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Responsibility stories
5 April 2018

Improving the environmental performance of our business

As a business, we’re mostly office-based, so our environmental impact is relatively small – but we understand that day-to-day operations still have an impact on the environment.

We take a proactive approach to good environmental management and measure, manage and monitor our impact through a carbon footprint. As our main impacts come from energy use in our offices and through business travel, this is our main focus, but we also manage our resource use and waste management where we can.

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint annually reporting it in terms of tonnes CO2 equivalent (tCO2e).

Highlights from our 2017 environmental improvements

Our carbon footprint

We are proud to have reduced our emissions once again this year by 11% (7.4% reduction in tCO2e/headcount) from 2016. This is predominantly due to our energy reduction programme in our UK portfolio, which we began in 2016, and has already resulted in financial savings of £830,000 in 2016 and £1.8M in 2017 compared with 2015.  This programme delivered a reduction of 3,766 tonnes CO2e (4% of Capita’s total carbon footprint). We also saw a reduction in business travel emissions of 14% this year.

An accurate picture of our footprint is vital, so we’ve improved the way we measure and manage our energy consumption, focusing on our properties that use the most, and putting in place energy reduction plans, including:

  • improving and optimising our heating, ventilation and cooling plant and controls and installing LED lighting
  • setting standards for and installing metering to be able to remotely monitor operating hours and temperatures
  • energy management workshops which equip our facility managers to develop and deliver their own action plans for their buildings.

We’ve seen great results from the energy reduction programme – delivering an 8% overall reduction in 2016 over 2015 – and last year reduced that by a further 9% without significant capital expenditure outside refit and business as usual plant replacement. Looking ahead, we’ll be using technology to further improve our business performance through smarter data collection, analysis, controls and savings measures. We’re focusing on energy, business travel, water and waste to manage down our resource use – through business as usual activities, but also with innovative and exciting projects such as the move to a new Head Office building, and projects like a biogas combined heat and power plant to generate electricity and heat which will deliver substantial reductions in our carbon footprint.

John Kost

SH&E director, Capita

How we reduced water usage at the Fire Service College

As with energy, our water usage across our sites is not significant, but we endeavour to conserve water where we can. For example, where we have direct control of a site, or when we are refurbishing one of our offices, we install low flush toilets, taps and urinal controls.

One site which does use more water than most is the Fire Service College – as you’d expect –  for its training exercises. The College would use around 400 cubic metres of water each month. Drinking water from two on-site reservoirs was being used to extinguish fires – which also led to a degree of contaminants being left within the surface water drainage systems. We proposed creating a reed bed, which means that a large amount of the water used for firefighting is now retained and 50% of the water used is recycled, as the reeds safely break down contaminants.  This has led to a reduction in the use of 200 tonnes of water per month. The reed bed allows for additional water to be held on site and will help in the management any possible flood risk.

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