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Our Journey to Net Zero: Two Years On

31 January, 2023
Our Journey to Net Zero: Two Years On

Sustainability can and should be a priority for everyone. But often it’s hard to know where to start. By blending technology with years of experience on the front lines, Rio is helping its customers globally to become more accountable and conscious about their operations. We empower organisations and individuals to make better and more sustainable business decisions, for the long term, and for the benefit of all.

At Rio, we believe that it is important to practice what we preach by being dedicated to our commitments towards moving to create a sustainable world for our employees, our clients, our local communities and the world at large. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint not just for our organisation, but for our clients as well.

In 2021, we took the pledge to Net Zero and we set science-based targets to achieve Net Zero within our organisation.

Like a lot of our clients, we have seen an increase in our emissions after our emergence from Covid; the major driver in this being the increased return to office-based working. Whilst we continue to offer flexible working conditions,  the emissions from returned regular commuting has an inevitable impact on our company’s footprint. 

We are aware that there is an important social sustainability benefit from meeting our clients and colleagues in person, we also acknowledge the need to do this in the most environmentally sustainable ways possible.

Whilst we have measured our impact of our office return, we have also worked to track the impact of working from home and hybrid work utilsing the new home working emissions methodology as set out by BEIS/DEFRA in the 2022 publication of the UK Carbon conversion factors, which is now available in the Rio platform.

Our Carbon Footprint calculation

To ensure a full, comprehensive scope of our carbon footprint, we collected travel data including - commuting data from all of our employees in the UK, business travel data, and further calculating working from home emissions. We also collected our natural gas, electricity, waste and water consumption from all of our offices in the UK. We used the Rio platform to then calculate our carbon footprint and compare vs our prior year.

A breakdown of our emissions for this year in comparison to last year is detailed below:



(Net tCO2e)


(Gross tCO2e)


 (Net tCO2e)

Change from Net CO2e in base year (%)

Scope 1





Scope 2





Scope 3










tC02e carbon emissions by scope in base year and current year

*Net figures take into account the use of renewable energy

In FY21/22, we moved to a London office where there was no gas usage and 100% renewable electricity purchased, thus reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions to Net Zero.

Conversely, we saw our Scope 3 carbon emissions increase by 30% from the previous year. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our employees worked from home. As we emerged out of the pandemic, more employees travelled into the office and attended external meetings, so business travel and commuting emissions increased. We have also seen our headcount rapidly grow, which contributes to the increase.

To further negate this increase, we are working with our staff to improve energy efficiencies at home and at work, encouraging our staff to purchase renewable energy at home and also working to encourage sustainable business travel as much as possible.

Our SBT near term targets are as follows:

To reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 42% by FY2030/31 from an FY 2019/20 base year.

  • This has been achieved this recent financial year 21/22, but we continue to target this going forward for subsequent office moves.

To reduce Scope 3 emissions by at least 30% by FY2030/31 from an FY2019/20 base year.

  • The increase to our scope 3 emissions this year has affected our progress in this area. We will be producing a sustainable travel policy and engaging with our staff to ensure this is well understood and adopted. At the point of achieving reductions to a ‘residual emissions’ point, we will then apply SBT approved carbon reduction offsets to ensure we can meet our target and go beyond to hit net zero by 2040.

As the next financial year soon closes, we will also be looking to calculate our latest carbon footprint and measure progress against targets. Our sustainability journey continues, and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

You can download our guide to on 10 Steps to Net Zero here. This guide provides organisations of any size or sector a simple, jargon-free, step-by-step process for how to get closer.

If you have any questions about our process or need guidance with determining your organisation's own carbon footprint and setting science-based targets, get in touch.