Managing our environmental impacts across our operations
As a people business, a key area of our environmental impact is the energy usage of our offices. We have over 100 offices globally, some of which are very small but even so we’re able to measure office space energy usage for 89% of our colleagues. Our Head office in London holds an ‘Excellent’ rating by the building environment standard BREEAM and we strive to reduce our energy usage across all our sites using a variety of measures including targets, policies, best practice sharing between Facilities Managers, and employee engagement.
In 2014 we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 11% year on year
Our on-going employee engagement in reducing our environmental impact is boosted by our annual Green Week which involves staff globally in challenges and competitions to raise awareness of our environmental impact and teach ways of reducing these.
Minimising our waste
We match the volume of books and journals printed with demand as closely as possible by continuously updating journal subscription lists and using sophisticated book sales forecasting, as well as investing to move book and journal titles to print on demand (POD). This allows us to minimise stock write-offs and warehouse emissions from storage. We’ve increased POD locations to US, UK, Singapore and Australia, to both meet demand more quickly and decrease transport emissions.
Regarding what we do print, all books and journals in the UK, and the majority of our US publications, are printed on paper certified by the FSC or PEFC forest certification schemes, ensuring responsible sourcing. We continue to work to reach 100% certification. All US and UK journals use biodegradable packaging.
For all print tenders, we require suppliers to complete a sustainability scorecard which benchmarks their performance in various metrics, including chemical, water and energy usage.
Greenbuild International Conference & Expo
In 2014, we acquired Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Greenbuild is not only a major driver of sustainability for the building industry, it has also pioneered high standards for the running of events, with ambitious initiatives around zero waste, stakeholder engagement and positive community impacts
The 2014 edition attracted over 17,000 attendees and 552 exhibitors to New Orleans. The significant sustainability achievements associated with the event included:
- Featuring the world’s first Net Zero Zone; a show floor pavilion powered off the electrical grid via solar panels placed outside of the conference venue;
- Increasing the proportion of waste diverted from landfill to 78%;
- Sourcing 40% local and 73% regional food offerings and donating leftover food post-event; and
- Developing a community project that included refurbishing an old barge-board house into a sustainable education centre.
In summary, Greenbuild provides many instructive examples for us to learn further from and integrate into how we do business.