Understanding our environmental impacts
Sage is an office-based organisation and as such our environmental impacts are less than those of many other industries. In fact, whilst it is difficult to quantify the savings made, our role in automating business processes helps organisations reduce their environmental impacts by the use of electronic transactions.
Last year, for the first time, we started to measure the carbon footprint from energy use in our main offices. Our work this year has focused on improving our approach to measurement of the carbon emissions (“scope 1 and scope 2”) from energy use in all offices with more than 25 Sage employees and developing a consistent and robust system for gathering and reporting this data. We believe we have made significant steps in establishing this system and have learnt a lot from the process. Next year, we hope to improve this process further and use the data to target energy efficiency opportunities and therefore take positive steps to reduce our footprint.
We have continued our work to reduce packaging in our products using electronic downloads where possible. We have also begun work to capture levels of waste and recycling across our organisation but we need to continue to embed our reporting systems before we can begin to report meaningfully on this.
Last year we introduced carbon emissions reporting across our businesses through a six month pilot data capture process.
This year, we are pleased to be able to publish the carbon footprint for offices with more than 25 people in the countries shown.
As a large proportion of our offices are serviced, we have chosen the ambitious target of including the carbon emissions from serviced offices where available, and have chosen to make sensible estimates for the consumption of offices where we are still working with landlords to establish a regular reporting process. In total 6% of our energy use has been estimated using equivalent office data. We plan on continuing to develop these reporting systems in future years to improve the completeness and timeliness of this data.
We have also updated our carbon calculations process this year to take account of the new international emissions factors provided by the UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (“DECC”), although we have chosen to only report carbon dioxide emissions for all countries rather than a broader collection of greenhouse gases for those countries where such data is available. This helps provide comparability between the footprints of our various businesses which will help us to see opportunities for reduction in energy consumption.
Energy Awareness and reducing consumption
Our operating companies are encouraged to seek ways to minimise impact through employee education and awareness. On Sage Day 2009 we launched a campaign called ‘Change One Thing’ which focused on educating employees on climate change and how small changes in personal behaviour can make a difference. Through our global intranet we encouraged employees to share personal stories of commitment to change and these ideas were captured in an electronic booklet which was made available to all Sage countries for translation and electronic distribution.
Sage UK has taken a further step in its recycling initiatives by removing individual bins at desks and providing central bins alongside office recycling stations. This has resulted in an average increase of 48% in recycled waste per month.
UK preparation for Carbon Reduction Commitment (“CRC”)
We have appointed an external service provider to assist us in preparing for the CRC. This 3-year partnership will help us to not only fulfil our legal requirements but also to develop and implement strategies to reduce our UK carbon footprint. As part of this preparation we are working with the Carbon Trust to gain the Carbon Trust Standard in the UK.