The AXA Group coordinates a network of dedicated environmental managers and employees in local subsidiaries. AXA is working with these managers to analyze indicators, identify performance targets and promote the sharing of best practices.
In order to facilitate the environmental data collection process, the AXA Group developed an internal reporting tool that centralizes the collection, consolidation and analysis of local environmental data. Only sites featuring more than 50 FTEs are included in the targeted scope (data centers with fewer FTEs are however included). Since 2014, it embraced 41 countries over five continents.
Since 2011, to secure increased data quality, a formal local Chief Financial Officer (CFO) sign-off has been integrated into the reporting process.
In 2016, an annual transport survey available in 41 countries and in 22 languages is used to help estimating the amount of CO2 emissions related to home-work commuting and help raise employee awareness on alternative modes of transportation. In order to increase the educational component of the survey, a personalized results page was developed to provide employees with a comparison of their annual work-place commuting CO2 emissions with their site, company and the Group. Environmental protection tips are also provided at the same time. In addition to increasing employees' awareness on climate change issues, this survey helps refine the Group's estimated carbon footprint by revealing the share attributable to workplace commuting.
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 and Corporate Responsibility Report. In 2016, 50 sites were reported to have some form of environmental certification.
Fossil-based energy consumption is a key source of CO2 worldwide. In order to reduce our CO2 emissions from power consumption (“Scopes 1 & 2”), AXA relies on energy efficiency measures, raising environmental awareness amongst employees, and, where possible, procuring electricity from renewable energy sources. AXA’s power consumption per FTE decreased by 4% in 2016 compared to 2015. AXA entities made significant steps forward to reduce their energy footprint, for example:
CO2 emissions are a key contributor to climate change; businesses have a role to play in reducing these emissions. In addition to the targets and initiatives described above, AXA has also committed to adopt “Science Based Targets” (sciencebasedtargets.org) to reduce its GHG emissions. Targets adopted are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of “de-carbonization” required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, as mentioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. AXA’s CO2 emissions per FTE related to energy, paper and business travel (air, rail and car fleet) decreased by 2% between 2016 and 2015. 50% of Group CO2 emissions are related to energy consumption, 29% from business travel (air and train), 14% from AXA’s vehicle fleet and 7% from paper. The Group implemented environmental travel guidelines since 2011 in order to reduce travel-related GHG emissions. Some entities have adapted these guidelines to meet their local specificities. For instance, AXA Germany, was among the first company in Germany to have implemented a “flexible driving” program offering an innovative and environment-friendly way of mobility. Employees are free to use the car-sharing vehicles for their business and private rides, which helps reduce the entity’s car-fleet size. To promote switch to electric mobility, AXA Switzerland has launched “e-Mobility” program and started to install charging stations for employees. To encourage employees to reduce travel, the Group has also installed 50 videoconferencing rooms.
Water scarcity is a growing global concern, driven by rapid population growth, urbanization and increasing demand for natural resources. Prudent water management can therefore play a significant role in sustainable use of this resource. Continuing our efforts from previous years, AXA’s water consumption per FTE has decreased by almost 6% in 2016. Since 2008, AXA entities have achieved a better level of management maturity and reporting quality regarding their water consumption patterns. Related recent initiatives include the installation of water sensors in bathroom facilities for AXA France and water-saving initiatives at various entities (e.g. AXA Switzerland).
Forests act as a natural carbon sink, as well as a key biodiversity habitat. Certain unsustainable paper production processes threaten many natural forests. AXA signed the pledge on the “We Mean Business” (www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org) in 2015 platform to remove commodity-driven deforestation from its supply chains by 2020. In line with this commitment, AXA implemented a policy to procure 95% of its paper from sustainable and recycled sources. AXA strives to increase the volume of paper originating from recycled sources or sustainably managed forests. In 2016, AXA used 61% of office paper and 69% of marketing and distribution paper from recycled sources. To promote this type of paper, since 2011 the Group requires environmentally-friendly office paper as a minimum standard for the main Group entities. It should be noted that AXA Technology Services has published a paper purchasing policy, which requires that all paper purchased be from recycled or sustainable sources by 2020. AXA’s office paper consumption per FTE decreased by 13% between 2015 and 2016. A significant number of entities have implemented a printing policy to help decrease office paper consumption, which includes reducing the number of printers, and installing an employee badging system to collect all printed documents (e.g. AXA UK). In 2016, AXA’s marketing and distribution paper consumption per customer decreased also by 4% compared to 2015, partly owing to a more accurate measurement process in some entities.
Driven by principles of circular economy and “closing the loop” of product lifecycles, recycling and re-use are followed to better manage our waste wherever possible. For example, entities such as AXA Belgium and AXA Switzerland have put in place waste sorting process, thus increasing volumes. Concerning the recycling of ink cartridges and toners, AXA has also decreased from 68% to 62% in 2016. AXA’s IT business unit, AXA Technology Services, for which electronic waste is of particular relevance, is a key contributor to this effort, as it strives to ensure compliance with the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Food waste is sorted in 75 canteens in the Group. Since 2014, 4 sites in Paris Region (Terrasses 1 and 5 at Nanterre, Val-deFontenay and Marly) recycle organic waste from their restaurants. At the AXA headquarters, the waste food is separately collected in organic bins in order to recycle them. Since 2016, this canteen is also certified as a “Green Restaurant”. AXA is also aware of the role it can play as an insurer with regards to circular economy imperatives. BlaBlaCar, a French car-sharing service, and AXA launched a first-of-its-kind ridesharing insurance product. BlaBlaCar’s members benefit from free additional insurance covers provided by AXA. BlaBlaCar and AXA have worked together to tailor the insurance product written by AXA especially to long-distance ridesharing in Europe.