What are we doing to reduce our carbon footprint?
Reducing travel with videoconferencing
Pictet’s videoconferencing (VC) network was expanded by installing 25 additional systems. We now have 290 rooms with VC equipment, and these systems were used for a total of 72,300 hours in 2018, an increase of 13% on 2017. The improved availability of such equipment does encourage employees to make greater use of VC facilities.
Improved energy efficiency at our head office
Over the past decade, we have installed three systems to improve the energy efficiency of our headquarters: heat transfer, solar air conditioning and photovoltaic solar energy.
As a result, we can reduce our environmental impact in three areas, by preventing CO2 emissions, cutting heating oil consumption and producing photovoltaic electricity.
By way of example, the 330 m² of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of our head office produced 57,903 kWh of green electricity in 2018 – equivalent to the electricity consumed by 10 households in a year. These panels provide all the electricity for the solar air conditioning system and the charging points for electric cars and bicycles.
The solar air conditioning plant, with an area of 600 m2, has 364 collectors and is also installed on the roof of the main building. The energy collected is used to produce cold and hot water. Finally, the heat transfer system allows us to recover the surplus heat given off by the IT centres and telecommunications rooms.
Meanwhile, the Group’s bank in Luxembourg has been awarded the local “SuperDreckskëscht fir Betriber” quality label since 2015, which certifies efficient and ecological waste management in accordance with international standard ISO 14024.
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 electric cars or bikes. These points use green electricity produced on the premises by additional photovoltaic solar panels installed on the roof of the main building.
A recent in-house survey asking employees in Geneva 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.
To promote the use of clean modes of transport in Geneva, e-bikes have been made available to employees free of charge for the fourth year running (from April to mid-November).
In 2018, 5,502 e-bikes were borrowed by staff at our Geneva head office, a 21% increase on 2017. These bikes covered a total distance of 38,234 kilometres, saving 13 tonnes of CO2.
Fund clean-energy projects to offset carbon emissions
Through the funding of clean-energy projects, Pictet has already achieved its carbon neutrality target for the period 2014-2020 by offsetting 70,000 tonnes of carbon. The projects include the construction of hydroelectric installations in China and the building of biomass power stations in Thailand.
Pictet aims for zero plastic
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Garbage patches, made up mainly of floating plastic, now cover vast swathes of the Earth’s oceans, suffocating marine life and blighting entire stretches of coastline.
That’s why the Pictet Group has set itself an ambitious target: to stop use of throw-away plastic by June 2019.
Launched in June 2018 in Geneva, our strategy has already produced results. At the end of last year we reached and exceeded our initial target, and we will keep working to cut out all throw-away plastic at Group level. All our offices worldwide are working together and sharing their experiences to make this happen. We have already achieved an 83% reduction, and will exceed 90% in the end.
We began looking for more environmentally-friendly options than plastic waste in two specific areas: our staff restaurants and office supplies. Single-use items, like drinking straws, have either been phased out or replaced by biodegradable alternatives. At the supply room, pens, binders, highlighters, document covers and other supplies have been replaced by plastic-free alternatives.