Our environmental sustainability mission

Monday 13 Sep 2021

We’re committed to being a socially responsible employer and reducing our carbon footprint.

We recognise we have our part to play in tackling global climate change, and we’ve pledged to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions IMR (intensity measurement ratio - tonnes of CO2e per £m revenue) by at least 40% by 2025/26.

The past year has undoubtedly been challenging in many ways, but there have been some environmental benefits. At AQA we’ve seen significant reductions in our overall greenhouse gas emissions resulting in a 38% reduction in our IMR since 2018. This equates to 54% actual reduction, or 1013 tonnes CO2e, and is made up from:

  • building electricity use: 44% reduction in CO2e emissions
  • work-related travel: 97.5% reduction in CO2e emissions
  • waste to landfill: 83% reduction in CO2e emissions. This includes the removal of single use plastic water bottles from our meeting rooms, which is an annual reduction of 38,000 bottles based on pre-Covid use
  • 29.10 tonne CO2e carbon off-set through the solar panels at our offices.

While this level of decline is significant, we're making further improvements to reduce our impacts on the environment:

  • switching from landfill to either recycling or energy recovery: in August 2021 we switched our waste provider in Manchester to align with Guildford to divert 100% of produced waste from landfill.
  • 100% renewable energy sources: from October 2021 we’re switching to 100% renewable electricity sources and our buildings electricity use will now be generated from a mix of solar, wind and hydro power sources
  • 50% reduction in business travel
  • estate improvements: planning and designs are underway including the installation of new thermally efficient windows to reduce heat loss and solar thermal gain, and smarter building technology to maximise energy efficiencies as part of our building refits
  • more plastic removal: we're looking into alternatives to plastic packing in our operational activities.

Nick Stevens, AQA’s Director of Finance and Corporate Services, said:

“Sustainability is a real passion at AQA and we’ve been working on a number of initiatives for some time, like installing solar panels on our buildings and increasing our recycling rate.

“But we want to raise our game even more with these further improvements, and are committed to making a positive impact and cutting our carbon footprint through outstanding environmental sustainability.”