Carbon Planner: helping an IT business stay on target

An innovative IT-support business describes how Carbon Planner – NatWest’s free carbon-tracking tool – helps manage its emissions. 

When Julie Bishop set up managed service provider IT Naturally with co-CEO Richard Gardener, she committed to making the business carbon neutral from its very first day of operation. Four years on, she’s upholding that pledge, with some help from NatWest Carbon Planner.

Learn how Carbon Planner could help you track carbon emissions and potentially save your business money

The tool helps IT Naturally track its overall carbon output, allowing Julie and her team to make informed decisions to ensure the ongoing carbon neutrality of the business, and potentially save on costs too.

By linking Carbon Planner to IT Naturally’s accounting system, part of the calculation of the business’ Scope 3 emissions takes place automatically, reducing the manual effort required to enter data, and resulting in a more accurate carbon-footprint calculation.

Carbon Planner also measures the impact of actions to give users an indication of return on investment (ROI) when changes are made, including cost savings and CO2 savings.

Learn more about Carbon Planner.

Carbon Planner helps us keep track of our carbon output every day. It’s become part of our daily workflow

Julie Bishop, CEO, IT Naturally

Julie says: “Carbon Planner is extremely easy to use. It integrates with the way we use QuickBooks and pulls all the data up from there. It's free, so there's no barrier to anybody using it, and it really helps you understand where your carbon is being used.

“It's a brilliant resource for people to start becoming aware of their carbon, even if they aren’t necessarily offsetting or reducing initially. The first thing you need to do is be aware of where your carbon is coming from.”

A sustainable supply chain

IT Naturally’s Peterborough-based business offers hybrid working to its 50 employees to help reduce emissions. It has always been completely paper-free and features numerous benefits to advance employee wellbeing, including a cycle-to-work scheme.

“We’ve never even owned a printer,” Julie says.

The business manages IT services for customers in the airline industry, healthcare sector and for business consulting companies. It advises its clients to use the most sustainable IT options wherever possible and is working towards achieving a more sustainable supply chain.

“We're going methodically through each of our suppliers to see where we can reduce our emissions in the chain,” says Julie. “We’re monitoring it and when we do the measurement next year, we want the numbers to come up a lot better.”

Carbon Planner for smaller businesses

Carbon Planner was conceived to provide climate support to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as larger companies.

“All of the small companies together are an enormous group,” says Julie. “We make up a very large carbon footprint, so it’s important that we address the emissions of this group as well as more obvious, larger carbon emitters.

“With the size of my business, I don’t have capacity to have three people spending their entire working time on sustainability, so we're the ones who actually need the tools to help us manage it.”

Achieving B Corp certification

IT Naturally recently achieved B Corporation certification, scoring 92.9 in the assessment – easily surpassing the acceptance threshold of 80.

“We really care about our people, our company and about the planet,” says Julie. “We’ve always fundamentally been a B Corp, even though we didn’t know what a B Corp was when we started. Achieving it was a very natural fit for us.”

The business had originally used different carbon tracking solutions, but Julie discovered that Carbon Planner could provide for free what the previous tool charged her for, so she made the switch.

Most of IT Naturally’s emissions are Scope 3, through the company’s suppliers, and the challenge will be to reduce those in future. Carbon Planner will play an important role in achieving that goal, Julie says.

“We put a lot of ethical measures in place on day one of the business,” she says. “It’s a core part of who we are as a company, and Carbon Planner helps us keep track of our carbon output. It’s become part of our daily workflow.”

Carbon Planner currently integrates with QuickBooks, Sage Business Cloud and FreeAgent accounting platforms, with more on the way. Find out how your business could benefit from Carbon Planner.

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