Our environmental impact and targets
The environmental impact of our operations is relatively small compared to other sectors but we still want to reduce it where we can. Our largest environmental impact comes from the energy we use in our buildings and business flights so we focus on reducing these first.
In 2018 we set a new baseline for our greenhouse gas emissions reporting after a period of structural change. We also set new long-term targets.
We have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 39% since 2018.
We want to go further and have also pledged to offset our entire operational carbon footprint and be carbon neutral in 2020.
In our buildings we’ve already done a lot to reduce our impact but we want to do more.
Our energy pledges
- We will procure 100% renewable electricity at the offices we operate globally by the end of 2020. As of the end of 2019 we achieved 99%.
- We will reduce our energy (kWh) usage by 30% by 2030. This reduction was achieved in 2019 (with a reduction of 33%, as such we are reviewing this target in 2020.
As a global company, air travel is a necessary part of doing business. However, we also need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of this travel and do what we can do to reduce it.
Our travel pledge
- We pledge to promote travel alternatives and more sustainable options with our people, such as video conferencing, remote technologies and promote domestic rail use over air travel.
Our greenhouse gas emissions from flights dropped 42% in 2019.
Waste and resources
We have made great progress towards being a zero waste business, while at the same time minimising our use of non-renewable resources. In the UK our procured cut sheet paper is 100% sustainably sourced and we are rolling this out globally. In 2018 we set ambitious targets for reducing single-use plastics and we provided an update on our progress in 2019.
Our waste and resource pledges
- We will remove all single-use plastics from our offices where feasible by 2020
- We will send zero waste to landfill from our offices in the UK by 2020, and will expand upon this globally.
Investing with purpose
Our greatest impact and influence is through how we invest our customer and clients’ money.
Aberdeen Standard Investments integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues throughout our investment process. We believe these issues are significant components of investment risk and can have a fundamental impact on the achievement of sustainable long term investment returns.
Alongside our regular company engagement we actively use our influence through voting at shareholder meetings of investee companies.
With substantial real estate assets under management, we have a significant presence in the real estate market and a responsibility to drive sustainability benefits for wider society. To achieve this, we have a robust set of procedures that embed continual improvement in the management of our assets.
Our real estate investment pledges
- All the real estate Aberdeen Standard Investments manage in the UK will be powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and we pledge to increase the amount of renewable electricity we procure for real estate investment globally.
- We have developed a strategy to make the Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust (AIPUT) real estate fund carbon neutral by 2025.