Our environment

The Group is committed to the protection of the environment, not just from its direct activities on site, but through our use of sustainable resources, carbon management related to business travel and preventing pollution through reducing and eliminating sources of pollution.

The Group seeks to influence all parties in the life cycle of its services, and create an environmentally friendly ethos amongst its staff, contractors and suppliers.


We set out below a summary of progress and initiatives for our material issues:

The Group continues to review its activities and operations to identify and evaluate environmental aspects and impacts. Initially, this has concentrated on the area where it believes it can have the largest impact: energy usage but is also considering other important aspects such as travel, waste products and water consumption. This work has been supported by our Environmental Management System (‘EMS’) which is due to be certified to ISO14001 by the end of 2021.

Specific initiatives include the increased usage of video conferencing facilities for both internal and client meetings to reduce the amount of staff and client travel and options to reduce the number of printed materials required.

These initiatives are supported by the Group’s Sustainability Committee, with the Head of Risk responsible for their delivery.

Annual greenhouse gas emissions and energy use data for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021:

  Current reporting year 2020-2021 Comparison reporting year 2019-2020
Total scope 1 emissions (tCO2e) 212.0 267.4
Total scope 2 emissions (tCO2e) 350.3 547.4
Total scope 1 + scope 2 emissions (tCO2e) 562.3 815.0
Energy consumption used to calculate above emissions (kWh) 2,655,443 3,329,067
Revenue (£m) 127.9 119.8
Scope 1 + scope 2 emissions intensity (tCO2e/£m) 4.40 6.81
Total scope 3 emissions (tCO2e) 1,928  
Scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 emissions intensity (tCO2e) 2,490  
Energy consumption used to calculate above emissions (kWh) 12,720,256  
Scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 emissions intensity (tCO2e/£m) 19.47  

Notes:
1. tCO2e = Tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
2. All activities are UK-based.
3. Conversion to carbon rates used current Department for Education, Food and Rural Affairs (‘DEFRA’) factors.
4. Calculations were carried out by Pilio Ltd, using a methodology in line with ISAE 3410.
5. Scope 3 emission figures include business travel, employee commuting and domestic energy usage to support staff working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to government guidance.

Like for like comparisons between scope 1 and 2 emissions against the previous reporting period show a reduction in emissions data across the Group’s offices.

This reflects the fact a majority of staff worked from home in response to government Covid-19 guidance so the energy consumed in these offices was lower.

The increase in domestic emissions due to staff working from home has been calculated and included in scope 3 emissions data for the 2020-2021 period. This results in an overall increase in emissions since the previous year, although like for like comparisons are not applicable as this is the first year scope 3 data has been included.

Emission figures for 2020-2021 are higher than the comparison reporting year for a number of factors. These include increased numbers of staff, additional scope 2 data being available for inclusion and the introduction of supply chain scope 3 data for the first time this year. These figures also take into account the increased numbers of staff working from home during the period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated additional domestic emissions.


How we identify the true impact of local energy saving initiatives.

As part of our Sustainability framework we have sought to identify where we can reduce our environmental impacts. One of the key areas identified is our energy usage and the associated carbon emissions from our portfolio of offices. Historically it has been challenging to gather good quality data for these offices as we have had to rely on a number of sources, including landlords, and bills from a variety of energy suppliers.

This also means that it is difficult to accurately quantify the impact of local energy savings initiatives and identify additional opportunities.

To help us address these challenges we have recently adopted new Energy Management software provided by Pilio. The software allows office managers to take local energy usage readings on a regular basis and input them onto a single portal. This then allows us to view usage trends across the Group or by office type, i.e. locally metered vs landlord charges.

This software is allowing us to identify the true impact of local energy saving initiatives. It also provides a simple, clear visual overview for management and auditors, as well as helping us to engage with landlords for those properties where energy usage figures are higher.

This software will be invaluable in the future in supporting our initiatives to reduce our energy usage and through this our carbon outputs. It will also support our plans to identify options for the Group to move to being Carbon Net Neutral in the future.


Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Reporting

Work is underway to ensure that the Group fully complies with the new TCFD requirements by the time we report on the financial year ending 31 March 2022. An initial gap analysis has been completed, with an action plan to compliance agreed.

In 2020 we were in the process of creating a more environmentally focused workspace, with green champions promoting an environmentally alert culture. With lockdown coming to an end we intend to roll out a number of green initiatives in H1 2021. This is assisted by the adoption of a hybrid working model involving less travel. This will also allow us to reduce our overall paper consumption alongside the planned reduction in core printed stationery and letterheads. We will also be increasing our collaboration with new and existing suppliers to the use of sustainable products and energy sources.