HomeExchange publishes its carbon footprint and undertakes a responsible approach with its employees.

Social and environmental responsibility is an integral part of the HomeExchange philosophy. We believe in a more responsible, slower and more human tourism, but we are aware that it is not without impact. Since 2019, we have been calculating our carbon footprint in order to know exactly which items have the greatest impact, to be able to set targets for reducing our emissions and to act on them.

An instructive carbon footprint that we make accessible


Anxious to go further in the process of calculating our carbon footprint that we undertook 3 years ago, we chose to use the Carbo tool this year. Carbo provided us with a new, more thorough, exhaustive and precise calculation method as well as a clear analysis that allowed us to understand in depth the source of our CO2 emissions. We were able to identify the most 'emitting' items, the reasons for these emissions, the items where there is room for improvement and those where the company is already on the right track.

Our results for the year 2020

After a phase of collecting information from the entire company and from each employee, we have obtained a detailed calculation and a comprehensive list of our emissions.

For the year 2020, HomeExchange has emitted 909 tons of CO2. To give you an idea, in order to offset these 909 tonnes of CO2 and contribute to carbon neutrality, we would need to plant around 41,500 trees. Of these 909 tonnes of CO2, there are :

  • 151 t for digital use (servers used to host the site and data, network, device consumption etc) or the equivalent of 1,551,550 hours of streaming on Netflix.
  • 713 t for operations (emails sent, media posted on social networks, video conferencing hours etc) which is the equivalent of 488,484 emails sent every day, all year round. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Yet it is 73% less than a company of the same size in the same sector.
  • 19 t for purchasing and support (office supplies, accountants, etc.) or the equivalent of 227 Iphone 13 pro's manufactured.
  • 25 t for offices (meals, energy consumption, water and waste etc), i.e. the equivalent of 252 minutes of production of a nuclear power plant unit.
  • 0.6 t for travel (public transport, aeroplane, train), which is the equivalent of a return trip from Paris to New York in economy class.

These results will be published on the website of ADEME, the French agency for ecological transition. Sharing the data with ADEME allows us to contribute to their work of analysing the impact of companies, and still too few companies do so.

The limits of our carbon footprint

The calculation of the balance sheet has several limitations that should be mentioned. Firstly, this assessment is based on the year 2020, which is not a reference year in terms of operation since it is the year of Covid-19. Secondly, this is a precise calculation of the impact of the company's scope 1 and 2 operations. This calculation does not include scope 3 emissions, the indirect emissions linked to the travel of exchangers, for example. We are currently thinking about how to calculate scope 3 emissions, but this is a more difficult task that requires us to be able to recover data that we do not have today: that of the transport of our members during their trips.

Acting by involving all the teams

Our priority is to reduce our impact. Carbo has also helped us in this area by suggesting appropriate actions. We need to prioritise the reduction of our emissions in the operations and digital use categories in particular. Our marketing and communication policy also needs to be optimised as these are two areas that emit a lot of emissions, particularly in terms of e-mails sent or publications of various media on our social networks.

We believe that the company's commitment to reduction actions makes more sense if each employee is involved and if the decisions are taken by those concerned. We are setting up a joint action plan in which all departments have a role to play. Developers on data, marketing and communication on the number of emails, HR on awareness and transport. We aim to have this action plan, together with the reduction targets for the next few years, completed by January 2022.

In parallel with the plan to reduce the company's footprint, we are also keen to support an association in order to contribute to carbon neutrality, but above all, to engage employees in a cause and raise awareness among our stakeholders.

Charles-Edouard Girard, President of HomeExchange

"Too often, carbon offsetting is seen as the solution for companies. We don't want to clear our name but rather to make progress. In parallel with our plan to reduce our emissions, we want to commit to supporting a project with an NGO. More than a simple aid, we wish to make it a common commitment of our teams and that it feeds and raises awareness in our community".

So we are currently exploring different possibilities and will report on this next step later.

Let's share our ideas:

And because we believe in moving forward together (and we have a great engaged community!), feel free to share your ideas on our Facebook group @let's live and travel responsibly.

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