2025/26 Sustainability strategy

AQA is committed to making a positive impact through outstanding environmental sustainability performance.

In 2020 we launched our sustainability strategy with an overarching goal to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 40% against the 2018/19 baseline by 2025/26. We're also committed to improving our:

  1. environmental performance, through a reduction in our environmental impact
  2. ESG responsible investing through our investment managers
  3. social performance as an assessment organisation, through enhancements to the content and delivery of our assessments.

Our long-term goal is to be net carbon neutral before 2050 in line with the UK government’s commitment under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Key targets

To achieve our initial short-term objectives, we’ve implemented an action plan with six key areas. Some actions are already underway or have been implemented whilst others will follow in the coming months and years:

Partnership and engagement

  • working with university colleagues to develop sustainable initiatives on campuses
  • promote and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with local and broader communities
  • share knowledge and expertise or to support staff volunteers in local community projects
  • engage employees, customers, associates and key stakeholders through regular communications using internal and external resources.

Waste management and resource use

  • minimise waste in landfill by diverting 100% of waste for recycling or recovery
  • reduce food waste production from in-house catering services
  • reduce resource use (paper etc)
  • reduce reliance on single use disposable items and phase out single use plastics where possible.

Energy and carbon management

  • install LED lighting in all offices
  • install thermally efficient windows at the Manchester and Guildford Offices
  • switch electricity energy supply to 100% renewable sources
  • prepare for future changes in energy vectors (ie if hydrogen to replace natural gas).

Sustainable investments

  • reduce reliance on national grid through solar photovoltaic generation on appropriate AQA sites
  • advance sustainability through a coordinated ESG (environmental, social and governance) approach to the management of our long-term investments.

Travel

  • reduce business related travel by minimum 50%
  • cease domestic air travel with train being the dominant mode of transport where travel is essential.

Sustainable procurement

  • procure all in-house catering from accredited sustainable production methods
  • produce and implement sustainability criteria for the procurement of goods and services.