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Environmental approach

Our CO2 objective

In our business operations we have set strict targets for reducing our carbon footprint per employee. We have also set ourselves an ambitious target, namely to reduce the average carbon footprint per employee by 40% by 2020.

What are we doing to reduce our carbon footprint?

Video conferences on the rise

ASW’s videoconferencing (VC) network was expanded by installing additional systems. We now have 8 rooms with VC equipment, and these systems were used for a total of 7,800 hours in 2019, an increase of 8% on 2018. With a 450% rise in the number of video conferences, the improved availability of such equipment does encourage employees to make greater use of VC facilities.

Promote the use of electric transport

ASW encourages the use of different types of electric transport. There are several charging points available for employees to charge their electric cars or bikes. These points use green electricity produced on the premises by additional photovoltaic solar panels installed on the roof of one of our main buildings.

A recent in-house survey asking employees in Europe how they travel to and from work produced very encouraging results. Conducted by MobileIdée, a firm specialised in mobility management, the survey showed that 41% of our employees commute to work by public transport and 19% use bikes, e-bikes or walk to get to work.

Fund clean-energy projects to offset carbon emissions

Through the funding of clean-energy projects, ASW has already achieved its carbon neutrality target for the period 2019-2020 by offsetting 10,000 tonnes of carbon. The projects include the construction of hydroelectric installations in China and the building of biomass power stations in Thailand.

Understanding and managing waste

In our quest to minimise the direct impact of our business, and that of our employees, we also launched in 2018 a landmark campaign to cut our single-use plastic consumption.

We identified two main sources of plastic waste – our employee restaurants and offices supplies – and put in place more sustainable alternatives. Thanks to this initiative, the ASW reduced use of disposable plastic by 90% in just 12 months.

 While it is important to reduce the use of plastic as much as possible, our role is to ensure that the alternative options are not even worse for the environment. For example, replacing plastic packaging used for food might not necessarily be positive if it leads to an increase in food waste. That’s why we advocate an approach that avoids single use.

What’s next?

Time has now come to think about what happens after 2020 and to expand our spheres of action.

We need to consider our consumption of materials and resources — and reduce this significantly. With this in mind, we are developing new measures to be implemented across the company in all our offices.

Raise employee awareness

Reconsidering our entire consumption chain

Raising employees’ awareness of environmental issues and of the measures taken by ASW has long been part of our approach.

Our carbon footprint is part of a broader issue, that of our general consumption, which needs to become more sustainable.

Improving energy efficiency

Our plan is to analyse our general consumption and involve each of our employees more than before.