Reducing our own environmental footprint

Our ambition is to reduce our own environmental footprint and collaborate with our suppliers to ensure our own consumption of resources, goods and services is sustainable. Our environmental programme focuses on measuring, managing and reducing our most significant impacts: carbon; energy use; business travel; operational waste; and water consumption.

Reducing the carbon footprint of our own operations is a critical element of our group sustainability strategy. Whilst we continue to work towards achieving our long-term target, to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, we believe those who can move faster and go further should do so. We are developing a strategy for accelerating our plan to tackle climate change, with new commitments for carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

 

  • We are proud that in 2019 we reached our 2030 carbon reduction goal‎, 11 years early. Since 2009, we have reduced our operational carbon emissions by 63%, avoiding over 1.7 million tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere – this is equivalent to taking 360,000 cars off the road.
  • Since January 2019, 100% of our global electricity demand comes from renewable sources, through a renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) covering around 25% of consumption and the purchase of renewable certificates to cover the remainder. This means we have fulfilled our 2020 RE100 member commitment to source 100% renewable electricity globally.
  • We have also committed to increasing the proportion of electricity sourced via renewables projects that would not otherwise be built or become operational without our involvement (i.e. via Power Purchase Agreements or Onsite Generation) to at least 60% by 2025.
  • This year the Group has achieved Carbon Trust Standard recertification for its operations, becoming standard bearers for 10 consecutive years. The Carbon Trust Standard recognises organisations that follow best practice in measuring, managing and reducing their environmental impact.
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of our own operations is a critical element of our group sustainability strategy. Whilst we continue to work towards achieving our long-term target, to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, we believe those who can move faster and go further should do so. We are developing a strategy for accelerating our plan to tackle climate change, with new commitments for carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

We're proud to partner with RE100 - The world’s most influential companies, committed to 100% renewable power.

  • In 2019, we consumed 43% less energy compared to 2009.
  • We have begun a programme of installation of LED lighting and will be accelerating this activity during 2020.
  • We have joined The Climate Group’s EP100 campaign, making a commitment to improve energy productivity by 80% by 2033.
  • We have continued our programme to implement an ISO50001 certified energy management system, which includes our offices and data centres. The ISO50001 certification validates a best practice approach to energy management, and underlines an organisation’s commitment to energy performance improvement.

The Climate Group’s global EP100 initiative brings together  a growing group of energy-smart companies  committed to improving their energy productivity and doing more with less. 

  • In 2019, we consumed 16% less water compared to 2009 and in 2020, we will be reviewing our water management strategy to ensure we continue to reduce our consumption of water.
  • We have completed water efficiency pilots at our office buildings, which are shaping potential water savings and our broader 2020 strategy.

  • In 2019 we cut our total operational waste by 41% compared to 2015 and by 13% compared with 2018. 
  • Our #WarOnWaste colleague campaign mobilised nearly 400 colleagues to sign up as Waste Superheroes, helping us to champion our Group waste reduction programme, and support local implementation of a range of initiatives to reduce waste.
  • We have worked closely with our facilities management partner to eliminate over 42 million items of single use plastic. We have now removed plastic straws, sachets and cutlery, and significantly reduced single use plastic drinks cups by giving colleagues their own reusable cup and water bottle. We also implemented concentrated cleaning solutions, and have begun to use oxidised water for many of our cleaning processes, reducing cleaning plastics by 25,000 items per year.
  • We have developed a new waste management process, including signage and a campaign of education and awareness. In 2019 we started to roll out these changes across all our branch and office locations.
  • In 2020 we are reviewing our use of paper, following a series of paper-free pilots launched in 2019, where one team demonstrated a reduction in paper usage of 55% in the first month.

    

We've made the Business in the Community Waste to Wealth Commitment.

 

Electric cars for cleaner travel

  • In 2019 the CO2e emissions related to our business travel reduced by 58% compared to 2009, through agile working and investment in technology such as video conferencing.
  • We have now installed 61 electric vehicle charging units in 30 of our car parks and will continue to install in more car parks during 2020.
  • We have joined The Climate Group’s EV100 campaign, making a commitment to install charging points across all colleague car parks by 2030.

EV100 is a global initiative bringing together forward looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.

Working with our Supply Chain

Through our Code of Supplier Responsibility we will encourage our suppliers to:

  • Ensure that tackling climate change is embedded within the strategy and governance of the organisation including measuring their organisation’s environmental impact with plans in place to reduce these impacts
  • Collaborate with us to help us reduce our environmental impacts
  • Understand and mitigate the risks that climate change poses to their business
  • Understand the ethical and sustainability-related practices of their supply chain in order to either collaborate on best practice or offer support on improvements where appropriate
Target Baseline 2009 2019 Performance Reduction from baseline

60% reduction in location-based CO2e by 2030
80% reduction in location- based CO2e by 2050

562,845 tonnes

207,768 tonnes (location-based)

101,042 tonnes (market-based)

63% 

 

82%

50% reduction in energy consumption by 2030

957 GWh

549 GWh

43%

60% reduction in business travel related CO2e by 2030

76,067 tonnes

31,759 tonnes

58%

40% reduction in water consumption by 2030

1,349,029 m3

1,130,232 m3

16%

80% reduction in total operational waste by 2025

Baseline 2014/5:
20,831 tonnes

12,238 tonnes

41%