The maritime division of John Good Group, which consists of DAN Shipping and Bay Shipping, has achieved operational carbon neutrality, along with its sister companies – Good Travel Management and TEPS.

In a significant step towards John Good Group’s long-term sustainability plans, the 190-year-old family business was supported by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM to measure and report the carbon footprint for 2022 aligned to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and their Quantis tool for Scope 3 emissions.

Achieving operational carbon neutrality is one of many steps in John Good Group’s sustainability journey. The Group has rolled out carbon reduction programmes across each of its businesses, including renewable energy generation, the introduction of Hybrid and EV vehicles, a review of suppliers, and the development of several people focussed initiatives aimed at carbon-contributing factors such as commuting miles.

The reduction initiatives will continue at pace over the coming years to ensure the business is reducing its emissions as much as possible. However, the Group’s largest carbon-producing business, TEPS, is constrained by the pace of the industry’s technological developments. Progress on new fuelling solutions is slow and the availability of suitable vehicle alternatives is still several years away. Frustratingly for the Group, additional solar energy generation is also being limited by the national electricity grid – which is currently prohibiting the business from exporting surplus solar energy, which it could generate by making extra investment into solar panels on its warehouses.  These are issues the Group hopes will diminish over the coming years.

To offset the Group’s residual emissions for 2022, John Good Group partnered with Climate Impact Partners to purchase carbon credits. Working together, the two teams selected initiatives that make significant contributions to the communities they serve while also addressing the global issue of climate change by avoiding and reducing carbon emissions. The projects selected include Rural Clean Cooking in India, Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve REDD++ in Indonesia, Mudbrick Rocket Stoves in Malawi, and Degraded Grasslands Afforestation in Uruguay.

James White at Climate Impact Partners explained, “Our collaboration with John Good Group is about delivering action on climate change and creating a more sustainable world. We worked together to identify projects that truly align with their ethos and support the UN’s SDGs in the most meaningful way.”

These projects align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals that John Good Group has committed to: No Poverty (SDG 1), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) and Climate Action (SDG 13).

Adam Walsh, Chief Executive of the John Good Group, commented on the milestone, “It’s an important first step for the Group to achieve operational carbon neutrality, and I’m proud of the team that has worked on this. It’s something we’re all passionate about, but we’re fully aware we have a lot more to do.

For our non-operational scope 3 emissions, which are more than 100 times greater than our operation emissions, we’re engaging with both customers and suppliers to look at solutions that are on the horizon and how they might meet our customer needs. A good example of progress in this area relates to the emissions relating to the flights we book in our travel business on behalf of our customers. We’ve introduced carbon insight at the point of booking for our customers, and all our team has undertaken sustainability training led by travel sustainability experts, Responsible Futures.”

Walsh continues, “Reduction is our focus now, and whilst it might be our reality for several years yet, we know reliance on carbon offsets is not the answer to the climate problems we’re facing or to be relied upon by the Group for the answer to our responsibilities. Our businesses operate in industries that have material impacts on the environment, so reducing carbon output is essential.  Our view is a pragmatic one, however, and we believe by engaging and collaborating within these industries, showing leadership and working with others to make a difference, we have the opportunity to challenge and influence the wider industries we operate in to help shape a greener future.”