Sustainable operations

We play a key part in supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy, both by helping customers to reduce their emissions, and via our own operations. We believe it is important to lead by example.

We have been working to reduce our operational impacts on the environment for some time. We started small with local goals on energy and carbon, then developed a carbon neutrality programme from 2005-2011, and are now in the last year of a robust global programme launched in 2012. This programme included targets to reduce our carbon emissions, energy, waste, water and paper use. We also set goals to increase recycling, procure electricity from renewable sources, and commission buildings to the highest sustainability standards.

With the help of employees, suppliers and strategic partners, we achieved our initial energy paper, waste, and carbon reduction goals in 2017. We stretched these targets and made them more challenging, including setting a new target to source 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In 2019, we were recognised with an A- Leadership score by CDP, a leading environmental disclosure organisation.

We continue to focus on achieving our remaining 2020 goals, whilst planning more ambitious targets for the future.

Progress against our key targets

Goal 2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline) Progress to date (2019) Commentary
Goal:
CO2 Emissions reduction¹
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
2.0 CO2 tonnes per full-time equivalent employee (FTE)
Progress to date (2019):
2.26 CO2 tonnes per FTE
Commentary:
We continue to cut our carbon emissions by reducing our energy consumption. This means being more efficient in the way we run our buildings, using IT solutions to reduce the need to travel, working with our strategic partners and growing on our renewable procurement strategy.
Goal:
Electricity from renewables²
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
100% by 2030³
Progress to date (2019):
29.4%³
Commentary:
We have stretched our initial target of 25 percent to 100 percent. We are also an active member of RE100, a group of businesses committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewables sources.
Goal:
Energy reduction¹
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
1.2 MWh/FTE: this is equivalent to a 20% reduction from the 2011 baseline
Progress to date (2019):
1.4 MWh per FTE
Commentary:
In 2017, we achieved our original energy reduction target and stretched it to 1.2 MWh/FTE. During 2019, we implemented over 810 energy conservation measures that amounted to an estimated energy reduction in excess of 22M kWh. This resulted in meeting our stretch target.
Goal:
Waste reduction¹
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
75% of baseline
Progress to date (2019):
66% of baseline
Commentary:
We achieved our original target to reduce waste by 50 percent from our 2011 baseline and stretched our goal to 75 percent. Waste and recycling processes differ greatly across our global estate, making these some of our most challenging goals to achieve.
Goal:
Waste recycling
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
100%
Progress to date (2019):
62%
Commentary:
We work with our local facilities partners to find the best ways to reduce, segregate and recycle while encouraging our employees to take small actions to support our waste goals.
Goal:
Paper reduction¹
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
66% of baseline
Progress to date (2019):
69% of baseline
Commentary:
We have met our previous milestones, including our stretched target of 66% reduction. We continue to develop paper-free processes and solutions, and strive to reduce the paper we consume.
Goal:
Sustainably sourced paper
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
100%
Progress to date (2019):
92%
Commentary:
In 2019, we rectified an issue identified in 2018 in the chain of custody with a paper supplier. We continue to make good progress towards our goal.
Goal:
Water reduction
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
50%
Progress to date (2019):
47%
Commentary:
We focus our water reduction strategy in water-scarce countries and continue to educate our employees and communities in which we operate about the global water challenge.
Goal:
Green buildings
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
Build 50 properties to highest environmental standards
Progress to date (2019):
78
Commentary:
We reached our initial goal in 2015 and continue to build new properties in line with the highest international sustainability standards. In 2019, we opened our new UAE headquarters with a LEED Gold standard.
Goal:
Data centres efficiency
2020 Goal (set from 2011 baseline):
1.50 Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
Progress to date (2019):
1.51
Commentary:
We continue to explore metrics to help better understand the efficiency of the IT estate and find ways to make our data centres more efficient.

Notes
1. Several goals were achieved since 2011 and stretched as follows: (i) CO2 emissions reduction 2020 target was set at 2.5 CO2 tonnes/FTE until 2017, when the target was stretched to 2.0 CO2 tonnes/FTE; (ii) Waste reduction 2020 target was set at 50% until 2017, when the target was stretched to 75%, and (iii) Paper reduction target was set at 50% until 2017, when the target was stretched to 66%
2. Electricity in entire operations
3. 100% is our target for 2030, with an interim goal of 90% by 2025

Reducing carbon emissions

We aim to cut our annual carbon dioxide emissions per employee from 3.5 tonnes in 2011 to 2.0 tonnes by year-end 2020. This target was updated in 2017 from an original goal of 2.5 tonnes. These are emissions from our operations arising through energy consumption (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) and business travel (Scope 1 and 3 emissions).

