The data-informed goals we have set are rooted in science and align with mitigation pathways recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We are also emboldened by the ambition of our parent, ENGIE, to become the leader in the energy and climate transition by setting wide-reaching goals in a way that reconciles economic, social and environmental performance. However, setting goals is just the first step. Transformation requires immediate action, so we have set short timelines to achieve these goals. In our transformation, we will shape new markets, leverage our own sustainability experts and capabilities, and engage an ecosystem of stakeholders to drive the greatest impact across our employees, communities, suppliers and clients.
Latest progress updated April 2021.
We will be carbon negative by the end of 2021.
We will balance our water use in the U.S. by the end of 2021 and internationally by the end of 2023.
We will reduce our upstream waste and waste to landfills to achieve zero waste by 2023.
Through employee engagement and leadership, we are paving the way for a brighter tomorrow. We share more data on our progress across specific topics – from environmental action and responsible sourcing to diversity, equality and inclusion.
ENGIE Impact has set a goal to be carbon negative by 2021. While ENGIE Impact offset all of its emissions already in 2019, our carbon goal calls for increased methodological rigor, science-based reduction of our carbon footprint, and an innovative strategy to compensate for our residual emissions. In 2020, we aim to reach carbon neutrality, and by 2021, we aim to be carbon negative by avoiding or removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit annually. Leading this strategy are some of the world's foremost sustainability consultants on carbon markets and greenhouse gas accounting across voluntary and regulated markets.
In October 2020, our carbon team began the preparatory phase of our data gathering campaign to calculate our environmental footprint by following the Greenhouse Gas protocol. After cleaning and consolidating the raw data, we calculated our greenhouse gas (GHG) numbers that we sent to our third-party verifier. In 2020, we are reporting 5,646 MTCO₂e, a 28% decrease compared to our baseline year.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, our work setting shifted dramatically in 2020 and to ensure accurate representation of our greenhouse accounting, we worked diligently on developing a methodology to account for the impact of remote working. A comparatively small carbon footprint did not stop us from setting ambitious science-based targets. We committed to setting Scope 1 and 2 emissions targets soon after our company was established and today, our experts are actively working to conduct a full Scope 3 screening. We are collecting data across the ENGIE ecosystem to quantify our comprehensive Scope 3 emissions footprint and identify the most appropriate reduction target in line with SBTi criteria. As we began to model the size, scale, and phasing of potential decarbonization opportunities in a post-pandemic setting, we understood that reaching our target will require non-linear thinking, coupled with a coordinated transformation across our global ecosystem. After exhausting our internal carbon mitigation options, we purchased offset credits from projects selected by our experts and employees, officially marking the achievement of our carbon neutral status in 2020. We are continuing along our decarbonization journey and driving leading-edge sustainability practices to be carbon negative by 2021.
Our strategy began in 2020 with a review of our water footprint and a scan of our water risks across our North American and global locations. The next step was to collect granular cost and consumption data to create a water baseline for office locations. However, with most offices closed due to COVID-19, it became difficult to collect the necessary data. The challenge was exacerbated by low occupancy rates for a majority of 2020 hindering our ability to make meaningful comparisons. Once occupancy rates return to normal, we will collect more accurate data to track the ENGIE Impact specific consumption in the buildings where we share space with other tenants and assess the best approach to mitigate water usage. Taking a proactive approach, we are engaging employees through educational campaigns about mitigation strategies they can apply both at home and at work. We are also investigating options for managing invoices and metering data on water consumption to build our understanding around actual consumption when possible, making mitigation measurable and more meaningful.
We have also decided how we will approach water offsets through Water Restoration Credits (WRCs) in the U.S. Since water is a local issue, we will purchase WRCs from our restoration partner for the areas in which the water was consumed, wherever possible. We will continue analyzing the best approach for international use, including the possibility of bundling WRCs and crediting them to high-risk locations we’ve identified.
Despite the challenges of a remote work environment due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are continuing our pursuit of waste data that will inform our next steps. We adapted our data collection strategy to accommodate the evolving needs, moving away from on-site waste audits, instead leveraging historical waste data to create temporary baselines. Despite the number of employees still fully remote—many of whom may stay remote full time with future flexible scheduling—we are committed to achieving our zero waste goal wherever our employees are working. Therefore, we are focusing on an employee engagement strategy that will bring our waste strategy into focus, including communication and a change management plan.
We launched a remote waste audit app in Q1 as a pilot program with a small sample of U.S.-based participants for a three-week collection period. As we collect more concrete data, we will look to launch the app company-wide. We also began focusing on our e-waste stream and are currently collecting data, with the goal of creating U.S. purchasing and end-of-life processes that can then be modeled at all international locations. ENGIE Impact has also been renovating offices in Boston, St. Paul and Spokane and partnered with Green Standards to divert from landfills 100% of the furniture and equipment that is no longer needed.
Learn more about the process we went through to prioritize the goals that would be most meaningful to our planet and our business
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