Sydney-headquartered, managed services provider Tecala has attained Climate Active’s "carbon neutral" status for its Australian business operations.
The Australia Federal Government certification has also been attained by other companies in the tech space, including IT asset lifecycle management provider Greenbox Group, and data centre provider NextDC.
It is a timely move: in November last year the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommended organisations choose technology and service providers “committed to robust net zero targets" for scope one and two emissions.
However, the certification is not without its detractors.
In 2021, Greenpeace questioned NextDC marketing itself as carbon neutral and said Climate Active allowing the status to be attained by purchasing carbon offsets, ‘units’ associated with funding projects that store or avoid the use of carbon, presented "obvious problems."
Greenpeace's report said, "net zero carbon emissions and net zero emissions are not the same. However, carbon neutrality is often used interchangeably with net zero emissions (which can include CO2 and other greenhouse gases)."
"For instance, Climate Active certification, an Australian Government initiative, is “awarded to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving net zero emissions, otherwise known as carbon neutrality.”
"Whether net zero targets refer just to anthropogenic CO2 emissions or all greenhouse gas emissions is inconsistent, presenting obvious problems when seeking to make like-for-like comparisons between companies and greenhouse gas reduction plans."
Tecala’s press release specified that this was one of the avenues it took to join the ‘Climate Active Network’, which has also been open to companies like AGL, Ampol and air BP.
“Tecala has also 'cancelled out' any remaining emissions by purchasing carbon offsets from activities that prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere,” the company said.
This included the NSW Salt Lake Darling River Eco Corridor #9 native forest regeneration project and West Java Darajat Unit III project, which supports Indonesia transitioning from coal and oil to geothermal renewable energy.
To be fair, Tecala did more than just ‘cancel out’ its emissions by purchasing offsets.
"First, we have utilised 100 per cent green power to power all our office locations from May 2022, and we moved our offices to environmentally conscious corporate spaces that utilise highly efficient Greenpower energy, lighting and waste management practises,” Tecala managing director Pieter DeGunst said.
“In addition, as our data centres and network infrastructure are essential to our business, we now aim to host our servers at certified IT hosting locations which are carbon neutral and powered by highly energy efficient systems and processes.”
"We’ve also promoted a flexible, hybrid modern workplace where our people are empowered to work from home."
"This is supplemented by across-the-organisation use of Microsoft Teams conferencing for appropriate communication and collaboration between Tecala team members and our clients."
“We are very proud to be a carbon neutral business and committed to environmental sustainability for a better tomorrow,” DeGunst added.