Climate change position statement

The 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) currently being held in Paris seeks a new international agreement on climate change, to keep global warming below 2°C and thereby address the risks of extreme climate change events: melting icecaps; greater volatility in world weather; and rising sea levels.

Interserve believes the solution rests beyond the will of governments alone. Individuals and companies of all sizes must also act to tackle global warming and limit greenhouse gas emissions. COP-Nov2015-WEBWe are committed to cutting carbon emissions and encouraging our customers and supply chain to do the same.

The aims of COP21 align with our SustainAbilities plan, launched in 2013 to plot a sustainable course in the delivery of our operations. One of the objectives of SustainAbilities is to show that financial success and environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive and that a large organisation can deliver strong growth while reducing its carbon impact.

This is why we are targeting both a 50 per cent reduction in our carbon emissions by 2020, and continued financial growth. The first few steps on the path to hit this target have been challenging. But we are making progress.

In 2014 we started to see a decoupling of our emissions and our economic growth (growing the business by 10 per cent and our carbon use by only 8 per cent). And in 2015 this progress has accelerated – in the first half of the year we delivered revenue growth of 16 per cent while cutting our carbon use by 3.8 per cent. We have also made commitments to reduce emissions from business travel and from energy use on construction sites by 30 per cent by the end of 2016.

We have developed detailed measurement systems to track our progress, introduced sustainability targets into many of our incentive schemes as well as having delivered a large number of ground-breaking initiatives to reduce our own and our customers’ environmental impact. There is more work to do, but we are starting to show that businesses can cut their carbon footprint while delivering financial growth.

Now is the time for more organisations – large and small – to join us on this journey. More information, including many case studies of our innovative approach, is available here.

‘Climate Change – a good thing?’ by Colin Braidwood, Head of Sustainability

‘Interserve supports the COP21 global climate agreement’ by SustainAbilities

Tim Haywood

Tim Haywood is Group Finance Director and Head of Sustainability, Interserve Plc.