Refinitiv pledges to become a net-zero-carbon business in 2020

Refinitiv operates in 190 countries worldwide

The company, formerly known as the Financial & Risk arm of Thompson Reuters, will source 100% renewable energy for its operations and value chains by 2020 in its bid to achieve carbon neutrality, before purchasing carbon credits to offset its remaining emissions.

Refinitiv will then make further investments in low-carbon technologies in order to slash its annual carbon emissions by 10% each year until 2024, against a 2018 baseline. This will gradually minimise the amount of carbon offsetting it needs to undertake. 

The commitment applies to all of Refinitiv’s global operations, covering the 190 countries in which it offers products and services.

“Global carbon dioxide emissions are accelerating at their fastest pace in seven years and hit a record high of 2.7% in 2018,” Refinitiv’s chief executive David Craig said.

“As global citizens, we need to act swiftly and decisively to help combat rising carbon dioxide emissions. We need to urgently do so not only for our futures, but for the future of our planet.”

The announcement comes at a time when several companies are moving to explore or set more ambitious carbon targets, in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s flagship report on climate change. Shortly after the report was launched last October, BT pledged to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2045, for example.

SDG alignment

In a bid to bolster its environmental sustainability efforts, Refinitiv has also pledged to align its sustainability strategy with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To help it achieve this alignment, the company has joined 9,000 other businesses in becoming a member of the UN Global Compact. This membership will enable Refinitiv to share best practice advice with other members, receive UN advice on how to embed sustainability into its operations and learn how best to report on its progress.

In addition to the new carbon reduction pledges, the first stage of Refinitiv’s SDG alignment has seen the company announce two new 2020 commitments on social sustainability issues.

The first of these pledges  – ensuring at least 40% of its leadership roles are filled by women – supports SDG 5: Gender equality. Its launch comes shortly after the firm signed the UK Government’s women in finance charter, which commits signatories to fostering and promoting gender equality in the finance sector.

Refinitiv’s second social sustainability commitment is to double engagement with community investment programmes, which enable corporates and individuals to collectively invest in community groups, local charities, schools and other shared facilities.

“Addressing the world’s biggest sustainability issues requires collective leadership that exemplifies the behaviours that will bring about change and empower others to do the same,” Craig added.

“As well as driving changes in investment behaviour through our data and insights, this also means caring about our own operational footprint, being open with our environmental commitments and disclosures and promoting a culture of transparency and inclusion that leverages the skills of our people to drive positive impact in our communities.”

Sarah George

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