our environment

We believe it is important that our operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible way. Our core activity – connecting people to work – is in itself not taxing on the natural environment but we do of course use buildings, vehicles, machines and paper in the performance of our activities, and all of these have an impact on the environment when being manufactured or used. We aim to limit the negative impact of our activities on the natural environment. In 2011 we set ourselves a target of lowering our CO2 footprint by 10% in 2015 compared to 2011.

Since then we have measured the CO2 emissions of our star brands and the shared service centre in the Netherlands annually to monitor the impact of our measures on the CO2 reduction plan. In view of our progress in reducing CO2 emissions, particularly in our car fleet, it is reasonable to suppose that the figures for the Netherlands are indicative for the progress made in the other countries.

In 2011 our CO2 emissions totalled around 12,943 tonnes. By 2013 this had been lowered to 11,007 tonnes, a 15% drop. CO2 emissions in 2015 are expected to show a further drop. At the time of publication of the annual report, however, the CO2 footprint for 2015 had not yet been finalised as the figure is calculated retrospectively. It is in any case clear that our target of a 10% drop compared to 2011 has been achieved. Even though we have achieved this target we will continue to strive to lower our emissions further. In 2016 we will determine new ambitions with regard to our CO2 emissions.

mobility

Our CO2 reduction efforts have mainly been focused on mobility and accommodation. Around 85% of our emissions relate to mobility, with around 14% relating to accommodation and 1% to paper consumption.

The car is still by far the most used means of transportation within our organisation for business travel and commuting. The energy consumption of our fleet of cars is therefore a key point of attention within our organisation. At the end of 2015 93.3% of our Dutch and 90.1% of our Belgian car fleet had an A label. In 2015 the standard emissions of our car fleet showed a favourable development, falling by 3.8% compared to the previous year to 100.2 gr/km. The decline was 3.2% in the Netherlands and 4.6% in Belgium.

In addition to our ongoing focus on reducing the CO2 emissions of our cars, USG People continues to aim for a reduction in the number of kilometres driven in cars, for example by providing electric scooters and bicycles at our branches. Moreover USG People Netherlands plans to launch a mobility card pilot in 2016. We expect that the availability of a mobility card will make it easier for employees to structure their travelling needs more efficiently, which is also expected to result in a rise in the number of kilometres travelled by public transport.

energy consumption at our buildings

Our Dutch branches have been purchasing green energy since 1 January 2011. In 2014 this was extended to our German organisation, where we have also fully switched over to green energy. In addition in 2015 we signed a nationwide maintenance contract for our branch network in the Netherlands with a supplier for whom reducing the CO2 footprint is a designated spearhead. During the past year we looked at the possibility of installing smart meters at all relevant branches in the Netherlands. The rollout will take place in 2016 in collaboration with an external party.

In 2015 we continued to invest in moving to larger, more energy-efficient business premises and consequently closed various smaller, less energy-friendly retail locations. Furthermore projects were started at our head offices aimed at further reductions in energy consumption.

In 2016 we will place a clearer emphasis than before on seeking a balance between branch location and mobility. In selecting new or alternative locations we will continue to take the energy consumption, and also the impact on mobility, into consideration.