True to our key values of integrity and stewardship, we want to do all we can to protect the future of our planet. It’s no longer just the right thing to do, but a moral imperative. If we want our children, young colleagues and all future generations to live their lives without the burden of irreversible climate change, we as businesses need to do our part by committing to a more sustainable future.
In 2021, our UK team committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030. To the date of this report, we have already achieved a 56% reduction on our 2020 pre-pandemic baseline.
Our carbon reduction plan sets out a roadmap that will guide us in reducing our emissions as much as possible by 2030, mainly by cutting non-essential travel and energy usage in our buildings and utilising green energy sources where we can. Only then will we offset the emissions we really cannot avoid with an accredited carbon offset programme. We have also signed up to the United Nations Global Compact, which further demonstrates our commitment to meaningful progress.
We report and record emissions in line with the published reporting standard for Carbon Reduction Plans and the Green House Gas (GHG) Reporting Protocol corporate standard, which can be seen in our latest Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting figures. We measure our direct (Scope 1), indirect (Scope 2) and value chain (Scope 3) emissions to help us understand how our people and suppliers are impacting our carbon footprint.
Our environmental policy guides us on:
- eliminating gas entirely from our business by 2030;
- reducing the amount of electricity we use and sourcing all of our electricity from renewable sources;
- cutting down the frequency of business travel by vehicles, trains and aeroplanes;
- making sure our office fitouts and buildings are environmentally friendly;
- reducing waste;
- reusing what we can; and
- recycling what we can’t.
To achieve our goal, we have set the following emissions targets, based on our 2020 baseline figures:
We’re confident that adopting an agile working model and making further investments in technology will help us reduce our emissions further. To make sure everyone has genuinely useful virtual interactions, we’re reviewing and upgrading the quality of our digital platforms on an ongoing basis. Our work has already received recognition, as we received the Bronze Award for Sustainability as part of our latest EcoVadis submission. For our recent office refurbishments, we have been awarded SKA Gold in recognition.
In addition to our high-level work, we have introduced several initiatives and projects to support our sustainability efforts on the ground. Highlights this year include:
- sustainable September, which asked all staff to make one planet-focused pledge for the month – like eating less meat, reducing car journeys or going vegan. To set an example, Executive Chairman Kevin didn’t drive his car for a month;
- an EV scheme that helps employees buy an electric vehicle using a salary sacrifice arrangement;
- ESG-focussed training, developed to help our people understand why it’s important to our clients and in a broader sense; and
- ‘Clean up canals’ project in collaboration with the Canal River Trust, where our people spent time cleaning up canals in Birmingham.