Cursor is a digital agency building websites, apps and software for businesses that manage personal data. We operate from the Boole Technology Centre, an EPC grade A facility located on the Lincoln Science & Innovation Park.
Reducing our environmental impact and promoting sustainability is a key factor in our business strategy. Our Managing Director is a member of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment), the professional body for everyone working, studying or interested in environment and sustainability. With the help of IEMA and other partners, we are committed to reducing the impact our products and services have on the environment.
We currently conduct the following activities that support our sustainability objectives;
Assess and monitor our direct energy usage
Assess and monitor the energy used in our digital infrastructure, such as in data centres providing web hosting
Track mileage-based emissions, including both employee travel and daily commute
Calculate and report annual carbon emissions
Encourage staff to reduce carbon emissions of transport by promoting car share and cycle to work schemes
Reduce our waste, recycle and reuse as much as possible with a particular emphasis on recycling old computer equipment
Strive for a carbon-neutral status by reducing our co2 output to a minimum
Where possible, purchase energy from renewable sources using REGO-backed energy certification
Reducing travel-based emissions
Before 2020, the daily commute accounted for 80% of our carbon emissions. Staff commuted to the office via car or train, from Nottingham and near Grantham or Newark. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked remotely, which significantly reduced these emissions. We continue to offer hybrid working to staff who may work from home for three days a week. As well as reducing carbon emissions, a hybrid work environment reduces the amount of unproductive travel time and gives employees greater flexibility in balancing their personal and professional lives.
Currently, we have no plans to remove the office altogether, although it's likely to shift to more of a hub than the primary workplace, with staff spending one or two days a week together and then the rest of the time working remotely.
The carbon footprint of data transit
We have processes to track our carbon footprint across office emissions, transport and usage in data centres. We've looked into the carbon cost of commuting to work, but perhaps another type of transport to consider is the carbon footprint of data transit.
The Internet is made from much more than data centres. It's a global collection of computers perpetually moving information in the form of bits across fibre-optic cables and radio signals. All this infrastructure requires massive amounts of power, but as each request for a web page can take a different route, it is impossible to calculate exact figures.
In this blog post, we outline a methodology to calculate the carbon emissions of data transit. Based on these figures, data usage is our second highest source of carbon emissions at roughly 16% of total emissions. We have a responsibility to create websites and software that keep bandwidth low to save on emissions.
Areas for improvement
We have started on the journey to improve our businesses sustainability, but there are many areas for improvement. We aim to:
Better engage with our staff, customers and partners on reducing waste, energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Evaluate the use of carbon offsetting programs where reductions are not possible.
Investigate ways to better document the energy and carbon usage of the digital services we provide.
Move to data centres powered by 100% renewable energy.
Seek opportunities to help raise awareness of climate change and science-based decision making.
This policy is reviewed regularly; the last update was on 2nd February 2022.