This month, the 27th annual Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27) will take place in Sharm-el-Sheikh to discuss the challenges we face against climate change and how we will go about tackling them together.
A recent EY report estimates that the technology industry accounts for approximately 2-4% of global carbon emissions, and up to 7% of electricity use. As such, tech companies hold a great deal of responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint and lead the way in the fight against climate change. And, COP 27 provides an important reminder of our duty to do our part.
At FDM, we are firm believers that sustainability should be a core value at the heart of every business and that carbon off-setting is crucial to the future of our planet. As an issue close to our hearts, we want to offer full transparency, which is why we’re giving you the rundown of the current state-of-play, as well as FDM’s sustainability targets for 2030 and beyond.
What’s in this article?
- What is COP 27?
- How will COP 27 impact businesses?
- FDM’s pledge to the planet
- What steps can businesses take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?
What is COP 27?
Run by the United Nations, COP 27 is this year’s annual climate change conference where different countries of the world come together to take action against climate change. The conference’s main goal is to ensure that the plans set out in the Paris Agreement - the international treaty on climate change - are fully implemented. This includes a long-term strategy to limit global warming to below 2 degrees celsius and achieve a climate-neutral world by 2050.
COP 27 is a momentous occasion, bringing together leaders from all across the globe with a common goal - to save the planet we call home.
How will COP 27 impact businesses?
Following COP 26, businesses were encouraged to join the UN in their efforts to reach net zero emissions by the mid-century. COP 26 President Alok Sharma outlined the importance of corporate contributions, emphasising that joining the mission to zero emissions will make a significant impact on the environment, while also helping businesses work efficiently and improving returns as a result.
This year, the stakes are higher. As extreme weather events become more frequent and reports reveal that current plans are insufficient to reach targets, national governments and businesses will be forced to up the ante and radically transform their approach. Consequently, the pressure for businesses to go green will increase significantly, as we reach a critical point in the fight against climate change.
Business and finance leaders are urged to show their commitment to decarbonisation and become more aggressive with their ambitions. It is recommended that organisations involve key stakeholders to mobilise action or collaborate with strategic partners to drive systemic change with the largest impact.
The Science Based Targets initiative can also help guide companies through this process, by giving them a view of how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas to reach targets. At FDM, we’ve had our carbon reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative, and are ready to make a difference.
FDM’s pledge to the planet
Our business and strategy closely align with five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and we are committed to supporting the UN’s goals to reach net zero.
In 2021, we worked hard to do our part for the planet, achieving the following milestones:
- Our overall greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 29% per employee.
- We reduced our use of natural gas and company cars by 27%.
- We reduced the use of electricity and purchased steam by 12%.
- We reduced flights, business travel and other business activities by 47%.
We are proud of how far we’ve come and what we have achieved to help save our planet, but we are always striving to do more.
We are committed to:
- reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2020 base year
- reduce our Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 62% per employee by 2030 from a 2020 base year
We have also set the target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and transition to 100% renewable electricity tariffs in our centres where possible.
At FDM Group we are fully committed to playing our part in addressing the climate crisis. We’ve set ambitious near-term targets for the Group in line with a 1.5°C limit to global warming and, importantly, have had those targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative earlier this year. Our newly-established Climate Action Group will be engaging with our employees as well as with our landlords and suppliers around the world to identify areas where we can make meaningful reductions to our carbon emissions over the next few years and beyond.Mark Heather, Company Secretary & Head of Investor Relations, FDM Group
What steps can businesses take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?
Organisational change doesn’t happen overnight and sustainable transformation at scale is no easy feat. Here are a few practical ways you can consider to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Implement no printing or reduced printing policies
- Provide paper recycling boxes
- Distribute all memos, newsletters and staff handbooks digitally
- Install hand dryers in company bathrooms, instead of paper towels
- Change company vehicles to hybrid or electric
- Use video conferencing where possible to avoid lengthy journeys, especially plane travel
- Reduce the thermostat in your offices during the winter months
- Limit the use of air conditioning in the summer where possible
- Install automatic lights to switch off when a room is not in use
- Replace lights with energy-efficient bulbs
- Unplug electrical appliances when not in use, including computers
- Switch to energy-saving appliances
- Work with like-minded partners to ensure your supply chain is as eco-friendly as possible
- Track, monitor and report on your environmental impact to identify your achievements and areas for improvement
To find out more about FDM’s values and sustainability goals, read our annual report.