Sustainable operations

A changing climate brings risks to our business and our world. We’ll work with our people, customers and stakeholders to understand those risks, reduce our carbon emissions and use resources more efficiently.

Why it matters

Climate change, pollution and increasing pressure on natural resources affect our people, our customers and the communities we work in.

By making the right choices about how we operate our business, and support our suppliers to do the same, we can reduce the environmental impact of our business and play our part in addressing pressing sustainability challenges.

Our approach

We are committed to reducing our business’ contribution to climate change by promoting sustainable working practices amongst employees and suppliers. We measure, monitor and manage the factors that influence our overall carbon footprint, including energy consumption, business travel and waste.

William McDonnell, our Group Chief Risk Officer has Executive Committee responsibility for the environment and RSA’s overall response to the risks of climate change. Our Group Environmental Policy sets out our commitments to minimising our impact and promoting environmental awareness more widely.

Reducing our carbon emissions

We’ve set a new carbon reduction target: to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. This goal, alongside our Climate Change and Low Carbon Policy position, aligns with the science-based target methodology as far as currently possible within the financial industry.

We achieved a 15% reduction in carbon emissions in 2019 compared to 2018 by focusing on actions to improve the energy efficiency of our estate and reduce business travel. To further reduce our carbon footprint, we have set a Group-wide target to source 100 per cent renewable electricity for our estate by 2025.

Hear from RSA colleague Francesca on the actions we're taking to improve the sustainability of our offices

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We have been taking significant steps to reduce waste, by removing single-use plastics from our global operations and reducing paper use by 35 per cent since 2016.

Beyond our own direct impact, our claims management provides a great opportunity to promote practices that are better for the environment. For example, our pilot project with Godsinlösen AB (GIAB) in Norway implements “circular economy” principles, encouraging policyholders to return their damaged property for repair. Whilst we’re working with our suppliers to repair car windscreens before they turn into more problematic cracks, you can find out more in the ‘Responsible supply chain’ section

Our performance

Group carbon emissions tonnes CO2e

2019

2018

2017

2016

Scope 1

3,096

2,673

3,019

2,807

Scope 2

7,202

8,665

9,687

11,243

Scope 3

8,551

10,938

12,294

13,538

Business travel

7,880

10,232

11,570

12,346

Total gross tonnes CO2e

18,849

22,276

25,000

27,588

Gross tonnes of CO2e per FTE

1.52

1.82

1.98

2.06

To find out more you can read our latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions statement here