How Kainos is cutting travel-associated emissions 

The digital transformation company is prompting employee behaviour change with emissions data 

landscape with wind turbines

Kainos’ mission has remained the same for over three decades: use the latest technology to make the world a better place. The company has long been a trusted partner for both private and public sector organisations solving real world challenges, including recently working with the UK government on a complete overhaul of the passport application experience.

Kainos’ early work on climate was driven by employees who were keen on action, and customers and partners who wanted to know more about Kainos' social values.

The company has been carbon neutral since 2021 and is making good progress towards its 2025 near term zero emissions target.

Challenge: A 400% increase in travel emissions

In its sprint towards net zero, Kainos closely examines all emissions for reduction potential. The company started working with Watershed in 2021 and developed a cadence of measuring and reviewing climate progress every 6 months.

As the COVID-19 pandemic passed and business travel picked back up in 2023, the team saw a 400% jump in emissions associated with travel compared to 2021. Bringing this emissions number down would be complex and required more frequent emissions data to set guidance and regularly evaluate success. Environmental Sustainability Lead Sarah McGeough said, “We could not wait six months to get the data required to bring about change."

“A big part of my job is creating awareness about how everybody can contribute to our climate action targets and reduction initiatives. Data is key to that.”
-Sarah McGeough, Environmental Sustainability Lead

Solution: Monthly review of travel-associated emissions

Kainos uses Watershed to create a complete footprint of its corporate travel in less than an hour so the team can drive needed business changes. Some key tools that make this possible include:

“As a business we need to be able to review our financial data associated with travel monthly. We think the same should be true for emissions data.”
-Sarah McGeough

Results: Develop clear guidance to prompt emissions reductions

“The time savings with Watershed has been unreal.”
-Sarah McGeough

With a more regular glimpse into its carbon footprint, Kainos’ team was able to:

“Watershed helps me quickly answer what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what progress we’ve made. I feel confident we are ahead of the curve.”
- Sarah McGeough

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