Our 2019 annual carbon emissions per employee have reduced to 2.26 tonnes. Since 2011, our carbon emissions have fallen by 35 per cent per FTE.

Renewable energy purchases and a reduction in our energy use have been key in helping us make progress towards our carbon goals. In 2019, our energy use reduced by 4 per cent from 2018, and is now down 38 per cent from our 2011 baseline.

PwC performed a limited assurance on our carbon emissions reporting for 2019. The assurance letter and our reporting guidelines can be found on the ESG reporting and policies page.

Carbon emissions per employee

Total carbon emissions

Our renewable electricity challenge

Our carbon and renewable strategy has evolved as we sought to take a more active approach by setting energy reduction targets and being active in the energy markets in which we operate. We were carbon neutral thanks to our carbon neutrality programme from 2005- 2011. Since then, our strategy has shifted from purchasing offsets to influencing the markets in which we operate by sourcing electricity through power purchase agreements ('PPAs') that bring additional renewable energy to the country's local grid.

In 2012, we set a goal to procure 25 per cent of electricity via PPAs by 2020. We have since achieved this goal and in 2017, we made a commitment to ensure that 100 per cent of our electricity would be obtained from renewable sources by 2030, with an interim commitment of 90 per cent by 2025.

By the end of 2019, we contracted up to 29.4 per cent of our electricity consumption through PPAs in various countries. Reaching our 100 per cent target via PPAs will be a challenge to achieve due to several factors, including having operations in markets where PPA structures are currently unavailable. In markets where we have a small electricity consumption and the PPA market is active, we are focusing on collaborating and finding partnerships with other companies to find solutions. In 2019, we also installed small solar panels on our operations in Oman, Bahrain and Malta.

We are member of RE100, a global initiative uniting more than 200 influential businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity, that supports the opening up of PPA markets and encouraging new, innovative solutions. By finding solutions for problems we face in procuring renewable electricity, we not only help achieve our ambitious goal, but also help our customers and other companies solve their renewable sourcing problems.

Our waste challenge

Our initial 2020 target was to reduce our total waste by 50 per cent from our 2011 baseline. This was achieved in 2015, and then stretched to reduce by 75 per cent from the 2011 baseline. By 2019, we had reduced total waste by 66 per cent. Our recycling target is for 100 per cent of our office and electronic waste to be recycled by 2020. In 2019, we recycled 62 per cent of our office waste.

Our stretch waste reduction target will be a challenge to achieve. As we continue to reduce our total waste, it becomes increasingly difficult to increase or maintain recycling levels. With differences within cities and buildings, we continue to address the waste challenge by finding ways to reduce waste, segregate and recycle. We continue to further educate and engage our employees on waste and recycling challenges.

We also continue to pursue our target to reduce our electronic waste, although we are not yet confident that we have sufficient data under uniform methodology to report a global figure. At the beginning of 2019 we created a global working group with representatives from IT, Procurement and Sustainability to capture and report our e-waste practices around the world. Improving the collection and collation of data will help enable us to track progress towards our target.

Cutting our waste

Reduction and recycling

Working with our supply chains

We have an ethical and environmental code of conduct for suppliers of goods and services. The ethical code of conduct, which we require suppliers to adopt, sets out the standards for economic, environmental and social impacts and outlines the requirements of having a governance and management structure to help ensure compliance with this code. Find out more about our supplier code of conduct.

Our goal is to work collaboratively with our supply chain partners on sustainability at all times. When a supplier or one of its sub-contractors is found to no longer be in compliance with this code, we will work with them on an improvement plan or, if deemed necessary, terminate the relationship.

In 2019, we engaged with CDP to participate in their Supply Chain Programme starting in 2020 and have signed up to participate for the next three years. This will help us measure and assess our carbon dioxide emissions produce through our supply chain (Scope 3 emissions). We are in early stages of the programme and look forward to reporting progress on this new initiative.

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