we moved all our assessments online, which has allowed us to reduce how much paper we consume. From September 2021, Signature will no longer be sending out DVDs to our centres, all assessment materials will be sent through our online system. By going paperless it helps us to reduce Co2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. Turning a single tree into 17 reams of paper results in around 110 lbs of Co2 being released into the atmosphere, by making a change to online assessment papers we can drastically reduce the paper we use as an organisation.
Our significant upgrades to our IT systems and moving all our IT systems onto the cloud have also significantly reduced our energy consumption. Moving to the cloud is 93 percent more energy-efficient and can result in 98 percent lower carbon emissions than traditional enterprise data centres.
We are already making great strides towards our commitment, but we want to do more.
Our plans for the next 4 years
To achieve carbon neutrality, Signature will focus on several areas including sustainable procurement practices and helping our staff to become more carbon literate.
Signature will make sure that all our envelopes and papers that are used will be made from 100% recycled materials. We are also exploring the feasibility and security of moving our certificates onto recycled paper if this is possible.
We will also review all our suppliers and where possible, changing to ‘green’ suppliers. As well as reducing our internal waste encouraging further recycling from all our staff by introducing additional recycling bins in our common areas.
Signature staff will also undertake e-learning to become carbon literate. Carbon Literacy is relevant climate change learning that catalyses action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Carbon Literacy Project works to provide access to this learning to everyone who lives, works and studies and is expanding rapidly across the UK and beyond (https://carbonliteracy.com/organisation/).
Finally, Signature will also offset part of our carbon footprint for unavoidable emissions by purchasing carbon credits which will fund projects like renewable energy, forestry and carbon capture and storage.
As part of Signature climate-positive impact, we will create a Signature Forest planting 144 trees per month and remove 10.6 tonnes of Co2 from the atmosphere every month through our carbon offsetting credits.