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News | 11 September 2019

GoodOaks becomes the first carbon neutral care franchise

GoodOaks Homecare has become the first homecare franchise to achieve carbon neutral status. This accreditation was funded centrally by the franchisor. 

Carbon neutral 

GoodOaks has gained the Carbon Footprint Standard accreditation following an audit of its carbon emissions. We worked with the team at Carbon Footprint to calculate our carbon emissions across all four of our offices based in Dorset, Hampshire, Reading and Mid Sussex.

Carbon Footprint evaluated the emissions that we recorded and identified recommendations for reducing these. The majority of our emissions were generated by carers travelling by car to provide care at clients’ homes. The other significant source of emissions was electricity consumption across our four sites.

Carbon offsetting projects 

We chose to offset all unavoidable carbon emissions by investing in Carbon Footprint Ltd.’s carbon offset projects and funded this centrally. GoodOaks Poole, our largest office with over 100 employees, was responsible for the majority of carbon emissions.

These will be offset via 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.

Leading the way 

Co-Founder of GoodOaks, Ben Ashton, 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 franchise 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% renewable energy.”

Tree planting and solar power 

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, our 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 our three franchisees will be offset by investment in wind power in one of Carbon Footprint’s projects in the state of Maharashtra in India. This project generates power using renewable wind energy and sells the power generated to the state grid.

Dr. Wendy Buckley, Client Director at Carbon Footprint Ltd, said: “GoodOaks 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.”