Our CO2 objective
In our business operations we have set strict targets for reducing the Group’s carbon footprint per employee. Pictet’s headquarters in Geneva was built to minimise the building’s environmental impact.
In 2007 we began calculating the Group’s CO2 emissions in response to a newly defined environmental strategy. We also set ourselves an ambitious target: to reduce the average carbon footprint per employee by 40% by 2020.
Business trips and energy consumption account for more than 90% of the Group’s emissions.
What are we doing to reduce our carbon footprint?
Using videoconferencing to reduce business travel
Pictet’s video conferencing (VC) network was expanded considerably in 2016, with the installation of 66 additional systems, equivalent to a 40% increase, bringing the total number of rooms equipped with a VC system to 231.
Use of VC systems
These systems were used for a total of 52,255 hours in 2016, proving that availability of the additional equipment did encourage employees to make greater use of this facility.
Increase energy efficiency at our head office
There are three main installations used at Pictet’s head office in Geneva to increase the building’s energy efficiency: solar aircon, heat transfer and photovoltaic solar energy. As a result, we are able to prevent CO2 emissions, cut down on heating oil consumption and also produce photovoltaic electricity.
Installed in 2008, the 330 m² of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the head office produced 40,200 kWh of green electricity in 2016 – equivalent to the electricity consumed by 10 households in a year.
Promote the use of electric transport
Pictet encourages the use of different types of electric transport. There are several charging points available for employees to charge their cars or electric bikes. These points use green electricity produced on the premises through additional photovoltaic solar panels installed on the roof of the main building.
To promote the use of clean modes of transport in Geneva, e-bikes have also been made available to employees free of charge for the third year in a row from April to mid-November.
In 2017, 545 staff at our Geneva head office borrowed e-bikes and covered a total distance of 26,620 kilometres, saving 10.8 tonnes of CO2.
Fund clean-energy projects to offset carbon emissions
By funding a series of clean-energy projects, Pictet has achieved carbon neutrality for the period 2014 to 2020 by offsetting 70,000 tonnes of carbon.
- Pictet is funding a forest conservation project in northern Zimbabwe, a region affected by deforestation, poverty and drought. This will offer poor communities the opportunity to adopt sustainable means of subsistence.
- Another supported project aims to build biomass power stations at five cement factories in Thailand. The partial replacement of fossil fuels by this renewable energy, which emits less carbon, will help decrease emissions of CO2 and be beneficial for the local communities.
- Pictet has also invested in the construction of small and micro hydroelectric installations in China. These supply the rural and mountainous regions of south-western China with clean energy.
It is now ten years since we started making a concerted effort to achieve our CO2 objectives, and the results have been positive so far. Now it’s time to think about what happens after 2020 and to expand our spheres of action.
From now on we need to consider our consumption of material and resources and reduce this significantly. With this in mind, we are seeking to develop new measures to be implemented at all Group entities in Switzerland and abroad.
Raise employee awareness
Raising employees’ awareness of environmental issues and of the measures implemented by Pictet has long been part of our strategy.
The success of this approach is, however, largely dependent on each individual playing their part. We therefore wish to involve every employee even more from now on and encourage them to participate as fully as possible in our campaign.
In 2017, for the second year running, Pictet held a “Sustainability Week” for staff at all our offices. The aim was to draw employees’ attention to their consumption habits while at the same time reminding them of Pictet’s stance on environmental, social and governance issues.
The event brought together several hundred staff members around the world to take part in activities aimed at protecting the environment.
Improve energy efficiency
Our plan is to boost the involvement of our foreign branches, analyse our general consumption and involve each of our employees more than before.
The initial findings of this assessment are that we should begin by targeting our branches in Asia and the Bahamas, where there is considerable potential for improvement.
We will need to identify, measure and analyse exactly where we should take action, set ourselves further objectives and launch new projects. At this stage then, we are looking at what we have called our Environmental Approach 2.0.
There are also still very few measures being developed in the area of transport, and we need to look at what can be done there. A formal working group consisting of 13 people from the whole Group has also been set up so that we can push ahead with our environmental approach at our branches abroad.
Reconsider our entire consumption chain
Our carbon footprint is part of a more general issue, that of our general consumption, which needs to become more sustainable.
To achieve this we will have to study the Group’s entire consumption chain, from our suppliers and their working practices through to the sorting and recycling of all material used, especially our IT equipment.
This work, which covers a wide spectrum, has just begun and will require a lengthy preparatory phase of analysis and data collection, thereby allowing us to set ambitious yet realistic targets and then launch new initiatives aimed at protecting our environment.