Managing the climate-related risks facing our business is crucial to creating long-term value for our customers, shareholders and the communities of which we are part. As an occupier of approximately 400 properties worldwide, we recognise the importance of our own internal environmental targets and decarbonisation goals in reducing our direct environmental footprint. As a life insurer, asset owner and asset manager, we also recognise the positive role we can play in financing the transition to a low carbon economy; for further detail see our ESG Report.
- Became a signatory of RE100, targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2025
- Began development of global air travel off-setting programme
- 750 employee volunteering hours delivered a sustainable garden for a London school
In 2018, we decreased our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (scope 1 and 2) from our occupied estate and company-owned vehicles by seven per cent to 61,317 t CO2e (2017: 65,979 t CO2e). This was influenced by a number of factors such as decarbonisation of the UK/European grid (cleaner electricity generation), and outsourcing our UK data centres. When normalised against net lettable floor area, our Scope 1 and 2 emissions fell by 13 per cent to 99 kg CO2e/m2, (2017: 114 kg CO2e/m2).
We are committed to transparently reporting our performance through established environmental frameworks that encourage companies to disclose their climate related risks. In 2018, we increased our ClimateWise score to 78 per cent (2017: 71 per cent), placing us joint second out of 16 participants, our highest-ever ranking. ClimateWise is the insurance sector climate initiative managed by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), independently audited by PwC. In 2018, the Carbon Disclosure Project aligned its annual climate change disclosure assessment with the FSB’s TCFD Framework. The Group scored strongly with a B grading, although this is down from our score of A- in 2017. Changes to the questionnaire this year have made it more challenging for financial services companies, but we remain committed to enhancing our climate change disclosures, in line with TCFD.