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 11% per employee (FTE) over the past three years, which is very impressive and sets us up well for the coming year.
The firm’s investment in video-conferencing, Lync and online collaboration is continuing to help de‑couple business growth and business travel – the “silver bullet” to attaining our targets.
Travel emissions have dropped by 13% per FTE since the start of our programme while revenue continues to grow.
Our video-conferencing (VC) usage has also increased substantially and is now 54% higher than in FY11 – and with our VC enhancement programme now well underway, we want this to grow an additional 50% this year.
This is all excellent news and really supports our belief that our clients are also looking for ways to enhance their businesses whilst supporting a low-carbon supply chain.
To help our client teams and engagement managers react to this, we developed a ‘Low Carbon Engagement’ toolkit. The principles behind this are relevant now more than ever and we will continue to engage with our clients on the potential for using the latest technology to help us deliver projects in the most sustainable manner available.
Energy & Water
Our energy use has dropped 11% per FTE and water consumption has dropped by 20% per FTE, meaning that we have attained our long-term water target. We have achieved these excellent results through further investment in our portfolio, such as the major refurbishment of our Edinburgh office and rationalisation of our estate.
We continue to procure green electricity as part of our commitment to a low-carbon economy and this year we sourced 99% of our electricity from renewable sources.
Waste & Paper
We made great progress tackling waste production this year, moving from a small increase in FY13 to a 6% per FTE reduction in FY14. In those offices where we have direct control of our waste, 63% was recycled and we diverted an impressive 98% of our waste from landfill.
The reduction in waste is largely down to the behaviours of our people, expansion of the GiveMeTap partnership, taking our bottle distribution up to 12,500, and the continued success of our paper reduction programme.
We now use 31% less paper per FTE than in FY11, meaning we have exceeded our 10-year target by some distance! We are committed to continual improvement and so 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 744 tonnes of virgin paper to date, equivalent to 17,800 trees.
We drive continual improvement in our environmental performance through our ISO14001-certified environmental management system. Within this, our environmental 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.