Planet

Protect our business from the impact of climate change and give back more to the planet than we take out.

Fundamentally we believe that embracing sustainable practices leads to a better corporate culture, more reliable products and greater long-term profitability. We have long been conscious of our impact on the planet and have recently embedded the five sustainability pillars into the heart of our business strategy. 

2019 Emissions Offset Baseline – by the Carbon Trust

DLG Operational Control

In August 2019 we expanded on our reporting by releasing our most comprehensive emissions data to date. This included the performance separation of our offices and Auto Services, which includes the operations of our 21 Auto Repair Centres across the UK. We also expanded our Scope 3 activities to perform more detail on the individual operations under our direct control.

We comply with the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 and apply the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition) which includes emissions associated with electricity consumption using both the Location-based Scope 2 and Market-based Scope 2 calculation methodologies.

See the Carbon Trust Assurance Ltd Assurance Statement here

 

OFFICE SITES

AUTO SERVICES

TOTALS

TONNES CO2e

Scope 1

1,881

7,518

9,399[1]

Scope 2

Location-based

4,516

Market-based

0

Location-based

2,093

Market-based

0

Location-based

6,609

Market-based

0

Total (Scope 1 & 2)

6,397

 

9,611

 

16,008

 

Scope 3 Under our direct control

Fuel and energy related activities

2,465

Waste generated in operations

1245

Business travel – Air travel

928

Business travel – Hotel night stays

469

Business travel – Rail

410

Employee commuting[2]

4,599

Upstream leased assets[3]

513

Upstream transportation and distribution of auctioned vehicles 912

Scope 3 Under our direct control

11,541

DLG Operational Control Carbon Footprint

 

Scope 1 and 2

16,008[4]

Scope 3

11,541[5]

2019 baseline total 27,549

Total scope 3

249,929[5,6}

Notes:

 1. The 2019 Scope 1 total of 9,399 CO2 e differs from our previously reported figure of 7,365 CO2 e in the 2019 Annual Report and Accounts as it now includes emissions from additional vehicles used during repairs, courtesy car fuel usage and vehicles that are company funded, which had not previously been tracked.

2. Employee commuting is based on UK national averages, not actual individual methods of transport of Direct Line Group employees commuting. This data is not currently tracked.

3. Upstream leased assets refer to leased office space locations where Direct Line Group does not directly control the energy provision as it is included in the service agreement.

4. Scope 1 and 2 emissions verified by the Carbon Trust.

5. Scope 3 emissions calculated by the Carbon Trust.

6. In accordance with the GHG Protocol under which we report, the following are excluded from the Scope 3 total:

    a. operational control activities already detailed in the main table ‘Scope 3     under our direct control’;

    b. cash payments to customers or other insurance companies / legal     firms as compensation;

    c. intragroup transfers between our operating companies for financial     accounting purposes as the actual purchase of goods and services to our     third party suppliers is already captured; and

    d. reinsurance costs to third party reinsurers as this is a financing     transaction; and investments.

Carbon Neutral

In August 2020, we announced our commitment to becoming a carbon neutral company. In addition to reducing carbon footprint overall, we will offset our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions under our control through an offsetting programme that invests in high-impact social projects.

Renewable Sources

We continue to source 100% of the Group's UK electricity from renewable sources (renewable energy is delivered via an electricity supply contract backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates). We are proud that we have been 100% renewable since 2014 and plan to continue to do so.

Management

Following our 5 Pillar approach to sustainability, the Planet pillar activity is led by Chief Risk Officer, Jose Vazquez. Our Planet mission is to:

Protect our business from the impact of climate change and give back more to the planet than we take out.

All our environmental policies are ultimately approved by our Senior Management and led by our Chief Executive Officer, Penny James. We also conduct waste audits and compliance audits of all our sites to review performance and progress against our targets.

 

Bristol

Our Bristol office, The Core, has given colleagues a variety of new workspaces to support collaboration and flexible working, all in a fully refurbished building half the size of our previous site.

