Reaching carbon-zero – the Mayden way

We hear a lot about companies striving for carbon zero, but how many do we know who have achieved this elusive goal? Well, we’re thrilled to have one such company with us here today – we meet Chris May, founder of Mayden, a Bath-based digital healthcare company. Mayden was one of the first companies to back Co-forest and also one of the first in the area we know of to have achieved a zero carbon business model. 

Hi Chris, can you tell us a bit about Mayden? 

Yes – we design, build and support technological solutions for healthcare services both here in the UK and overseas. We have a team of around a hundred staff based in Bath, made up of developers, product and data experts, account managers, administrators and marketing specialists. We currently offer software as a service (SaaS) products, primarily to mental health services. We also founded IO Academy which was initially created to provide software skills to our main business but now provides talent and skills to a wide range of tech businesses across Bristol and Bath. 

How did your zero-carbon story begin? 

I personally went to COP18 in Qatar back in 2012, and climate change has been firmly on the Mayden agenda ever since. At the time we developed a website that pulled together the energy plans of countries around the world and compared and contrasted them, looking at which nations were delivering well on their objectives and which were falling short. I’ve always been interested in how we collaborate globally to solve the climate problem. 

What measures have you taken so far to cut your carbon?

At Mayden, we set up a ‘Going Green’ group, made up of staff who put time into assessing our business practices and supporting changes to reduce our footprint. We have looked at the ways in which we create carbon as a company – by far the biggest was through our data centre operations followed by the energy we use in our offices. We’ve changed suppliers for each of these to ensure that they’re using renewable sources of energy and are offsetting anything that isn’t renewable. We’ve also retrofitted our building with an airflow heat exchange system, established a very popular bike to work scheme, and have installed electric vehicle charge points for staff to use. 

Where does Co-forest fit into your journey? 

Last year I returned from a long-haul – but totally unnecessary – business trip just in time to attend Storm Consultancy’s tenth anniversary celebration where Co-forest was launched. I was already thinking about the carbon generated from my trip, and although we have really cut back on international travel, getting involved in a tree-planting project right here on our doorstep seemed like a great move to take. Now, as we’re looking to return to the office after the pandemic, this remains as important as ever. We’re pretty much at carbon neutral now, and many of our staff use bikes, public transport or walk to work, but supporting Co-forest will help us offset the very last of the carbon generated by Mayden as a result of commuting. 

What appealed to you about Co-forest? 

The main thing was that it was local to us – our staff, their children and their grandchildren will benefit from us doing this. I also liked that it wasn’t just about the carbon that could be captured, it was also about creating wildlife spaces and supporting biodiversity. 

What would be your main tip to a company at the beginning of their zero-carbon journey? 

Don’t make assumptions – carbon footprints can be very complicated. Look at what your company does and where most of your carbon is generated. It might be the energy you use in your buildings, the way your staff move around, packing for products etc, imported raw materials or plant. Look at your biggest culprits and tackle these first. 

Thanks Chris and Mayden for a great insight into your zero-carbon journey! Its really inspiring to see this happening right here on our doorstep, and we’re honoured to have Mayden join us as Co-foresters – we can’t wait to welcome your team to site for planting days next season!

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