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Setting Science Based Targets for greenhouse gas emissions

SBTi
Aug 5 th 2021 Simon Gee, Agency Head

We are pleased to announce that we’ve now set our targets for greenhouse gas reduction, using the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) framework.  

The SBTi aims to drive ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets. In the case of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) such as us, this has been simplified into a target of 50% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 emissions, which should for most SMEs be in line with the Paris Accord’s aim of limiting climate change to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.  

Our targets are now live on the SBTi website, and we will be tracking and reporting on progress each year. 

For Scopes 1 and 2, our emissions are relatively low anyway. But Scope 3 emissions are a tougher prospect for us. The SBTi does not require SMEs to set targets for their Scope 3 emissions, but it does require that we commit to measuring and reducing them. However, as Scope 3 makes up almost 90% of our emissions, we felt that it was important to have concrete plans here too. So, we’ve aligned our Scope 3 targets with Scope 1 and 2 – an absolute 50% reduction versus 2019 levels by 2030. And we aim to do better, faster.  

The two major contributors to our Scope 3 emissions are employee commuting and business travel. For employee commuting, we recently created our Working and Wellness Policy designed to provide maximum flexibility for our people, and we’re anticipating a big reduction in commuting when eventually we can return to the office. This should make a significant contribution to our target.  

However, travel is integral to the medical communications industry. We work on global brands, with clients and thought leaders located around the world, and driven by activities at international medical conferences and other live events. It’s going to be tough to make meaningful changes. However, there are things we can do to reduce our travel, and the impact of our travel, as much as possible – for example: 

  • Continue to use virtual events for the majority of client meetings and the medical education events we propose and manage 
  • Try to fly ‘NERDier’ – new planes, in economy, in regular sized planes, and direct 
  • Use other forms of transport like trains and electric cars for travel to short haul destinations in Europe 
  • Open more local offices 

 

Follow us on our journey as we share our achievements, including tips and tricks we have implemented along the way! 

Read our other blog articles

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