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GUEST COLUMN: Home care’s hidden climate change impact

Goodoaks Darius Mitkus cropped

It’s time to address the dirty big elephant in the room, writes Good Oaks Home Care’s co-founder, Darius Mitkus.

After years of doubts and arguments, climate change is now a fact of life. Every decision we make has a hidden carbon footprint – from what we eat, to where we holiday. Even which home care service we choose. 

Climate-consciousness is growing and more and more businesses are seeing an ethical and business case to reviewing, reducing and mitigating their climate footprint.

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This debate needs to hit the care sector, and specifically the home care sector.

Let’s face it – home care is a carbon-intensive service. Carers often drive between clients, with predominantly short trips in towns and cities, generally at the busiest and most congested time of day.

At Good Oaks, we have calculated an average carbon footprint of over half a tonne of CO2 per employee. With the number of domiciliary care jobs now at 715,000, our collective carbon footprint is an eye-watering 429,000 tonnes per year, and is going up.

And yet it’s something that is never talked about. In a sector with pressing issues from underfunding to postcode lotteries, compounded by the obvious developments this year, our carbon footprint as a sector is something that is chronically ignored.

True – our Carbon Neutral status isn’t always first on our elderly clients’ wish-list. But it’s becoming increasingly important for the people who are organising care for them, and for the staff that are providing that care.

There is also the ethical argument as well; it is our children and their children that will have to live in the world we leave them. Shouldn’t we do our bit to make it as habitable as possible?

Our home care franchise network benefits from our carbon emission data collection, verification and offsetting at no additional cost to them. Our franchise owners can rest assured their business is playing its part.

The use of technology makes the process pain-free and easy to calculate. What’s stopping you making your care company carbon neutral?

Tags : carbon footprintclimate changeGood Oaks Home Care
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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