Want to Be a Carbon Neutral Business? Here’s How We Did It

A typical company of our scale generates between 450–500 tons of carbon a year. At Magenta Security, the entirety of our business activity produces between 8 and 11 tons – which we offset through reputable and measurable schemes.

As we in the business world grapple with our responsibility in tackling the current climate emergency, reducing carbon emissions in both internal operations and supply chain must be priority number one.

However, going from hundreds of tons of carbon to a handful will not happen over night. Taking on too much at once will not be sustainable but doing nothing is not an option for anyone who considers themselves an ethical businessperson.

Below is an update on our latest carbon reduction initiatives which we hope will help businesses of a similar scale realise what is possible without sacrificing profit.

Electric vehicles are finally financially viable

Following our audit from Carbon Footprint, we found that we achieved a ‘Carbon Neutral+’ rating, which means that we are offsetting more carbon than we are producing – which, at just 8–11 tons to offset, was not particularly difficult to do.

But we are committed to go further: our objective is for Magenta Security to become carbon neutral without offsetting by 2025. This would mean that our business operations would not produce any carbon emissions whatsoever, with all further initiatives contributing towards reducing emissions beyond our business.

The barrier to being carbon neutral right now is our vehicle fleet, which we are replacing with electric vehicles whenever the opportunity presents itself. By waiting for leases to expire we are not wasting our current fleet and by buying in bulk we are able to negotiate a lower individual unit cost.

This smart, phased replacement, use of traditional bargaining power and utilisation of tax breaks has allowed us to commit to replacing our entire fleet with electric vehicles by 2025 without denting our profits. And with our fleet powered via our own solar panels, each new vehicle saves us money on fuel as well.

Electricity is the perfect place to start reducing emissions

You may not be ready to replace your vehicle fleet or your business simply may not have a vehicle fleet to replace, but there are simple changes that every business can make that can contribute to our greater shared effort to reduce the rate of global warming.

Tackling the basics, every business needs electricity. Carbon emissions can be reduced here by simply switching energy providers, as we recently did at Magenta Security.

There are many tariffs from energy providers that supply electricity from renewable sources only, providing an immediate, low-effort and dramatic reduction in carbon emissions over a typical tariff. Costs may increase marginally but the work involved is minimal.

For companies looking further ahead, solar panels provide a return on investment over their lifetime, the period of which reduces year by year as regulatory incentives and feed-in tariffs become more generous.

Exact figures depends on many factors but solar panels are typically sold with a minimum expected use of 25 years before replacement, with return of investment expected after just 10. After that, the panels will start providing a profit while protecting your business from increases in electricity costs.

Offsetting should be a last resort, not a crutch

While all emissions produced by our business operations are offset via schemes managed by Carbon Footprint, we do not consider this achievement. Offsetting is a last resort for those remaining areas where carbon emissions reductions are not possible yet, not a solution to the emissions themselves.

Abbey Petkar, Managing Director of Magenta Security, speaks plainly on the matter:

“Offsetting to me is a cop-out, because you’re paying somebody else to deal with your mess. … What companies should be doing is saying, ‘If I have to offset, I’ll offset, but it’s going to be minimal. I need to make sure that I’m doing everything I can in my business to make the difference now within my operations.’ And that’s what a lot of companies are ignoring [in favour of offsetting].”

Our last remaining offsetting schemes are provided by Carbon Footprint, who we also chose to perform our emissions audit. They, like many similar organisations, are the perfect place to start understanding your current carbon emissions and how they might be reduced.


Magenta Security provide award winning security services throughout the UK. We are in the top 5% of ACS approved contractors and were the first security company in Europe to be awarded ISO 14001 for our environmental management systems.

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