Utmost Group is pleased to announce that it has achieved a carbon neutral status in its operations in 2021 for the second year running. The Group has committed to be carbon neutral in its operations each year under the environmental impact pillar of its sustainability strategy.
This forms part of the Group’s broader commitment to the Paris Agreement, under which the global community aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. More details on the Group’s sustainability strategy and its 2021 emissions can be found in the 2021 Annual Report.
The Group takes a two-fold approach to achieving a carbon neutral status: firstly, focused on reducing our Group’s initial carbon emissions and secondly through offsetting.
The approach is based on a thorough assessment and analysis of all emissions in partnership with Carbon Footprint Ltd, a consultancy providing organisations with support on their carbon management.
As one step on the path to carbon neutrality, Utmost Group is taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations. These stood at 1,153 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (tCO2e) or 1.14tCO2e per employee for 2021. A large part of the Group’s carbon footprint stems from energy consumption. The Group’s strategy is to gradually switch to renewable energy sources. The Group will also gradually implement zero single-use plastics usage and increase its use of online software in place of business travel – a trend accelerated by the pandemic.
As a second step, the Group has offset its carbon emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. The Group have partnered with Carbon Footprint Ltd to support a renewable energy project in Brazil. The project switches the fuel used by a local factory from illegal firewood to waste materials, which would otherwise be discarded. The project helps tackle illegal logging, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes a more sustainable supply chain; all while improving the livelihoods of local communities and employees.
Additionally, the Group will plant a tree in the UK for each of its 1,500 employees. Both the tree planting and the Brazil renewable energy project align with Utmost’s sustainability strategy and its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where the Group has aligned with the following Goals: 4 Quality Education, 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10 Reduced Inequalities, 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, 13 Climate Action.
Paul Thompson, Group CEO, commented:
“Sustainability remains at the heart of our strategy – we recognise the importance of this topic to each of our employees, our investors, and our clients – and carbon neutrality is one of our long-term environmental and social sustainability commitments. The Group’s sustainability strategy is continually developed to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Group’s Board is committed that the business decisions we make are in line with the Group’s mission to secure a brighter future for current and future generations.”
Dr Wendy Buckley, Client Director at Carbon Footprint Ltd commented:
“We’re delighted that Utmost is now completing thorough assessment of its greenhouse emissions annually. They have firm commitments to reduce business emissions year on year and are, in the meantime mitigating these unavoidable emissions by supporting high quality carbon offset projects to render their business carbon neutral”