Comatch takes efforts to reduce its carbon footprint

16 March 2020 4 min. read
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As consulting matchmaking service Comatch continues to expand its offering around the world, it is also having to account for a rapidly growing carbon footprint. As a result, the organisation is undertaking a carbon offsetting exercise in collaboration with atmosfair.

Consulting is a people business, creating personal relationships through face to face meetings is crucial. In order to meet the needs of clients across the world, management consultants spend up to 80% of their time on the road, traveling to work with businesses spanning the entire planet. This is something many firms are having to put serious effort into balancing with sustainability efforts, however.

Sustainability has moved rapidly up the corporate agenda in the last 10 years. According to research by Bain & Company, 81% of companies say that sustainability is more important today than it was five years ago. 85% say that it will be more important still in another five years.

In order to adapt to the need for cleaner, greener business, global management consultancy BearingPoint recently announced that the global travel of its consultants and staff is now CO2-neutral, following the launch of a massive carbon-offsetting initiative. Meanwhile, Big Four firm EY also announced plans for the firm to become fully carbon neutral by the close of 2020. Carbon offsetting and the reduction of workplace emissions will see the company look to build sustainable growth in the future.

Comatch takes efforts to reduce its carbon footprint

This is not just a matter for the world of traditional consulting, however. New industry disruptors are also having to take sustainability into consideration, as is the case with Comatch. Founded in 2014 by former McKinsey & Company consultants Christoph Hardt and Jan Schächtele, Comatch is currently one of Europe’s leading consultant matchmaking companies, helping independents link with potential clients. Its early success comes with challenges however, and as the organisation has grown, so has its carbon footprint.

While Comatch states it encourages employees to use trips in a smart way by meeting multiple contacts when traveling, reducing the overall number of plane trips – the form of transport with the biggest carbon impact – is hard. As a result, Co-Founder Schächtele has announced that due to this growing profile, Comatch has opted to work with atmosfair to compensate for CO2 emissions.

Speaking via his personal LinkedIn, Schächtele said, “When Christoph and I founded Comatch almost 5 years ago, we established a regular meeting to define our company values and to discuss what those values mean in day to day working life… Treating resources responsibly” was one of our values from the start, but it was only when a group of very engaged employees teamed up from different departments and formed the Green Initiative that the topic of sustainability was filled with life… Now, step by step, the company is becoming more eco-conscious. For example, our UK team will soon take part in the Bike2Work scheme. This new cooperation with atmosfair won’t be the last step in our journey to sustainability.”

atmosfair is an independent non-profit organisation based in Berlin. The project was developed in 2002 as a research project at the German Federal Environment Ministry. Through offsetting, individuals or companies can make voluntary climate contributions to finance emission-saving projects that save the same amount of emissions elsewhere. In this case, Comatch gives atmosfair data on how many business trips by plane its employees took in the second quarter of 2019, the exact amount and distances – which atmosfair used to calculate the firm’s impact.

Based on this information, the amount of CO2 created by Comatch’s business flights over the whole year came out at roughly 100 tonnes. The money that Comatch pays to offset this amount will support a project of their choosing which will directly cause a reduction of CO2 emissions.

“We chose a project in Rwanda,” Schächtele explained. “Currently many Rwandan households cook with traditional three stone fires that demand a huge amount of firewood. atmosfair invests in efficient ovens that need 80% less energy and are manufactured locally. As a result, families save money which they can invest in education and food. The ovens also help reduce deforestation which threatens animals and leads to tensions between communities. Local partners for atmosfair are SaferRwanda and the Rwanda Women Network, as well as UNHCR Rwanda and The Energie Domestique SARL.”