We are committed to reducing our carbon usage, promoting sustainability and limiting our impact on the environment. This represents our second Carbon Reduction Plan working towards achieving Net Zero by 2050 at the latest. Since our first carbon reduction plan was published in 2022, we have measured our carbon footprint at baseline to cover Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (indirect owned) and Scope 3 emissions (business travel, employee commuting, transportation, distribution and waste). We will review our carbon outputs annually and update our targets as needed. We aim to achieve significant progress by 2030.
Please see our 2021 baseline and updated 2022 measurements here.
We are already committed to reducing the environmental impact of travel and transport by minimising the use of private vehicles and reducing unnecessary travel. Employees are encouraged and incentivised to use public transport, or walk or cycle to work through the operation of a season ticket loan and a cycle to work scheme. The use of private transport is only permitted in exceptional circumstances and is not routinely used for travel to and from the EPI office. We exploit technology so that employees are able to use video conferencing software rather than travel to meetings unnecessarily.
We have very minimal international travel, only where strictly necessary. In a typical year international travel amounts to no more than two flights.
Our premises are located in a shared building owned by an external company. The building owner is committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2030 and is part of the Better Building Partnership Climate Change Commitment. The building owner has invested £90m into retrofitting existing buildings, including the building EPI is located in, to reduce their emissions through smart energy use and renewable energy supply. For example, gas boiler and heaters were recently removed from the building and the building now runs with only electricity, with an aim of this becoming renewable energy, and all windows were replaced with second glazing to reduce energy consumption.
EPI’s Scope 2 emissions are dependent on the actions of the whole of 148-150 Buckingham Palace Road. Thus, we commit to holding the building owner accountable to achieving their target of net zero by 2030 and it will be a key factor when we review our choice of office at the end of our current tenancy period.
Waste management and recycling
Our shared building has a centralised bin store. By using the services of First Mile, we ensured that nothing went to landfill and we recycled 71% of our waste. The waste that cannot be recycled is sent to an Energy from Waste facility where it is safely incinerated. The process generates heat and electricity that is used in UK homes and by-products residues are used in the construction industry.
According to First Mile, the waste disposal company, the whole terrace saved 17 tonnes of CO2 and 83 trees from October 2022 to September 2023 through recycling. There are 32 buildings in the terrace including 148-150 BPR of which we have a 14% share as detailed above. Our share of the savings is (((1/16) x 0.14) x 17,000) = 148.75kg of CO2. Please see the First Mile certificate here.
We have well established recycling procedures inside the building for paper products, cardboard, cans, plastic, batteries and toner cartridges. We also have procedures in place for food waste composting.
We use carbon-balanced suppliers where possible. We are committed to re-using IT equipment and buy refurbished devices, rather than purchasing new equipment, unless necessary. We are also committed to using recycled equipment in the future, where such purchases need to be made.
We are committed to reducing its hard copy printing and have drastically reduced the usage of printing over the past two years and will continue to actively encourage staff to only print when absolutely necessary. In 2022, we reduced our printing by 42% from 2021. Where printing is required, we use recycled paper.
We are committed to using electronic copies of our research outputs and will only print reports by exception. When we do so, we will only work with suppliers who consider environmental impacts for printing in the future.