iBec Goes Green

Without exception, iBec's team members are passionate about doing our part to protect this profoundly beautiful planet that we all call home.

Our purpose for making change

iBec is carbon neutral in 2020!

I'm so excited to share our goal at iBec to be a carbon neutral company. Like many of you, we are a team who embraces and appreciates the rugged environment of Maine and we strive to preserve it. As the owner of iBec, I feel that it is my responsibility to make sure that I'm doing everything in my control to minimize our company's negative impact on the environment.

One thing that I've learned over the past few years of growing iBec is that if you want to get better at something, you have to start measuring it. When we decided to be a carbon neutral company, we needed to figure out our carbon impact first so that we could measure our progress and offset our carbon emissions. We've tallied our commutes to work, our natural gas emissions, and the emissions from our web hosting servers. We've also changed over our electricity to 100% renewable energy. This year using Terrapass, we've offset 146,795 pounds of carbon emissions.

We'll continue to measure our carbon footprint, offset our carbon emissions and share our best practices so that we can all be more mindful of ways that we can do our part and make a difference. We are viewing this as a journey and we plan to share what we learn so other businesses will be inspired to be carbon neutral too.

We welcome your stories about making your business carbon neutral and any tips you have to offer. We'd love to share resources and talk about how we can make a green difference together.

Becky McKinnell

Trash Walk Crew

How we've done it

Doing our part, and a lot more

More than a quarter of our staff commute to work by walking, biking, or taking a bus. We keep a compost bucket in the office. We take regular “trash walks” during business hours to pick up litter in our area. When we’re away from the office (as we all are these days), we make sure to turn down the heat or air conditioning depending on the season. And if anybody leaves the light on in a conference room, they are promptly tarred and feathered (in a fun metaphorical way of course). Other green items in the works are purchasing toilet paper made from recycled fibers, installing air hand dryers to take the place of paper (our electricity comes exclusively from green sources), and using all-natural cleaning products.

It's personal

Hardly a day goes by without some team member telling us all about some new way they discovered to help save the planet. Chelsea is converting to a no-plastic lifestyle. Jesse regularly donates to The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. Becky rarely walks a beach without relieving it of some litter. Sabrina repurposes glass jars as plant pots, leftover containers, and desk organizers (reusing > recycling). Violet brings her own containers shopping and chooses bulk over prepackaged products. Rob keeps more than fifteen thriving plants in a 295 square foot apartment. Steve hoofs it to work every day from the East End. And we all guilt one another about all the things that we should be doing but aren't.

Buy credits where credit is due

How green can we be? Can we go all the way, so that our activities as a digital agency have no negative impact on the environment whatsoever? We can certainly try! But in the interim we've decided to offset our carbon footprint by first measuring it and then purchasing so-called "carbon credits" from such providers as Terrapass. The money spent on these credits is used to fund a variety of projects intended to compensate for carbon emissions such as forest management and wind power.

Cold and calculating

When Steve was assigned the task of calculating the amount of carbon produced by a busy agency as a direct consequence of its day to day operations, he figured he would Google up a calculator or two, punch in some numbers, and call it a day. But he quickly realized that the calculators he was finding had two problems: they didn't allow for enough detail and didn't cover the electricity used for iBec's web hosting, a major part of our business. He therefore decided to do his own calculations. You may want to read Steve's full report on his efforts and use his calculations as a starting point for your own.

large circle with a repeating pattern of iBec Logos inside of it.

iBec Carbon Calculator 🌳

iBec is developing calculators to help small businesses evaluate their carbon emissions. This calculator will help to determine the number of carbon credits needed to offset commuting.

We've offset 146,795 lbs of greenhouse gases to date.

If you're calculating for multiple people, you'll need to do some preliminary calculations. A spreadsheet is the simplest way to do this. We plan on adding more calculators so that businesses can determine the total carbon impact of running their business and make educated decisions about offsetting that impact.

More tips for going green

We at iBec hope to inspire others with our green ways, but everyone's situation is different and your approach can and probably should differ. Travel, for example, is not a big part of our business. Many of our clients are local or regional (that's how we like it), but travel may be an unavoidable component of how you do business. If it is, we encourage you to calculate the carbon that such travel generates and compensate for it by purchasing carbon credits. Keep in mind, though, that eliminating carbon emissions is always better than compensating for them. To what degree can the meetings requiring travel be conducted remotely via videoconferencing?

Here are some other tips for reducing your carbon footprint:

Don't throw something away just because you want a shiny new version. Can you change your behavior or standards in some way to compensate for its shortcomings? Can you fix it? If you must replace it, can you get something used? Any of these have little to no impact on our environment. Production of new goods has a significant impact.

Consider free time activities that don't leave carbon footprints. Go for a walk in your neighborhood instead of driving to a park. Take a "staycation" rather than travelling long distances.

In the winter, turn down the heat and put on a sweater, hat, and comfy slippers (pink bunny slippers are especially effective). Although out of vogue these days, thermal underwear makes a huge difference in body temperature. OK, so thermal underwear never was in vogue, but it definitely doesn't have to be a red union suit with a rear flap to do the job.

More Green Resources

A pandemic positive?

A pandemic positive?

Mother Nature likes a hybrid workforce, too. Raise your glasses – iBec Creative has now been carbon neutral for two years! In this past year, …

Using Business as a Force for Good

Using Business as a Force for Good

We’re feeling so inspired this month, and it’s not just what we’re doing on our own B Corp journey. We’re also fueled by the collective good o…