Greenhouse Neutral Programme – second phase

In 2013, we launched a new, seven-year phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme. It includes commitments to maintain the current level of our CO2 emissions and to compensate emissions from an extended set of sources.

When the first phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme ended in 2013, we made a new, seven-year commitment until 2020. After almost halving our CO2 emissions per employee between 2003 and 2013, the potential for further reductions is much smaller though. Our goal over the sveen years is therefore to maintain the level of emissions reached at the end of 2013 – an ambitious goal given our expansion strategy in high-growth markets. By the end of 2018, we had reduced total CO2 emissions by 8.1% per employee (full-time equivalent), mainly as a result of:

  • moving into more energy-efficient buildings, eg in Zurich (Swiss Re Next), New York and Bangalore
  • switching to renewable energy at some of our Asian locations
  • and a decrease in business travel between 2017 and 2018.

Extended emissions scope

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), the most widely used tool for emissions accounting and reporting, defines three scopes that can be used:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from own sources
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchasing electricity
  • Scope 3: Emissions from other activities along the value chain

During the first phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme, we reported on our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions (heating and power consumption, respectively) as well as a major source of Scope 3 emissions (business travel).

For the second phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme, we have extended the scope of our emissions accounting and reporting: in addition to business travel, this now includes use of copy paper, waste generation, water consumption, technical gases and employee commuting. With the exception of commuting, we have committed to compensating these emissions, as well. In 2018, we bought and retired high-quality Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) for a total of 75 794 tonnes of CO2e.

Key elements of the Greenhouse Neutral Programme – second phase

  • Maintain the emissions reductions we achieved between 2003 and 2013 regarding heating, power consumption and
    business travel;
  • Fully offset the remaining emissions from the three former sources and four new sources;
  • Continuously reduce our energy intensity (heating and power consumption) by 2% per year (kWh/FTE);
  • Obtain 100% of power from renewable sources by 2020.

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