Addressing the climate crisis requires a long-term commitment to change and practical action rather than words. We are turning over a new leaf by adopting green technologies and behaviours that will ensure we reach net zero by 2030 across our whole global value chain and are working with our industry to do the same for a greener and more sustainable world. This builds on our commitments to climate action and building sustainable cities and communities in accordance with UN Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 13.
Our achievements to date are:
- Carbon neutral from January 2021
- Reducing our emissions by 29 percent since FY1920
- Achieving ISO14001 accreditations in 30 offices
- Reducing business travel pre-COVID and encouraging people to make greener travel choices
- Shifting to zero plastics
- Signing up to the United Nation’s (UN) Race to Net Zero & World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitments
Our strategy is based on climate models and practical action to ensure we contribute to the low carbon transition. We have followed guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and have had our reduction targets and route-map verified by the Science-based Target Initiative (SBTi). We are one of only several organisations worldwide to have a verified strategy in line with the UN’s Race to Net Zero Commitment which we signed up to earlier this year
Turning over a new leaf
Our global business emitted 13,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2018 and 2019, that is the equivalent of powering over 2,000 homes for one year. Setting this as a baseline, we have an eight-step route-map to reach net zero with key milestones that address our major hotspots across business travel, purchased goods and services, and office energy. This strategy was signed off by our executive board, including our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Clancy in January 2021.
Net zero does not mean zero emissions. It means ensuring we mitigate the worst effects of climate change by reducing emissions enough to ensure temperatures only change by 1.5C over the next 100 years. As a result, a key part of our emission reductions stay in line with this 1.5C degree pathway; rebasing and adjusting our route map and interim targets as needed.
We will reduce absolute Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 4.2 percent annually and 50 percent by 2030. This will see us:
- Transition to 80 percent renewable energy by 2025
- Improve energy efficiency in our offices by 75 percent in the same time period.
We will also reduce our Scope 3 GHG emission across our entire value chain by 1 percent annually or 15 percent over the same timeframe aligned to a 2.0 degree pathway. This will be achieved by:
- Reducing business travel emissions per employee by 8.7 percent by 2025
- Working with suppliers who have the same commitments to the environment as we do.
Investing in a greener world today
We are 100 percent carbon neutral by investing in projects which neutralise our current GHG emissions.
The projects we are supporting are close to our operations and not only avoid the generation of GHGs but reduce them over time by developing natural climate solutions. The projects we have chosen provide local communities with alternative and sustainable income streams to end their dependency on the destruction of the natural environment, and provide education and employment opportunities for women and children (aligned to our priority SDGS 4 and 5) among other community benefits.
The projects we are supporting are:
Kariba Forest Protection in Zimbabwe
Since 2011, the Kariba project in northern Zimbabwe has been preventing deforestation and land degradation of nearly 785,000 hectares of forest. This is achieved primarily through promoting regional sustainable development, and the independence and wellbeing of local communities.
Regenerative braking technology in Delhi
With public transport transformation urgently needed to address the dangerous levels of air pollution in Delhi, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) transport system is setting a precedent for cost-effective, low-carbon innovation in India’s expanding urban transport systems.
This project increases energy efficiency in the DMRC transport system by replacing old brakes with new regenerative braking technology, making braking less GHG intensive and reducing emissions. The project also creates new job and training opportunities for the local community.
Solar Power for a Cleaner Energy Future in India
This 205MW capacity bundled solar project comprises five solar power plants across the Indian states of Telangana, Gujarat and Rajasthan. In its initial decade-long crediting period, it will prevent the emission of more than 3.5million tonnes of CO2 by generating renewable energy for India’s heavily fossil fuel-dominated electricity grid.
Miro sustainable timber plantations in Ghana
West Africa has lost almost 90 percent of its forest to deforestation. By expanding the plantation area across forest reserves at a rate of 1,500 hectares per year for six years, this project restores these dangerously degraded reserves. The trees planted are best for the production of sustainable timber.
On a local level, the project promotes sustainable cultivation of trees for timber and it also ensures financial security for the local community, with the land leased on fair, long-term agreements and vast training and employment opportunities created for work on the project land.
Together we can all turn over a new leaf, making greener decisions and adopting new ways of working to put the climate first. Read about how we are helping our industry to change through our sustainability advisory offer, renewables business, and digital technology teams.