Reducing the impact of our operations and services on the environment
We have long strived to reduce the impact of our operations and services on the environment. In 2008 we established our Environmental Management System and in 2011 started out on Our Green Journey, our 10-year strategy to decouple business growth from our environmental impacts. We have set ourselves stretching environmental targets which we aim to meet by 2020.
Our flagship target indicates how well we are optimizing our buildings (i.e. using less electricity and gas) and reducing our reliance on business travel.
We have reduced our carbon emissions by 16% per employee (FTE) since the start of Our Green Journey.
The firm’s investment in video-conferencing, Skype for Business and online collaboration is continuing to help decouple business growth and business travel – the “silver bullet” to attaining our targets. Travel emissions have dropped by 8% per FTE since the start of our programme in 2011, while revenue has risen year-on-year.
Our use of video-conferencing has increased substantially in this time, in the past year alone it rose by 35%, as we continue to recognise its importance in helping us deliver ‘Low Carbon Engagements’ for our clients.
Energy & Water
Our energy use dropped 23% per FTE and is now 31% below baseline, exceeding our 10 year target. This has been achieved through further investment in our portfolio, such as upgrading the lighting in some of our offices, rationalising our property portfolio and optimising how our buildings are run.
Our London offices were awarded a bronze medal at the inaugural Mayor of London’s Business Energy Challenge and we hope to improve on this next year.
We continue to procure green electricity as part of our commitment to a low-carbon economy and this year we sourced 98% of our electricity from renewable sources.
Water consumption increased this year due to some of our water systems coming to their end of life but it remains 17% per FTE below FY11 levels and we expect this to drop back in the coming months.
Waste & Paper
We made good progress tackling waste production this year, reducing our total waste by 11% per FTE and it is now 16% per FTE below baseline. In those offices where we have direct control of our waste, 62% was recycled and 97% was diverted away from landfill.
The reduction in waste is largely down to the behaviours of our people, our continuing GiveMeTap partnership, and the continued success of our paper reduction programme.
We now use 36% less paper per FTE than in FY11, meaning we have exceeded our original 10-year target by some distance. This is set to decrease further thanks to projects such as Audit now offering digital GAAP books. We are committed to continual improvement and have set ourselves a new target to reduce paper use by 50% per FTE (against the 2011 baseline). Our move to 100% recycled paper on our office floors has also led to us saving 1,085 tonnes of virgin paper since 2012, equivalent to 26,000 trees.
We drive continual improvement in our environmental performance through our ISO14001-certified environmental management system. Within this, our Environment and Energy Policy sets out our commitments to minimising our environmental impact.
We also challenge our suppliers to support our sustainability agenda in line with our Sustainable Procurement Policy. For a detailed review of our environmental objectives, targets and performance to date, see Deloitte Impact.