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Why This Is Important To SGS

GRI Content: G4-DMA

Energy and climate change were identified by SGS stakeholders as being material issues for the Company, as defined in our 2016 Business Materiality Matrix.

As a global company, we are concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on the regions and communities in which we operate. Although our industry is not a major emitter of greenhouse gases, our employees, customers and other stakeholders expect SGS to show leadership on climate change, both in terms of our own energy consumption and by helping our customers and suppliers to reduce their emissions.

SGS is not an energy intensive company. However, with over 90,000 employees working in more than 2,000 offices and laboratories with a building floor area of approximately 2 million square meters, targeting energy consumption at our offices and laboratories is the most direct and effective way we can contribute to tackling climate change. The energy used in our buildings accounts for almost 60% of our global carbon emissions. 

SGS is a signatory to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) Manifesto. Under this manifesto, we have committed to a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions for all offices and laboratories we own that are larger than 2,000 m2 by 2020, against a 2010 baseline.

We have been on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions and, since 2014, have achieved carbon neutral status through carbon offsets and Guarantees of Origin solutions (investments in renewable energy projects), energy efficiency measures and green electricity supply in some of our affiliates. We have over 73 projects and investigations underway worldwide to optimize operational efficiency in our laboratories and offices.

We are particularly pleased to have enhanced our environmental capabilities in 2016, with the acquisition of Accutest Laboratories, the fifth largest full service environmental testing company in the United States. This acquisition will enable us to further our focus on helping customers to enhance their environmental reputation, manage risk and increase business efficiency.

Since 2014, we have conducted studies to examine our role in helping our customers to reduce their carbon intensity. We began by estimating the CO2 emissions of our customers in our Industrial and Agriculture business lines and considered how much our customers had reduced their emissions. We then calculated the extent to which our services had contributed to these reductions in CO2. The study estimated that the activities of our customers on fertilizer usage and fuel distribution through pipelines emit 3.7 million metric tons of CO2. With our Pipeline Integrity and Precision Farming services, during 2015, we helped our customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 17%. During 2016, we began the process of conducting further studies on our services, this time linked to directional drilling services (based on a case study of a horizontal drilling project in Colombia), ISO 50001 certification in the commercial and industrials sectors, and social responsibility audit services.

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