Capgemini closes in on science-based emissions reduction target

Global IT consultancy Capgemini is three-quarters of the way towards its verified science-based target for 2020, and has also launched a supplier assessment tool and case studies to push towards a Net Positive goal.

Capgemini outlined the progress of its Positive Planet programme in the latest iteration of its sustainability report. The newest version of the report revealed that the company had recorded a 16% reduction in total carbon emissions since 2014, and a 15% reduction per head.

The baseline for the latest reductions, which were accelerated through a 10% reduction in emissions in 2016 alone, comply with the baseline for the company’s verified science-based target, the first of its type in the sector, to reduce emissions per employee by 20% by 2020 before reaching a 40% reduction for 2030.

“We are celebrating our 50th anniversary and our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability programme is firmly focused on ensuring that Capgemini is positively positioned for our next 50 years,” Capgemini’s head of CSR Christine Hodgson said.

“Currently, we are at an important turning point, faced with the urgent need to decarbonise our economic production system to combat climate change, while providing for the needs of the growing global population.”

The 10% reduction recorded in 2016 was largely generated through the consolidation of data centres, including the closure of an older, less efficient centre. A “significant reduction” in emissions was also achieved from closing four offices and the consolidation of the firm’s real estate portfolio.

The closure of the data centre and offices located in London Southbank was done so without sending any waste to landfill. Just 11% of waste generated by Capgemini was sent to landfill in 2016, as the company nears a 10% target. Looking ahead, Capgemini will focus on integrating circular economy principles into its operations.

The closures also enabled Capgemini to record an 11% reduction in data centre energy use, with data centres accounting for 40% of total emissions and 70% of energy use.

Net Positive plan

As a founding member of the Net Positive Project to go beyond reducing negative sustainability impacts, Capgemini has pledged to reduced three times as much carbon emissions in its ecosystem as it generates each year in its operations.

The target takes effect this year, and Capgemini has produced a series of case studies and a supplier engagement tool to map areas where the biggest progress can be made. In the next 12 months, Capgemini will start reporting progress against the Net Positive target.

Fortunately, Capgemini has assessed 100% of its suppliers against 12 procurement requirements since 2007. This year, 559 new suppliers were assessed and since 2007 Capgemini has ceased trading with 356 suppliers that failed to comply to the standards. In 2016, Capgemini also published its first UK Modern Slavery Act Statement.

Office energy

Regarding energy use, Capgemini has goals in place to reduce office energy use by 20% by 2020 and by 40% by 2030 against a 2014 baseline. Using an ISO 50001 certified energy management approach, Capgemini has reduced office energy use by 11% and office energy emissions by 28% since 2014.

Improvements to energy efficiency were driven by the 98MWh of self-generated renewable energy used by the firm in 2016. More than 600 solar panels have been used alongside purchasing agreements to ensure that 77% of office energy is sourced from renewables.

The year ahead will see Capgemini focus on energy efficiency through the deployment of an Energy Committee led by the company’s chief financial officer Tony Deans. Deans will also head a TravelWell programme to improve reductions in emissions from business travel, which have fallen by 1% since 2014 – well short of the 25% target for 2020.

Last month edie sat down with Hodgson, and ex financial officer at the firm, to discuss the key challenge of securing funding for sustainability projects.

Matt Mace

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