IT services giant Capgemini has exceeded its carbon dioxide reduction target a year ahead of schedule, with its latest annual CSR report demonstrating how progress is being maintained towards its long-term Science Based Targets.
The multinational firm had been aiming to reduce emissions by 10 per cent against 2014 levels by the end of the current financial year, but it revealed this week it has already cut emissions throughout its operations by 16 per cent.
The performance includes a 10 per cent cut in emissions in 2016 alone, with the majority of those reductions the result of the company consolidating some of its data centres and closing the less efficient facilities.
In total, Capgemini has cut emissions from its data centres by 23 per cent since 2014, with its four remaining data centres achieving a cumulative emissions cut of more than 3,700 tonnes of CO2 last year, meaning overall the company is well on the way to achieving its 2020 CO2 target.
Capgemini is one of a growing number of global corporates to have had its emissions reduction goals assessed and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, becoming the first in the global IT services sector to do so last year.
Through SBT the company has committed to cutting its scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 against 2014 levels. It also has a target to reduce its emissions intensity per employee by 40 per cent over the same period, with an interim target of 20 per cent by 2020.
Other findings in the French company’s corporate social responsibility report show it has reduced its office energy emissions by 14 per cent since 2014, while it also sourced 77 per cent of its office electricity from renewables last year.
The company now has 600 solar panels installed at its UK office in Aston and, according to the report, has a policy of buying electricity from renewable sources “wherever we have direct control over the energy contract”.
Smart building technology was also installed at its Aston office and Sale offices last year in order to provide more detailed monitoring of energy use, with the trial enabling the firm to identify more than 30 low cost energy reduction actions with a combined saving of more than £23,000.
However, the firm said it still sent 11 per cent of its waste to landfill in 2016, thereby exceeding its 10 per cent target, despite cutting its total waste generated by eight per cent since 2014.
Christine Hodgson, Capgemini UK chairman and Group Executive Committee member with responsibility for corporate responsibility and sustainability, said the digital solutions and technology sector would play a key role in meeting global climate targets and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“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,” she said in a statement. “We believe that being a responsible and sustainable business brings value to our shareholders, our clients, our people and society.”