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 2021.
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 24% per employee (FTE) since the start of Our Green Journey in 2011, making good progress towards our 10-year target of a 35% per FTE reduction.
Energy and Water
Our energy use has dropped 27% per m sq through our 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. When we factor in that 100% of our procured electricity now comes from renewables, our emissions from energy use are down 70% per m sq since the start of Our Green Journey.
Waste and Paper
We achieved another significant fall in our annual paper use, with people now using 70% less paper each than they did in FY11. This is partly due to secure printing, as well as the success of ongoing communications on the importance of paper reduction. Our move to 100% recycled paper on our office floors has also led to us saving 1,810 tonnes of virgin paper since 2012, equivalent to over 43,000 trees.
This has helped us reduced our total waste production by 25% per FTE compared to our position at the start of Our Green Journey. In those offices where we have direct control of our waste we continue to emphasize the importance of resource efficiency and last year, 53% of our waste was recycled and 100% was diverted away from landfill.
Business travel is integral to delivering a world-class service to our clients and as a result, this remains the largest segment of our carbon footprint. We are continuing to invest in video-conferencing, Skype for Business and online collaboration tools and this has helped us begin to decouple business growth and business travel, the silver-bullet to attaining our carbon reduction targets. Our travel emissions have remained relatively flat to date, increasing by just 4% per FTE since 2011 as we continue to grow our global presence, however by continuing to recognize the importance of delivering ‘Low Carbon Engagements’ for our clients, we still expect to make progress towards travel emissions reduction target.
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.