by Siva Niranjan – Head of Environmental Sustainability Sopra Steria
This week, COP27 is bringing parties together to accelerate action towards the goals set out in The Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The aim is to move from negotiations and planning into action and implementation. In this article, we look at how Sopra Steria Group has become a sector leader in Climate and Environmental Sustainability by leading the way and demonstrating how long-term value comes from seeing success as part of a bigger picture, encompassing people, the economy and the environment.
By incorporating good principles and recognised standards of sustainability into all aspects of our business we create more value for our clients, become part of more sustainable economies and communities, engage our employees, forge better relationships with stakeholders and differentiate ourselves from competitors.
For five years running, Sopra Steria Group have implemented best-in-class Climate and Environmental Sustainability practices, in managing emissions from our Value Chain (Direct Operations, Clients and Supply Chain) which has earned us a place in the CDP Climate A list, placing it amongst the top 200 of the 16,000+ companies benchmarked worldwide. For our overall performance in Corporate Responsibility, our Group has earned a Platinum rating from the French sustainability rating agency EcoVadis, making us one of the top 1% of the companies that Ecovadis assesses. In 2022’s Financial Times Climate Leaders Sopra Steria Group was identified as the leading company in its market sector!
Momentum is gathering in both public and private sector organisations to address Climate Change, the single biggest long-term threat facing humanity. With the expertise behind its achievements in Climate Action, we can bring real value to our clients’ transition to a Net Zero economy as part of a Social Value campaign. We have already reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per employee from business travel, our use of heating, electricity and air conditioning in our offices and data centres by 50% (excluding Covid impact) since 2015 and have set ourselves the target of reducing them further – by 85% by 2040.
To keep these emissions down, more than 99% of the electricity that we buy and consume worldwide comes from renewable sources.
But Sopra Steria is going further, much further.
Recognising that our suppliers are responsible for the bulk of our emissions, we have set ourselves a target of having suppliers accounting for at least 70% committing themselves to managing their emissions, and having 90% of them set GHG emissions reduction targets, by 2025.
Our current emission targets have been approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) with our performance independently verified annually. This year, we made a commitment to the new SBTi Net Zero standard. We are also part of the UN Climate Neutral Now programme for our direct operations (Offices, Datacentres and Business Travel), and have already received climate neutral status for these operations across the company.
Not only have we managed our own environmental impact, but we also provide products and services that help our clients reduce theirs. For example, by using data and digital tools to influence behaviours, our solution for the COMMUTE project in Toulouse has helped reduce congestion and increase mobility on urban roads. In three years, COMMUTE reduced the solo use of private vehicles by about 9% while increasing the use of bicycles by about the same amount.
Solutions from our subsidiary, Active3D, reduce emissions by managing energy consumption. They can reduce consumption by 10% – 30%, reducing emissions by at least 1,000 tCO₂e for every million square metres occupied. These are examples of “Digital for Sustainability”, ways of using digital solutions to reduce emissions. We are also expert in “Sustainability for Digital”, minimising the environmental footprint of its digital solutions by understanding that footprint in detail and adopting “eco-design” principles to minimise it.
Sustainability – and tackling climate change in particular – is part of our DNA. We see it as a ‘Business as Usual’ activity, and are committed to supporting the transition to a Net Zero economy for all.