Oxfam Ireland Homepage
  • 2 mins read time
  • Published: 5th January 2024
  • Blog by Melissa Cooke

Reducing our carbon footprint one step at a time

Oxfam Ireland have been working with Auditel, Cost, Procurement & Carbon Solutions Company, to look at how we can reduce our carbon footprint. And our Carbon Footprint Report to March 2023 shows that we’re making great progress in our strategic objective of net zero emissions by 2050.

We’ve completed - or are on our way to completing - several initiatives.

  • We use fully renewable electricity. 
  • We are nearly there in switching all our lights to LED which will drastically reduce the energy used in our shops.
  • Our company cars/vans are now being replaced by hybrid or fully electric vehicles. We have two electric in the Republic of Ireland and two hybrid in Northern Ireland. We aim to have all our fleet fully electric by 2030.

We’re aware that we all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. The climate crisis affects all of us, but it hits the poorest people hardest; those least responsible for causing it. We work with partners to protect the rights and livelihoods of people most affected by the climate crisis.

We needed to take action to reduce the damage we, as an organisation, and as individuals are doing to the environment. We have two offices, 47 shops and one distribution centre across the island of Ireland. We have over 200 staff and 800 volunteers.

We faced a big challenge and sought expertise to advise and support us on how to reduce our carbon footprint. This is why we commissioned Auditel to help us put together our first Carbon Footprint Report, across all three 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions scopes to 31 March 2023. These "scopes” come from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which is the most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standard. The scopes measure fuel for heating and vehicles, electricity, purchased goods, waste, water, business travel and employee commuting.

In the future, we’ll keep working to reduce our carbon footprint.

  • We aim to offer new shop services to the community, such as used
    battery collection and clothing repair.
  • We want to educate our workforce on the impact of their decisions on
    our journey to our strategic objective of net zero emissions by 2050.
    We will create a number of “Carbon Champions” in key areas. They will
    be given additional training and understanding of carbon emissions.
  • We also aim to run campaigns to educate staff about events such as
    World Environment Day.
This year with the help of Auditel we are calculating our carbon footprint. The engagement with our staff has been very useful in helping us identify where we need to change our behaviour and how to do it. This has helped us to prioritise the key areas we want to focus on for the next year as set out in our detailed action plan. We also recognise that many of the measures we plan to take to reduce our carbon footprint will also help us operate more efficiently, cut costs and go some way to protecting us from the inevitable future increases in fuel and energy costs.
— Frank Long, Oxfam Ireland Chief Operating Office