Delightful Ethical Digital

23rd June 2021

Towards COP26 for Fat Beehive

We’ve long had a Sustainability Action Plan in place at the Hive, but ahead of the biggest environmental summit in years, we thought it was a good chance to improve things further

Most of us are now used to the idea of carbon footprints for many of the purchases we make, from plane trips to trainers. However, the impact of web design and hosting on the planet is still a relatively new field, with charities slowly understanding this should be a requirement within their RFPs.  

While estimates vary, the internet is likely using between 3.6 and 6.2 percent of all electricity worldwide. With the climate crisis looming ever larger, it’s an area we need to be influencing as an agency and as digital professionals. 

Here at Fat Beehive, we’ve always held sustainability as a core belief and we already have a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Policy. 

So with politicians, organisations and charities gearing up for COP26 in November 2021, we’re also understanding our emissions in relation to the Race to Zero initiative. Our recent accreditation as a B Corporation gives us a solid framework to measure our performance against, with their ‘How to get to Net Zero: A Simple Guide for SMEs’ helping push us further. 

This divides emissions into 3 scopes: 

  • Scope 1 covers “owned or controlled sources” such as our office
  • Scope 2 is “emissions from the generation of any electricity, heat or steam that you buy”
  • Scope 3 extends into “emissions that occur in a company’s value chain”.

The first steps

As an SME of only 23 people, our direct carbon emissions are relatively small – we use renewable energy, offer a bike-to-work scheme to reduce transport emissions (at least pre-pandemic) and have many a vegan in our ranks. 

Our Sustainability Action Plan uses a model based on One Planet Living, a model which uses ecological footprinting as its foundation (developed by WWF and BioRegional and refined by our CEO Mark, when he was Executive Director at One Planet Products). Ecological footprinting measures the impacts of resource use, pollution and waste and converts that into a land-based metric of our relative impact on the planet.

Our Actions

Improving our partner’s impacts

Beyond our direct emissions, our Scope 2 emissions are largely about hosting our client’s sites. We aim to host all on Google Cloud servers, as they are “aiming to operate on clean energy, every hour and in every region by 2030” and provide the best balance of efficiency, price and sustainability for the charities we work with.  


  • Investigate if we can measure our exact server emissions, find if they are powered by renewable electricity and offset any emissions beyond our control
  • Continue to raise the issue of emissions with clients as part of our scoping, spreading awareness of their choices 
  • Work with our clients and suppliers to help them commit to achieving net-zero.

Going further

For our Scope 3 emissions, we’ll be reviewing where we can have the most impact, including: 

  • Raising net-zero with our current and future clients and suppliers, directing them to resources to help them achieve it
  • Continue the conversation on our marketing channels, spreading awareness and supporting those on their own journeys.

We’re keen to continue learning and sharing, so get involved with the Race to Zero here or B Corporations. And get in touch if you’d like to know more about our journey.

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