SWM Environmental Impact Report 2018/19

Date of the report

August 2019

Author of the report


Purpose of the report

The aim of this report is to demonstrate good practice as a small business by producing an annual environmental report that covers the main impacts we have, how we are managing them and securing any potential costs savings or other benefits. This primarily includes our office energy use and emissions from business travel.

This report provides detailed analysis of our emissions in 2018/19 financial year, as well as a summary of trends since our first published report in 2011/12.

This report has been written by Valentin Theil, our Volunteer Communications Officer (June – September 2019).

Key Findings

  1. Emissions from heating and powering SWM’s office space now make up over 90% of all emissions, due to a decrease in the total amount of travel emissions this year.
  2. Travel emissions went down, despite an increase in distance travelled, due to a decrease in use of cars and an increase in use of trains.
  3. It is difficult for SWM to make reductions in office emissions because control is largely with the building owner, Groundwork UK. However, there will soon be an opportunity to make reductions as SWM is likely to move to a new office location in 2020. It should make the most of this opportunity by ensuring a move to an environmentally efficient office.


Choosing a new office

  • SWM is likely move to a new office location in 2019/20. It should make the ability to measure its own emissions a consideration in the selection of the new building. At a minimum, the building should be able to provide overall building energy usage, as well as the number of people using the building so that SWM can accurately estimate its own usage.
  • When selecting a new office location, SWM should use building energy efficiency, public transport links and use of renewable energy tariffs as selection criteria.

Travel habits

  • Ensure car and taxi travel is only ever used as a genuine last resort with a target to reduce car travel in actual terms and as a proportion of overall business travel.
  • Where travel by car is essential, investigate car-sharing as a way of making it more cost effective and reduce emissions per person. Where car-sharing is used, ensure this is recorded on travel expenses so it can be accounted for in future reports.
  • Take advantage of the new Birmingham Clean Air Zone to improve the efficiency of current vehicles used for business travel.
  • SWM should monitor how many events it goes to annually, as well as how far these events are away and what form of travel was used to get there.
  • Use videoconferencing where practical and possible to reduce travel emissions.

Office habits and procurement

  • Consider recording the procurement of office items such as ink cartridges so that waste can be measured and managed.

Links and contact information

Please contact SWM on 0121 237 5890 or at enquiries@swm.org.uk for more information.


SWM Environmental Reporting 2018-19