Environmental considerations were central to the design. LED lighting, new chillers, heating, ventilation and an air conditioning system have made the site more energy efficient. The refurbishment has also introduced greater connectivity giving colleagues more opportunity to hot desk and work from home. Run costs are now 55% lower.

Vegware products were introduced in March 2019, to provide a plastic free catering solution. Bristol colleagues have embraced this change and it‘s been very successful so far. The catering products such as food containers, drink cups and cutleries are made from plant-based materials which are then fully compostable after use.  These are collected as food waste and taken to a local farm in Gloucestershire for composting.  We are working on rolling out these initiatives further to other sites as well.

The Core is the latest example of how we are looking to shape our technology and workspaces for the future, while meeting our environment objectives. We are proud it has reduced our carbon emissions by 15%.

Environmental Champions

To further entrench the importance of sustainability across the company we have appointed at least one ‘Environmental Champion’ at each of our core sites.

Working with the Institute for Environmental Management they have received accredited training on sustainability issues within the workplace. Together with their local property teams and centrally with our CSR and Sustainability managers , they devise and put in place new initiatives and programmes. These aim to raise awareness of the key issues, change behaviour and ultimately reduce DLG’s environmental impact. 

Recycling coffee cups

The popularity of coffee presents a recycling challenge for a company our size.

That’s why we have partnered with an innovative company called Simply Cups which works with companies to help them segregate the plastic film that can make recycling difficult. Simply Cups collects and sends our disposable coffee cups to a specialist processor where the materials are then produced into other items. After a successful pilot in our Bromley office, we rolled out Simply Cups to our other core sites and this past spring installed five new picnic tables in break out areas in Bromley, made from the recyclable Simply Cups.  

Emissions

In 2019 Group-wide greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions were 13,931 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent ("CO2e"). 

Year  ("GHG") emissions
 2019 13,931 
2018 16,669
2017 17,399
2016 19,315
2015 22,611
2014 27,308
2013 29,127


Emissions are calculated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and include Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. We have targeted a 57% reduction in absolute GHG emissions by the end of 2020 against a 2013 baseline, and at the end of 2019 our overall reduction reached 53%

Our emissions data has been externally verified by Ecometrica. The Assurance Statement can be found here.

We communicate the details of a carbon management programme through the Carbon Disclosure Project and this year achieved a rating of ‘B’.

Energy use is the main cause of our emissions. In absolute terms, we have reduced our emissions significantly after rationalising and implementing an energy-savings plan across our estate over the last five years. This covered building management, air-conditioning, heating and lighting, for instance. We are targeting a 30% like-for-like reduction in the Group’s energy use by the end of 2020 against a 2013 baseline, and at the end of 2019 our overall reduction reached 20%.

Throughout 2019, 100% of the Group's UK electricity was from renewable sources (renewable energy is delivered via an electricity supply contract backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates). We are proud that we have been 100% renewable since 2014 and plan to continue to do so.

Waste

We continually seek opportunities to improve our systems for managing waste.

In 2019, our recycling rate excluding paper (which continues to be 100% recycled)  improved from 82.5% in 2018 to 97.7% in 2019. This is due to improvements across our Auto Repair Centres. 

Carbon Disclosure Project

The Group has taken meaningful steps to reduce its carbon emissions. The Group communicates the details of its carbon management programme through the Carbon Disclosure Project. Further details of the Group’s rating can be found here.

ISO 14001 certification

The DLG Environmental Policy is approved by Senior Management and the Board of Directors are fully committed to ensure that we deliver on our environmental commitments under our Planet pillars.  We achieved accreditation to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for the DLG offices in 2020, an international standard – and confirmed by external auditors.  Our environment management system provides a framework to help us oversee our environmental responsibilities efficiently and meet our targets.  The main benefits of the accreditation is that it enable us to take a strategic approach to improving our environmental performance and to comply with our environmental regulatory duties.

In summary, accreditation to the ISO 14001 standard enable us to:

• Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements

• Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees

• Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication

• Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management

• Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs

• Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organisation’s business systems.