Valen’s Approach to Sustainability
Valen are proud that from inception of our business operations, we have remained carbon zero across all of our internal operations. We have accounted for all of our direct emissions outputs to date (transport/electricity usage/general waste/etc.) and are constantly looking for ways to achieve carbon neutrality for our projects by working with our clients on more sustainable construction methods, using recycled or recyclable materials, energy and water efficient technology, smart controls & monitoring and finally, whole of asset lifecycle considerations.
FY22 – Valen are Carbon Zero
Valen had a small footprint in 2022 of only 60T CO2e for Scope 1, 2 and some Scope 3 (business travel) emissions to offset to be net carbon zero for the year.
We are consciously low carbon from a business perspective including the following processes and considerations that we have built into our day-to-day systems.
- We are paperless – it is staggering how much carbon is generated by a typical company through printing and paper based systems. They cost money, are climate unfriendly and generate more work and entry errors throughout their flows.
- We work remotely – many of our staff work from home 50% or more per week so their travel and associated footprints are heavily reduced.
- We have a low emissions fleet of vehicles – Valen have a company target to only own electric and hybrid vehicles in our fleet (excluding any already owned vehicles) which will ensure that we can minimise our associated emissions and footprints.
- Project Allocation – we assign projects by skillset and then by geography. With staff from the surrounds of Newcastle to Wollongong, we cover a large swathe of area and do so without extensive travel commitments.
How we offset our emissions?
Valen have purchased offsets to the equivalent of the quantified emissions for the FY22 period through Australian providers who provide local benefit across environmental, conservation, social and educational sectors with their operations and investments.
Further to simply offsetting emissions, Valen have invested into a Solar Farm in Western NSW which once finished will provide benefit and options to individuals to purchase clean power and increase the share of renewables on the grid.
Maintaining Carbon Zero Operations into the future
In the future we will need to account for all scope 3 emissions also which depending on the projects we undertake will be a larger task. Our considerations for future emissions pain points are:
- Management of Stored Data: Online hosting and data centre usage is a large component – ensure to continue only hosting information on already renewably powered data centres.
- Supply Chain – Contractors: Ensure to engage with suppliers who offset their baseline emissions for their operations (power/fuel/transport etc) to minimise the scope 3 deficit that we need to account for.
- Supply Chain – Suppliers: Continue to build a network of carbon zero products for use on our projects to abate carbon to be considered by our clients in their construction carbon budgets.
- National Footprints: Be very considerate of travel requirements and limit flying especially to when it is absolutely necessary.
We all have a role in Sustainability
We are lucky enough to live in and call Australia our home. Due to our small population, large land masses, primary exports and other factors, we have one of the most detrimental footprints per capita anywhere in the world. Thankfully we also have the potential for a safe and secure lifestyle and the opportunity for income that also outranks most of the world. This combination is what is essential for us all to partake in the solution, while all countries and individuals have a role, let us be the first to take the steps to stop and reverse our historic footprints and set the path forward for others to follow in.