Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has accelerated its climate change commitments to achieve a 50% reduction (from the 2018 baseline) in scope 1, 2 and 3 operational emissions by 2025, an ambitious start towards Net Zero by 2050. This includes business travel and working from home emissions.
Stephen Bird, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “ESG is not a hygiene factor and it is not a bolt on activity, we all have a responsibility to constantly analyse our own progress and ambition.”
SLA’s approach to managing its operational emissions is to reduce as much as they can and then offset what remains. A representive for SLA said this represents, “A dramatic change in the nature of our operational carbon footprint, which we have been monitoring since 2006, occurred during the pandemic as emissions from our offices and business travel reduced.”
Travel which made up 65% of SLA’s carbon footprint in 2019 only represented 14% of emissions in 2020. This is one area where SLA is committing to reduce.
Additionally in 2020 SLA went from having under 1% of its employees working from home to over 95%. This meant that home working became the largest source of emissions, accounting for 55% of its carbon footprint.
SLA maintain working from home (WFH) or hybrid working is likely to be a lasting feature of working life. They are developing a strategy to tackle home-working emissions, commenting, “We calculate our WFH emissions based on accepted, robust and audited models but we feel it’s imperative we go further than best practice. We have partnered with Pawprint, an eco-tech company to help employees measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint via a set of tailored questions and challenges. We are a pioneer of the Pawprint for Business app which allows us to gather anonymous data to remove some of the assumptions in our current WFH emissions analysis.”
By informing people of their biggest carbon impacts the app then challenges them to make either large or small changes to address this.
Another initiative SLA are now offering to UK employees is electric car leasing which is an environmentally friendly and cost effective way to travel. Providing greener and more sustainable choices for employees as part of the flexible benefits package will expand the opportunites to make sustainable changes.
Stephen Bird, Chief Executive Officer, added, “ We need to be held to account on both our plans and progress – through clear and specific targets, and transparent and credible reporting. As a business we are carbon neutral, through offsetting 110% of our operational carbon footprint and by accelerating our climate change commitments we hope to demonstrate our constructive contribution towards decarbonisation.”