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SGS minimizes the impact of its processes and operations on the environment. This is achieved by following a carbon neutrality strategy, seeking to use resources efficiently and working to deliver sustainable value for society.

Since 2014, we have been aiming to reduce CO2 emissions at source through our sustainability programs and offsetting any remaining or unavoidable emissions. This carbon neutral strategy bridges the gap between the current reality and a more sustainable future.

Why Is Carbon Neutrality Important to SGS?

Climate change has widespread economic, political and social consequences. As a global company, we are concerned with both the potential impact on the communities we operate in and the effect on our clients’ businesses.

Our carbon neutrality strategy is based on several different approaches:

  • Taking a leading role in tackling climate change

    We feel it is important for us to show leadership in global efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, both by reducing our carbon emissions and helping other businesses to do the same.

    Our Business Principles highlight our focus on managing our climate change impacts and our progress towards our Sustainability Ambitions 2020 to reduce our CO2 emissions demonstrates our commitment to doing so.

  • Improving efficiency and addressing risks
    We promote reduction of energy consumption at source through processes such as energy efficiency in buildings and mobility programs. We incentivize efficiency efforts by requiring all affiliates to pay for offsetting their emissions. Climate change has been identified as a risk area for SGS in our Business Materiality Overview. Mismanaged energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions could lead to increased costs, regulatory fines and business disruption.
  • Community commitment
    In line with our community investment strategy, we support carbon-offsetting projects that directly benefit local communities, for example, by improving air quality or boosting the local economy.

Our Actions

SGS attempts to manage climate change in a variety of different ways: We reduce our energy consumption at source – through processes such as energy efficiency in buildings and sustainable mobility programs. We generate renewable energy on-site, and we purchase renewable energy whenever possible. Any energy that we still consume after these reductions is mitigated through our offsetting strategy.

Electricity and Non-Transport Fuels

The energy used in our more than 2,600 offices and laboratories worldwide accounts for about 61% of our global consumption. The SGS Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) program evaluates and improves the energy efficiency of buildings that we own or lease. Through our ongoing Spot the Orange Dot campaign, employees are encouraged to exhibit environmentally-friendly behaviors.

Vehicle Fuels

SGS strives to continuously reduce company car fleet emissions. Our Vehicle Emissions Policy sets a diminishing annual CO2 emission limit for the 2016-2020 period for our car fleet. The policy states that all newly purchased individual vehicles and leased cars must emit fewer average grams of CO2 per km annually than in the previous year. By 2020, average CO2 emissions per km for our worldwide fleet shall not exceed 95 grams per km. This policy promotes the use of low CO2-emitting vehicles that achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

100% Renewable Energy

RE100 by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP is a collaborative, global initiative uniting more than 100 influential businesses in a commitment to 100% renewable electricity. We became one of the first companies globally to sign on to the RE100 (in 2014) and as such have pledged to use 100% energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Investment in renewable energy initiatives

Reducing CO2 Emissions

By 2020, we aim to reduce our annual CO2 emissions (per full time equivalent employee) by 20% and our annual CO2 emissions (by revenue) by 20%.*

Voluntary Offset Schemes

We offset any carbon emissions left after reducing our carbon footprint. This is achieved by assigning a clear cost to carbon and ensuring that each affiliate takes responsibility for their emissions by paying for their carbon offsetting.

We look for Clean Development Mechanism approved carbon-offsetting projects that directly benefit communities where we have an impact. This process supports our community investment strategy and allows us to bring benefits to local communities around the world. At the same time, we are able to promote sustainable economic growth, supply clean energy at a local level and protect the environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

*Against a 2014 baseline