Environment & Sustainability
We understand that our activities can have a lasting impact and we believe in protecting our environment for the benefit of future generations. We are committed to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Responsible Consumption and Climate Action.
We are now in our third year of groupwide carbon reporting and the data gathered since 2019 has given the Group an understanding of the energy usage of the Group as a whole. The Citywest facility, our largest facility, has energy monitoring software, providing a granular view of electricity usage throughout the facility. This software has enabled us to identify areas of inefficient electricity usage, for example lights and electrically powered systems remaining on during non-operational hours. Using this information, we are able to develop systems and processes to reduce energy consumption.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In 2022, we completed the Group’s second Group-wide carbon footprinting exercise to assess our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions and we also completed the first assessment of our Scope 3 emissions. The outcome of that assessment was reported through CDP and we were delighted to receive an increase in our CDP score from ‘C’ to ‘B’ on foot of that submission.
In early 2023, we completed our carbon foot-printing exercise in respect of our Scope 1 & 2 emissions during 2022. The results of this exercise are set out below (excluding entities acquired during 2022 and adjusting all results to include entities acquired during 2021 for the first time). Following a 26.5% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions from 2019 to 2021, 2022 saw a slight increase in Scope 1 & 2 emissions of just over 5% on an absolute basis. This represents a 22% overall reduction in absolute Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions since our baseline reporting year of 2019. The Group’s carbon intensity measurement has increased by 1% during the year. We believe the marginal increase in emissions during 2022 reflects a normalisation of emissions following Covid-19 during 2020 and 2021.
Based on the analysis carried out, a large proportion of the reduction in Group emissions, to date, has arisen as a result of a reduction in company car usage across the Group. We believe the reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the healthcare industry saw a big drop in the number of in‑person visits to healthcare providers during 2020 and 2021 as a result of Covid-19. The second reason is that in recent years our Commercial & Clinical Pharma Division has shifted to an omnichannel engagement model which enables the teams to engage with healthcare professionals through mediums other than in‑person office visits. We believe that the move to the omni-channel model and changes in the preferences of healthcare professionals will mean that emissions from company cars will remain significantly lower than pre-Covid levels. With the increasing availability of electric vehicles, we expect this reduction to continue.
Another reason for the significant reduction in emissions in the period since 2019 is the introduction of energy efficiency initiatives such as lighting sensors, LED lights, and energy monitoring.
In 2022, we completed our first Scope 3 emissions screening with the assistance of external environmental consultants. This process identified the enormous significance of purchased goods and services as a contributor to the Group’s overall carbon footprint. Our purchased goods and services category analysis was based on spend data which was inputted to the EEIO spend-based tool. As can be seen from the diagram below, purchased goods and services represent 94% of the Group’s overall carbon emissions. As such, measures and initiatives to reduce emissions from the goods and services that we purchase are essential to reducing the environmental impact of our business.
The Group formally committed through the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to setting a science-based target before the end of 2023 and, in early 2023, we submitted our targets for validation to the SBTi. Pending validation of our SBTi targets, we have set an internal target to reduce our absolute Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 5% per annum between 2019 and 2030, in line with the SBTi 1.5˚ C aligned pathway for targets. This would see us achieve our climate ambition of at least 50% reduction in our absolute Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2030. As part of our commitment to SBTi, we have also submitted a target that 71% of our suppliers covering purchased goods and services, will have science-based targets for emissions by 2028. In order to achieve this we propose to roll out an active supplier engagement programme to work with our suppliers and partners in tackling the challenges of reducing emissions and identifying ways in which we can work together with them to reduce our collective emissions.
In 2022, a number of ‘Green Teams’ were established across each of our divisions. Following externally facilitated training on the topic of decarbonisation, each team was tasked with assessing the emissions for their respective divisions and developing a decarbonisation plan outlining how that division could achieve our climate ambition of at least 50% reduction in our absolute Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2030. A consolidated output from that exercise is presented below and the Group are currently working on timelines for implementation of these initiatives.
TCFD and EU Taxonomy
2022 saw continued discussion around environmental matters and emissions by the Board. The Board received regular reports from the Sustainability Council and considered specific climate-related risks and opportunities as part of its bi-annual Risk Register Review. Further details in relation to the Group’s actions, in alignment with Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) are set out in the following table. In addition, the Group carried out its first assessment of the extent to which the Group’s activities are aligned to The EU Taxonomy Regulations and the results of this assessment are set out in the Annual Report 2022.
Waste and Hazardous Waste Management
Across all our sites we are continuously exploring ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. We have been a member of Repak since 1999 and we make considerable efforts across the business to reduce plastic waste. As part of our overall Scope 3 emissions assessment, the Group collated data from all locations across the business in relation to waste. In 2022, 83% of the Group’s waste (approximately 925 tonnes of waste) was diverted from landfill. Relevant parts of our business are compliant with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE).
The Group recognises the importance of protecting the environment around us and ensuring that our operations do not emit pollution into our surrounding environment. During 2022, there were no reportable instances of pollution across the Group.
We are conscious that a significant portion of our carbon footprint arises through outsourced activities such as logistics and through our supply chain and we are committed to working with our supply chain partners in this area.
During 2022, we appointed external consultants to assist the Group in developing a programme for supplier engagement, to ensure that the Group is working closely with its suppliers and partners to reduce our collective impact on the environment. The Group is continuing to work on a Supplier Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing Policy, which we expect to roll out during 2023.