Capgemini UK announced its new science-based carbon targets yesterday (7 December), with an aim to slash emissions by 20% per employee by 2020 and by 40% by 2040. These are the first SBTs established in the sector to be officially approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative.

Global head of corporate sustainability at Capgemini, and edie conference speaker, James Robey said: “As soon as we signed the Business Proposals on climate change for COP21 in November 2015, we’ve worked hard to create a bold strategy to meet our commitments.

“In just over a year, we have firmly positioned ourselves at the forefront of our industry by announcing new and ambitious UK targets using a scientific methodology in line with COP21 to drive our reduction programme.

“As a service provider and consultant for many household names, our impact is much wider than our own operations and it’s important for us to acknowledge this by leading from the front,”

Capgemini UK has already cut its carbon emissions by 21% since the launch of its sustainability programme in 2008. The company’s UK arm now emits 48,000tCO2e a year across its offices, data centres and business travel. Capgemini intends to announce details of its new sustainability programme to meet these newly-established targets in 2017.

Momentum building

The Science-Based Targets initiative calls on companies to sign up to its scheme to create ambitious emission reductions targets in-line with global Paris Agreement targets. The initiative is a partnership between the CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact.

Speaking on behalf of the Science Based Target initiative, CDP chief executive Paul Simpson said: “We are delighted that Capgemini in the UK has taken the bold step to sign up to ambitious targets. We hope to see other companies in their industry following soon.

“In the past year, the Science-Based Targets initiative has seen a growth rate of over two companies a week committing to set these targets, indicating that companies are rising to the challenges set out in the Paris Agreement at COP21. The early adopters of this growing business norm, like Capgemini in the UK, will help this movement gather momentum and make a real impact in driving the transition to the low-carbon economy”.

Last month, the Science-Based Targets initiative reached the 200-member milestone. Supermarket group Walmart, drinks producer Diageo and Austria’s largest electricity provider Verbund AG were among the latest wave of companies to take the initiative to the 200 mark.

Capgemini was nominated as a finalist in the Sustainable Business of the Year category of edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015, while the group’s head of sustainability James Robey was also nominated for the Sustainability Leader (Person) award. The company won the Sustainable Transport & Travel category of the same edie awards scheme in 2014.

Alex Baldwin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie