Our local subsidiaries can count on our network of dedicated environmental managers and employees: together we analyze environmental indicators, identify performance targets and share best practices.
We’ve developed an internal reporting tool for easier, more centralized collection, consolidation and analysis of local environmental data. It spans 41 countries in over five continents and includes sites with over 50 FTEs and all our data centers. Since 2011 reporting requires a formal sign-off from the local Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to ensure data quality.
Additionally, entities have put in place a wide variety of activities to raise awareness and train employees on environmental issues and risks on an ongoing basis. And every year we organize our Corporate Responsibility Week (CR Week), where environmental awareness is one of the key topics addressed, both at the group and local level.
Every year, a transport survey is conducted to help estimate CO2 emissions related to home-work commuting. Available in 41 countries and 22 languages, it helps raise employee awareness on alternative modes of transportation with personalized results, a comparison of annual work-place commute-related CO2 emissions at their site, company and for the entire Group. It also features environmental protection tips and helps us refine our estimated carbon footprint by revealing the amount of CO2 attributable to workplace commutes.
Our power consumption (per FTE) decreased by 7% in 2015 compared to 2014, and our entities took significant steps to further reduce their energy footprint. A few examples:
- AXA Technology Services pursued its “Green IT” program for server refreshes, data center consolidation and virtualization, PC refreshes and power management. In fact, data centers in Germany decreased consumption by 2.3 GWh through virtualization (94% vs. 90% in 2014);
- some entities have improved energy efficiency by upgrading equipment. AXA General Insurance Japan renovated the air-conditioning system and changed lighting to LEDs in one of their call centers, reducing electricity consumption by 20%. Just previously, AXA Hong Kong was awarded the LEED Gold Certification, AXA France's Energi'Com tool received an award as well, and AXA Sigorta became a "Green Office" with the WWF;
- several entities selected more energy-efficient buildings for location transfers (i.e. AXA Mexico and AXA Sigorta). Our Group headquarters renovated one of its buildings to achieve a 13% reduction in energy usage between 2013 and 2015. Previously, AXA Switzerland moved to a new building heated only by incineration, with CO2-emissions seven times lower than oil. In addition, three of their buildings feature a photovoltaic system producing about 175,000kWh per year.
Our premises use electricity (72% of floor space), gas (18%), fuel/steam (7%) and chilled water (3%) with the proportion of total renewable energy at a noteworthy 36%. There were some major improvements at the end of 2015 as all French entities (i.e. AXA France, AXA Corporate Solutions France) switched their energy to 100% renewable.
Our CO2 emissions (per FTE) related to energy, paper and business travel (air, rail and car fleet) decreased by 8% between 2014 and 2015. 52% of our CO2 emissions come from energy consumption, 26% from business travel (air and train), 15% from our vehicle fleet and 7% from paper.
In 2010 we defined common environmental travel guidelines and rolled them out across the Group in 2011, with an update following in 2014, and some entities adapting the guidelines to meet local specificities. For instance, AXA Germany is among the first companies in that country to have implemented a “flexible driving” program offering innovative and environment-friendly mobility. Employees are free to use car-sharing vehicles for their business and private rides, which helps reduce the entity’s car-fleet size. To encourage employees to reduce travel, we installed 50 video-conferencing rooms, estimated to have saved 225,855 trips and 333,013 tons of CO2 since 2009.
Water consumption per FTE has decreased by 4% between 2014 and 2015. Since 2008, our entities have improved management maturity and reporting quality in terms of water consumption patterns. Recent initiatives include installation of water sensors in bathroom facilities for AXA France, and other water-saving initiatives for several entities, including AXA Investment Managers USA.
Office paper consumption per FTE decreased by 11% between 2014 and 2015 and a significant number of entities implemented a printing policy to decrease office paper use and reduce the number of printers via employee badging systems (i.e. AXA L&P Poland and AXA Thailand).
In 2015, marketing and distribution paper use per customer decreased by 2% compared to 2014, mostly due to more accurate measurements in some entities (i.e. AXA UK & US). We’re also working on increasing the volume of paper from recycled sources or sustainably managed forests. In 2015, 62% of office paper and 65% of marketing and distribution paper was from recycled sources. Since 2011, we require environmentally-friendly office paper as a minimum standard for all main group entities.
As a result of renovations and relocation, unsorted waste volume has increased by 4% and paper sorted for recycling by 6%, compared to 2014. For sorted paper, entities in Belgium and Switzerland have improved their sorting process, increasing volumes. For unsorted waste, food waste is included from our 75 canteens. We’ve experienced a positive trend in ink cartridge and toner recycling, from 63% to 68%. Our IT business unit, AXA Technology Services (for whom electronic waste is of particular relevance), is a key contributor to this effort, as it works to ensure compliance with the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit, one of AXA SA's Statutory Auditors, reviewed the environmental reporting process (Environmental Protocol, reporting tool, organization), as well as the data collection processes of ten significant European, Asian and American entities. The auditors' statement of assurance is included in the Activity & Corporate Responsibility Report. In 2015, 39 sites were reported to have some form of environmental certification.
Our detailed environmental indicators and information can be found in our Group's Annual Activity & Corporate Responsibility Report as well as in our Annual Report ("Reference Document").