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As an information services business, we have a relatively small environmental footprint compared with many other industries. Our biggest impact relates to greenhouse gas emissions from energy used to power, heat and cool our buildings and data centres, and from business travel.
Climate change presents regulatory, physical and reputational risks to our business.
In the short and medium term, these include: rising energy costs and related taxation, needing more energy to cool our operations as a result of rising global temperatures, disruption from extreme weather events such as flooding, and reputational damage if we fail to respond to increasing regulations and stakeholder concerns about climate change.
Over the longer term, mass migration of climate refugees could lead to challenges with data transfer as well as potential to provide solutions that support these vulnerable communities in rebuilding their financial identities.
We also see potential to use our data and expertise as a business opportunity to help others mitigate and adapt to climate change. This could result in opportunities to increase revenue from products that help our clients reduce their carbon footprint or better understand the impact of extreme weather on communities. We are already developing new products and services to help farmers affected by climate change to access insurance (see case study included on page 48 of our Experian Annual Report 2020).
We follow the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure and have aligned our reporting with them, you can find our complete statement on page 47 of our Experian Annual Report 2020.
We recognise the urgent need for businesses to accelerate their response to the climate change emergency and we must do our part. That is why we are committing to:
Become carbon neutral in our own operations by 2030 – This year we will undertake a project to assess whether we can achieve carbon neutrality sooner than this and will put in place a robust timeline (including science-based targets) based on the results.
Gradually carbon offset our scope 1 and 2 emissions over the next 5 years.
To become carbon neutral, we will need to first increase our efforts to reduce the footprint across our value chain, and then look into investing on carbon offsetting projects. Below are a few general steps we’re considering as ways to reduce our carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality:
We have brought together a multidisciplinary taskforce to lead this project, with support from Eco Act, an accredited carbon neutral specialist consultancy. We already monitor Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our operations and Scope 3 emissions from business travel. Towards the end of FY20, we conducted a comprehensive review of our Scopes 1 and 2 emissions on the basis of readiness to develop Science Based targets. This year, we began work to get a better understanding of our full value chain carbon footprint (Scope 3), including emissions associated with employees commuting and working from home, our supply chain and customer use of our products and services. This mapping of our carbon footprint across the value chain will give us a full picture of the scale of our footprint and inform the development of plans to achieve carbon neutrality.
Next steps on this journey will be as follows:
Science Based Targets - Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. These targets need to be developed in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) criteria and submitted to their scientific committee for validation.
Scope 1 emissions – Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. (For example, gas consumption, diesel used in our generators and company vehicles).
Scope 2 emissions – Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the company.
Scope 3 emissions – Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.
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