With climate change already affecting the lives of millions, limiting global warming to no more than 1.5oC is one of the biggest challenges facing society. With our global network of offices, over 4,500 retail stores and stadia, and business travel, we understand that we have a role to play in reducing our greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and environmental footprint. 2020-21 was a year of firsts for our environmental work. We achieved BSi ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System accreditation, demonstrating that our processes are in line with best practice. We received our first independent verification of GHG emissions data from the Carbon Trust – a trusted third-party specialising in GHG emissions reduction and resource efficiency. It was also the first year that we reported to CDP’s Climate Change questionnaire to benchmark our climate approach against peers, scoring a D for this first disclosure. Within our Annual and ESG reports we made our first Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) statement, reflecting the growing importance that Entain and our investors place on identifying and managing climate-related risks.that Entain and our investors place on identifying and managing climate-related risks.
In 2018, we set ourselves a target of reducing our scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 15% per colleague by the end of 2021. We are proud to announce that we have achieved this target early, with an 15% reduction on 2018 levels in 2020. Despite a downward trend in our emissions prior to the pandemic, this significant carbon reduction in 2020 was undoubtedly due to our shop and office closures due to the lockdown. However, our trend of GHG emissions reductions up to March 2020 data indicate that we were on track to meet our target even under a business-as-usual scenario, due to our rolling-out of energy efficiency measures taken as part of our shop refurbishment scheme. Having achieved our 2021 GHG reduction target early, we have stepped up our ambition on climate change. In early 2021, we committed to becoming net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2035, which is 15 years ahead of the 2050 target for carbon neutrality agreed by governments under the Paris Agreement. As part of this, we have formally committed to set a Science-based Target with the Science Based Target initiative which will be effective from 2022. In 2021, we will be developing our strategy to fast-track the decarbonisation process throughout the business globally.
Understanding that there are emissions left over even after our reduction measures, we also invested in GHG offsets for the first time. We purchased these offsets from Brynk, an independent platform which facilitates tree planting and reforestation projects, and we’ve funded the planting of half a million mangrove trees already. By 2032 it’s expected that these alone will be balancing our global scope 1 and 2 emissions. We will continue to evolve our approach to offsetting in line with best practice. We are also looking to actively source our energy from renewable sources and from April 2020 we switched our UK electricity contract to 100% renewable energy, to complement the renewable supply we already use in the Republic of Ireland. This now amounts to over 85% of the Group’s total electricity consumption that is actively sourced from renewables.
Whilst GHG emissions is our most significant environmental impact, we also measure and look for ways to reduce our waste and water consumption. We started deploying a new recycling programme across our shops, which we plan to roll out fully as our retail estate reopens in 2021.
It is also important to bring our colleagues along on the journey and highlight their key role in reducing our impact. We do this by offering an e-learning module that gives participants a better understanding of Entain’s impact on the planet, and how they can help reduce our environmental footprint. In 2020, 65% of colleagues had completed the module. When more colleagues return to Entain offices in 2021, we will also continue to build our Green Ambassadors – a 120-strong network that was established in 2019 across the Group to help us identify practical ways we can improve environmental efficiency in the workplace.
Key metrics in 2020
In 2020 we received independent verification of our carbon emissions data from the Carbon Trust, the body dedicated to helping organisations deliver a more sustainable future through carbon reduction and resource efficiency strategies. The Trust verified Entain’s (formerly GVC’s) emissions 2019 data, which showed a 10% reduction on the prior year. We are currently in the process of going through a similar certification process for our 2020 data.
The Trust’s verification is significant in that it is tracked by a number of leading ESG ratings agencies, which help investors evaluate investment decisions based on ESG criteria.
In 2020 our data showed that we used almost 115 million kWh of energy (electricity, gas and fuel oil), showing a continued reduction from 156 million kWh in 2018 and 150 million kWh in 2019 (a 24% reduction 2019-20).
Our approach to the environment and the community goes beyond our own business. Our suppliers’ corporate responsibility agenda relating to the environment is also assessed before we enter into contractual arrangements. We believe that by aligning our interests we can make a contribution towards sustaining our environment.
Our Environmental policy statement is available to download here.