Standard Life Aberdeen has partnered with an eco-technology company to monitor homeworkers’ carbon footprint.
The asset management company, which intends to change its name to “Abrdn” in the coming months, now has 95% of employees working from home, and has estimated that this accounts for 55% of its carbon emissions.
The 2021 People & Purpose Award
It is working with carbon measurement company Pawprint to help employees measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint while working from home.
Employees download an app that asks them tailored questions and sets challenges for them to be more mindful of how their activities impact the environment. The app gather anonymous data so the company can see trends in homeworking emissions output.
Workers at home use more electricity than they would typically if they were going out to an office, and more heating. Green energy company Bulb estimates that a 70-employee team working a 40-hour week from home would generate 6,872 kilograms of carbon dioxide just through heating.
Standard Life has been monitoring its carbon emissions since 2006. Prior to the pandemic, 65% of its carbon footprint came from travel, and this dropped to just 14% when employees were required to work from home.
Homeworking and the environment
Other initiatives to support sustainability include electric car leasing. Chief executive Stephen Bird said ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) issues were not a “bolt-on activity” for the business.
“We all have a responsibility to constantly analyse our own progress and ambition,” he said.
“We also know that commitments need to be more than words. We need to be held to account on both our plans and progress – through clear and specific targets, and transparent and credible reporting.”
He said the business was currently carbon neutral thanks to offsetting 110% of its operational carbon footprint, but wanted to accelerate these commitments by supporting employees to take action in their own homes.
“We are also not just looking at our own operational emissions, we are engaging with our supply chain and asking our key suppliers to also adopt their own net zero plans by 2025,” he added.