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:
- environmental performance, through a reduction in our environmental impact
- ESG responsible investing through our investment managers
- 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.
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).
- 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.
- reduce business related travel by minimum 50%
- cease domestic air travel with train being the dominant mode of transport where travel is essential.
- procure all in-house catering from accredited sustainable production methods
- produce and implement sustainability criteria for the procurement of goods and services.