Making a difference to our environment
As a technology business, with five offices (Manchester, London, Dublin, High Wycombe and Southampton) we have a relatively small carbon footprint. However, we have a passionate Sustainability Network comprising people from across the Group who are focused on rolling our changes for individuals and our offices in a bid to reduce our overall environmental impact.
One initiative that the Network drove during the financial year 2020 was increasing our colleagues’ carbon literacy knowledge. With the support of the Carbon Literacy Trust over 15% of our Auto Trader people completed the training meaning we achieved the ‘Silver’ level of accreditation – the first FTSE100 company to have achieved this.
We actively encourage our employees to consider their environmental impact. We operate recycling systems in the offices, established with local authorities and recycling schemes, and we have no waste bins by desks which encourages recycling. We have also invested in video conferencing equipment in our London and Manchester offices to reduce business travel between the offices and work collaboratively online.
We are pleased to have been recognised as a FTSE4Good company. Created by the global index provider FTSE Russell, the FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (EGS) practices.
Our London and Manchester offices are both graded highly by the BREEAM standard, which sets best practice standards for the environmental performance of buildings. Our Kings Cross office in London achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating and our Manchester office an ‘excellent’ one.
We use Fruitful Office to deliver fruit to our offices each week. The company plants one tree in Malawi for every order of fruit they receive, which in the financial year 2020 equated to 1,731 trees. The trees help the organisation to mitigate the effects of global warming and deforestation, providing incomes to local communities.
Health and safety
We are committed to maintaining a safe workplace for our employees, customers and visitors and anyone affected by our business’s activities. It is therefore our policy that all of the Group’s facilities, products and services comply with applicable laws and regulations governing safety and quality. During the financial year 2020, there were no major injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
Driving environmental impact change in our industry
Promoting the advancement of new technologies and cleaner, more efficient fuel types is an important issue for us. That’s why we actively support the industry’s efforts to increase the consumer adoption of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs). We regularly meet with the Department for Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles to share our data and insights to help guide policy around the topic, we also support the industry trade bodies with their initiatives. We have partnered with the National Franchise Dealers’ Association (NFDA) to feature its Electric Vehicle Accreditations (EVA) on autotrader.co.uk – those retailers that meet the strict guidelines of the initiative are able to include a kitemark on their adverts. On our own marketplace, we have taken steps to make it easier for car buyers to search for AFVs by improving search filters and the information that is surfaced on our full page adverts.
Our environmental impact
Auto Trader is required to measure and report its direct and indirect greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions by the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018.
As well as reporting our ‘Scope 1’(combustion of fuels) and ‘Scope 2’ (purchased electricity and gas, and fuel associated with leased company cars) emissions, in financial year 2020 we have reported ‘Scope 3’ emissions including business travel, employee commuting and downstream leased assets. These categories are the most material to Auto Trader and therefore the most relevant for us to measure to support our evolving environmental focus.
Total CO2 emissions1
|Total (Scope 1 & 2)||417||494||521||610|
|Total (Scopes 1, 2 & 3)||2,178||2,187|
The reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions is as a result of a number of factors including: reducing the size of our London office; reducing the length of time we heat and provide electricity to the office each day; the introduction of passive infrared sensor lighting in the London office which is activated by movement; switching off electrical items while the office is closed ; and our remote staff are no longer supplied company cars but have car allowances instead. The acquisition of KeeResources in October 2019 increased our headcount and, therefore, our people-related emissions in Scope 3, whilst our data centre usage also led to our Scope 3 emissions increasing moderately. However as we look to fully migrate to the cloud, we anticipate that this will reduce our Scope 3 emissions next year.
1 Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
2 Absolute carbon emissions divided by revenue in millions
The methodology used to calculate our emissions is based on the financial consolidation approach, as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, A Corporate Accounting and. Reporting Standard (Revised Edition). Emissions factors used are from the UK Government ('BEIS') conversation factor guidance for the year end 31 March 2020.
- Scopes 1 and 2 have been restated to include Webzone in 2019 figures. The previous reported figure for Scope 1 was 263 and for Scope 2 was 258.
- Scope 3 comprises business travel, employee commuting and downstream leased assets, which are based on the following:
- Business travel calculated based on actual travel activity using DEFRA emissions factor to calculate emissions
- Employee commuting calculation based on employee surveys combined with and based on the Commuting trends according to the UK Government
- Downstream leased assets refers to the Company's physical data storage facility and cloud-based storage solutions