Two years ago, we started to rid the firm of plastic. Last year, we outperformed our goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent compared to 2004 levels. And, recently, we signed the final contract to deliver on our commitment to source 100 percent renewable electricity for all our offices. So what’s next? We’ve set ourselves ambitious new targets for 2025. With these targets, we’re looking to go all the way to 100 percent, or zero, depending on the category.

Net zero? No emissions!

The greenhouse gas (GHG) output caused by humankind is the main cause of global warming. We need to reduce these GHG emissions to zero in order to stop climate change – the sooner, the better. The call for net-zero emissions means that all sources of these GHG emissions will have to be removed. Emissions which can’t be eliminated will have to be counterbalanced with an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide removals.

We’ve reduced our GHG emissions by 79 percent compared to 2004 levels through a number of measures: increasing energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuel-based heating systems with renewable ones and increasing our share of renewable energy. Now we’ve committed to achieving net-zero emissions in our own operations (scope 1 and 2) by 2025. Scope 1 accounts for direct GHG emissions by the firm and scope 2 accounts for indirect GHG emissions associated with the generation of imported or purchased electricity, heat or steam.

Consume less, consume better, recycle more

Since we’ve increased the number of recycling stations in all our offices and taken away the small dustbins, our employees recycle more. We aim at a 60 percent recycling ratio (we’re currently at 52 percent), and 10 percent less waste per head (well, full time equivalent). In a few countries, our office waste is still dumped into landfills which is an environmental issue. We’ll engage with local waste management companies and our landlords to achieve zero office waste going to landfills by 2025.
To date, around 82 percent of our global paper consumption originates from recycled sources or sustainably certified paper (certified by the Forest Stewardship Council). Now we’re aiming for 100 percent sustainable sources by 2025.

We also want to reduce our energy consumption by 15 percent by 2025. That’s not a small task considering that we’ve already almost halved our energy consumption between 2006 and 2020 (from 951 to 537 gigawatt per hour). Investing in sustainable and energy efficient buildings, consolidating office space and using cloud-based IT solutions will help us do that. We’re also going to invest in more solar panels for our office roofs and support new off-site projects to increase renewable energy capacity in the grid by 2025. And we will engage with our vendors to increase their commitments to sourcing 100 percent renewable energy.

Our environmental goals are part of our climate strategy which underlines our commitment to the UN SDGs on climate action and on affordable and clean energy and supports an orderly transition to a low carbon economy, as defined by the Paris Agreement.

Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative

In December 2020, we became a founding signatory of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative alongside 30 other asset managers representing over USD 9 trillion of assets under management (AUM). This leading group of global asset managers has committed to supporting the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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