Alternatives to travel
The simplest way to cut emissions caused by travel is to avoid it. Technology can help us to connect with clients and colleagues effectively, so in 2012, we launched a multi-phased campaign to boost the use of online meetings, which over the years emphasised different benefits of the technology to our people, and specific features that aid collaboration.
More than 5,000 of our people completed online training in these technologies. The average number of online meetings hosted per person rose significantly over that period, as a precursor to our adoption of cloud-based technologies such as Google for Work, and the remote collaboration that this enables, as part of our wider digital transformation.
Our travel policy encourages our people to use our internal systems to book travel, giving us greater influence over how they travel. And our requirement for senior management approval helps to challenge the assumption that flying somewhere is always the best option. It was a significant contributing factor in reducing our in emissions from non-client related air travel, which fell by 90% between 2007 and 2017.
Low carbon driving
We've continued to raise awareness of low carbon driving options among our staff, promoting hybrid, electric and low carbon vehicles available through our staff company car scheme.
The fleet's emissions currently average 117 g/km. This is below the industry average of 125g/km, and down from 118 g/km in 2018. The average emissions for our order bank of replacement vehicles is 115 g/km.
Support for cycling
We’ve participated in the Government's Cycle to Work scheme for several years, enabling us to lend bikes and cycling safety equipment to our people as a tax-free benefit. The scheme had 192 participants in 2019, bringing the total to over 2,000 since we began.
We continue to reimburse our people with mileage expense payments for work-related journeys, as well as making improvements to our buildings such as double tier bike racks, extra showers, lockers and a bike repair station in our More London office to help our people to keep cycling. We’ve also launched a scheme for staff to borrow Brompton bikes to cycle between our London offices at Embankment Place and More London.
In addition to our business travel, there is also a sizeable carbon impact from our people commuting to work. This depends, in part, on where our people live, where clients are based, and the location of our offices, which have generally been located close to public transport .as part of our real estate strategy and strategic business planning.
We’ve been measuring aspects of our commuting for over a decade. Getting robust data remains challenging, but we periodically analyse how far and how often our people commute to different offices, together with the mode by which they travel. In 2017 we modelled carbon emissions from our people commuting at approximately 14,100 tonnes CO2e.
However, there is still work to do to improve the reliability of this data and the actionable insights that it gives us.