We were delighted to be asked to contribute to the Carbon Disclosure Project's 2021 Annual Report, as part of their 'CDP Responder' series. You can read BidX1's article below, which outlines our climate action journey to date, and access the full report here.
BidX1 is a digital property platform which connects users across the globe with real estate investment opportunities in five markets, and enables them to complete the entire purchase online.
We are a high-growth business. Our CEO, Michael Murphy, often describes us as an ‘Irish company, with international impact’: BidX1 launched operations in four new markets between 2018 and 2019, with bidders from over 60 countries to date.
There is clearly a strong link between digital transformation – improving traditional industries and practices through technology – and environmental impact.
As a digital property company, our business model is inherently more sustainable than traditional real estate, and we have always made a conscious effort to consider environmental principles when making business decisions.
However, after a period of rapid international expansion and growth across the business, we wanted to take a closer look at our environmental performance.
We didn’t want to rely on the assumption that sustainability was a by-product of being a ‘PropTech’ company. We wanted to be more proactive – and more accountable.
Our first step was measurement. With the support of the Enterprise Ireland “GreenStart” programme, we undertook a comprehensive assessment of BidX1’s carbon emissions across every market – Ireland, UK, South Africa, Spain and Cyprus.
Alongside the required Scope 1 and 2 emissions, we also measured a host of material Scope 3 emissions related to our business, which confirmed a carbon emission intensity of 0.57 tonnes per million euro of Revenue.
This is thanks to ongoing efforts to integrate environmental principles into our business, from sourcing renewable energy to engaging carbon-conscious suppliers, and choosing environmentally-efficient office space in each market. The BidX1 platform, which has powered more than 10,000 real estate transactions, is hosted by Microsoft, a carbon-neutral cloud-based provider.
Due to low carbon consumption and sustainably-sourced carbon offsets, BidX1 is already carbon neutral.
Achieving carbon neutrality was an important milestone for us; a CDP disclosure was the logical next step – and a huge step forward in terms of our environmental corporate governance.
Reporting to the CDP is now a cornerstone of our ongoing commitment to place environmental and other ESG factors at the heart of our decision-making; the scoring framework will allow us to benchmark our progression and set new targets for ourselves.
This will be crucial as we seek to achieve our growth potential in a sustainable manner.
Climate Action - For All Businesses
As an SME, it can be easy to adopt a mindset that the climate crisis is something that needs to be addressed by larger companies.
At BidX1, we hope that more and more companies will join us in disclosing each year, including SMEs. Driving climate action certainly requires commitment – particularly from management – but it is not out of reach for small and medium sized companies.
The work on our own disclosure to the CDP was led by our Sustainability Team, a cross-functional group composed of members from our Finance, Technology, Property and Marketing departments.
BidX1 does not yet have a dedicated Sustainability Department, or indeed any employee solely dedicated to driving this agenda.
What we do have are two key components for success in this regard: company-wide passion for the cause and total commitment from our Management Team.
Pollen Street Capital, who made an investment in BidX1 in 2018 to support our expansion, have also been incredibly supportive, viewing sustainability as a pillar of our growth. Equally, our strong track record in this regard played an important role in attracting new investors Oliver Wyman and doValue.
Our first CDP disclosure was a huge source of pride for BidX1, and we look forward to an ongoing, long-term relationship with the network.
Eanna Glynn is Head of Sustainability at BidX1. This piece originally appeared in the Carbon Disclosure Report Ireland Annual Report 2021, which is available here.