Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plan

Sopra Steria is committed to achieving Net Zero emissions in line with the SBTi Net-Zero Standard


Sopra Steria are proud to be considered as early adopters of climate change standards since 2017 where we aligned our science-based targets well below 2oC which were validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Later in 2019 these targets were updated to be 1.5oC aligned.

In 2020, we adopted the UN Climate Neutral Now definition of Net Zero as “the state where a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals is achieved”, by taking the following actions:

  • Measure 100% of the organisation’s GHG emissions
  • Reduce GHG emissions as far as possible; and
  • Offset remaining emissions through projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere in the long term.

A Net Zero target date of 2028 was set under the UN Climate Neutral NOW programme.

In 2022, Sopra Steria committed to the SBTi Net-Zero Standard (hereafter referred to as ‘The Standard’) which has become the globally-accepted best practice standard for organisations setting Net Zero targets. The definition of Net Zero under The Standard will require Sopra Steria to strive towards achieving a 90% reduction in absolute emissions from a baseline measurement by no later than 2050. Consequently, Sopra Steria have proposed a revised Net Zero target achievement date of 2040, which was validated in July 2023. As stipulated by SBTi, the baseline period can be no longer than 3 years prior to commitments. Therefore, we have changed our baseline year from 2015 to 2019, as validated by SBTi in 2023.

The Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) lays out Sopra Steria’s approach and annual progress towards its objective of achieving Net Zero emissions.

Baseline and Current Emissions Footprint

In 2022, Sopra Steria’s total absolute Scope 1 and 2 (market-based emissions) decreased by 81.5%; and on an intensity basis (per full-time employee) reduced by 43.2% in 2022 compared with the current baseline year 2015.

Sopra Steria began to measure its total value chain emissions, in 2022, to begin a credible transition towards net zero which involves the calculation of Scope 1, 2 and all relevant Scope 3 emissions. This includes emissions associated with purchased goods and services (Scope 3 Category 1) which represents 94% of Sopra Steria’s total carbon footprint.

Our current methodology for calculating purchased goods and services emissions is a function of supply chain spend which has increased year-on-year. In 2022, supplier spend increased by 41.3% whilst emissions from purchased goods and services increased by 40.2% compared with the 2015 baseline year. Thus, in terms of the impact on our overall emissions, this caused our total absolute emissions to increase by 3.4% in 2022. All other scope categories of GHG emissions decreased in 2022. Therefore, without accounting for supply chain emissions our total GHG emissions figures in 2022 would have shown a 79.8% decrease.

The PDF version of Sopra Steria’s Net Zero CRP provides a full breakdown of its emissions.

Emissions Reduction Targets

Near-Term Targets

  1. Sopra Steria commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 54% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
  2. Sopra Steria also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 37.5% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

Long-Term Targets

  1. Sopra Steria commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year.
  2. Sopra Steria also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year.

Carbon Reduction Projects

Renewable Electricity

By 2019 Sopra Steria had raised to 100% the proportion of electricity consumed in the UK from renewable sources, reducing Scope 2 emissions to zero on a market basis.

Energy Efficiency

In 2022, Sopra Steria formed an Energy Efficiency Working Group (representing key internal functions whose internal operations influence energy usage including Property & Facilities and I.T.) undertook energy efficiency initiatives and investment in measures to reduce our carbon emissions, including the following:

  • Further upgrades of lighting to energy efficient LEDs was completed in 2022 as part of the office refurbishment at Three Cherry Trees Lane in Hemel Hempstead. This is expected to contribute to an annual reduction of 10,202 kWh in electricity consumption and 1.95 tonnes of CO2(e).
  • An overhaul of the entire lighting at our central London office on Mark Lane was completed replacing 98 x 72W lights with energy efficient 19W LED lights. This investment is expected to produce a return in annual electricity savings of 21,337 kWh and 4 tonnes of CO2(e).

Social Value is at the heart of everything we do in Sopra Steria, so as part of our commitment to shaping our world for the better, we have committed to reducing our energy consumption. We closed some of our offices over the Christmas period in 2022 to minimise the environmental footprint of using energy for heating, lighting and power at a time of minimal usage.
Since the baseline year of 2015, Sopra Steria’s absolute energy footprint had decreased by 72.9% in 2022.

Energy-Efficient Data Centre Solutions

Migration of on-site data centres to off-site cloud-based solutions; reducing the proportion of electricity consumed by on-site data centres from 78% in the baseline year to 47% in 2020.

Business Travel and Internal Carbon Price

In the UK Sopra Steria applies an internal shadow carbon price to business travel. This facilitated a reduction of 71.3% in business travel emissions per employee in 2022 against the current baseline year, 2015.

Waste Management

100% of waste from collections managed directly by Sopra Steria is diverted away from landfill. Over 242,000 items of single-use plastic food and drinks packaging eliminated from on-site canteens each year.

Sustainable Purchasing

To reduce the environmental impact of printing, Sopra Steria goes beyond double-sided and “pull” printing to using “closed loop” paper made from recycled fibre. Closed loop paper requires no deforestation and uses less resources to manufacture than paper from virgin fibre: 83% less water; 72% less energy and 53% lower CO2 emissions.

Carbon Offset Initiatives

In 2021 Sopra Steria purchased carbon removal offsets for GHG emissions from its offices, data centres and business travel that it did not avoid. Offsetting the GHG emissions from these sources in this way means that they had no net effect on the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere, making emissions from these sources net zero.

Since 2015 Sopra Steria had made its GHG emissions from offices, data centres and business travel carbon neutral by investing in projects that avoided future GHG emissions, particularly renewable energy projects in India.

In 2020, as part of its strategy for becoming net zero by 2028, Sopra Steria migrated its offsets for carbon neutral certification to a new partner accredited by the United Nations Climate Neutral Now programme.  This partner invests in projects that remove the primary GHG carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, particularly afforestation projects in Uruguay that create new land for trees that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and that do not simply replace trees in deforested areas.

Future Initiatives

Sopra Steria expects that future ways of working patterns will lead to increased hybrid working. As a result, in 2023 the Company will implement, through our UK property strategy, smart technology that provides management information and enables control of energy usage in line with dynamic changes in demand for office utilisation.

In addition, we will collaborate with our maintenance contractor on implement an energy monitoring and management programme.

In 2022, supply chain emissions accounted for 94% of Sopra Steria’s full value chain GHG emissions. The current methodology for calculating our purchased goods and services emissions is a function of supply chain spend which has increased year-on-year. Therefore, Sopra Steria will seek to collaborate with its supply chain and other organisation’s to develop a refined methodology for measuring purchased goods and services related emissions (that isn’t based on supplier spend) as well as effective engagement strategies for reducing those emissions.

The Carbon Reduction Plan, as part of our Net Zero UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, is a key component of our wider Environmental Sustainability programme. This programme integrates our ISO14001-certified Environmental Management System, efficient resource consumption, renewable energy, circular economy, sustainable supply chain and support for our clients with solutions and services in their transition to a Net Zero economy.

Board Approval

Preliminary Carbon Reduction Plan for Financial Year ending on 31st December 2022.

Director’s Name: John Neilson (CEO)

Date: Monday, 20th November 2023

Download the full PDF version of the Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plan

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