Over the past two decades the effects of climate change have accelerated. Considerable evidence exists proving climate change has been exacerbated by human activity. Changes in our post-industrial lifestyles have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere, generating a build-up of greenhouse gases – primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide levels – raising the average global temperature. The consequences are already evident and will continue to worsen unless significant action is taken and quickly. Sea level will continue to rise and local climate conditions to be altered, causing an increase in extreme weather events, affecting forests, crop yields, and water supplies. This can lead to homelessness, famine and conflict as resources become scarcer. It is vital that all individuals, businesses, organisations and governments work towards the common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This carbon footprint assessment will enable Burns & Webber to begin doing its bit by monitoring, reducing and offsetting its emissions.
Burns & Webber are part of Curchods, making us one of the largest independent estate agencies in the South of England and because of this, a significant contribution to our overall carbon footprint comes from the energy demands of light and heat for our 21 branches.
Over the next 12 months we will be moving to more sustainable energy suppliers and putting measures in place to reduce the amount of electricity and gas we use in each location.
To complement this we are investigating the use of greener forms of transport and introducing more sustainable business practises, such as reducing the amount of paper and plastic we use and working with our suppliers to become more environmentally conscious.
Burns & Webber arrange more than 2,000 sales every year, which involves nearly 40,000 property viewing appointments every 12 months. Travel to and from properties is one of the largest contributors to our carbon footprint, as our staff accompany prospective buyers and tenants on every viewing.
Recognising this is the area where we can make the biggest impact, we will be taking the first steps by conducting initial viewings ‘virtually’ where possible. This will help us reduce the amount of mileage to and from properties and therefore minimise fuel consumption associated with every property sale and let, whilst still being able to accompany buyers and tenants around a property in an online environment before we conduct a physical viewing.
As individuals and as a company we have a responsibility to do better, which is why our ‘Moving To A Better Future’ campaign is not only about making changes within our own company, but also educating and helping our clients on how to make changes in their own homes to help lower their carbon footprint.
Nationally, there are over 5 million property transactions every year, which is why we will be using our position as a leading independent estate agency to encourage the UK property industry as a whole to take collective action to become more environmentally conscious.