Our environmental targets reflect our performance and focus areas and can be found, along with full details, in the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report. They are science-based, and include a commitment to certify 50% of the business against the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard by 2020. Throughout the year we presented our targets to key stakeholders including colleagues in our Global Real Estate Group who are part of our Environmental Champions network.

In 2016, we purchased 62% of our electricity from renewable energy and Renewable Energy Certificates. We attained the highest level, A, in CDP’s Climate Change programme.

Our Environmental Champions network, employee-led Green Teams and engagement through networks such as the Publishers’ database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing inform how we address our environmental impacts. Our Environmental Standards programme sets benchmark performance levels and inspires green competition between offices. In 2016, 34 sites (33% of key locations) achieved five or more standards and attained green status. The Chief Financial Officer wrote to all staff recognising their achievements on World Environment Day and also identified Green Heroes across the Group, nominated by their peers for their environmental efforts. Green Teams submitted environmental project ideas to engage staff and winners received funding to carry out their plans.

We have a positive environmental impact through our environmental products and services, which spread good practice, encourage debate and aid researchers and decision makers. The most recent results from the independent Market Analysis System show that our share of citations in environmental science represented 33% of the total market, and 64% in energy and fuels. The winner of Elsevier’s 2016 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge was Dr. Yunsang Kim who won the first prize of €50,000 for his proposal ‘Sustainable Textile Dyeing Using Nanocellulosic Fibers' which aims to reduce dye process wastewaster and the release of harmful chemicals.

Building on our report, the Climate Change Challenge, we released Waterscape, a supplement providing insights into water research, during the 2016 World Water Week in Stockholm.

2016 OBJECTIVES Achievement
Embed new environmental targets with key stakeholders
  • New targets presented to key internal and external stakeholders
Purchase renewable electricity equal to 60% of global consumption
  • Achieved through purchase of European green tariff and US Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates
25% of locations to achieve five or more new Group Environmental Standards
  • 33% locations achieved five or more Group Environmental Standards
  • 35% of locations to achieve five or more new Group Environmental Standards
  • Purchase renewable electricity equal to 70% of Global consumption
  • Achieve ISO14001 Environmental Management System certification at three additional locations

Meet our five-year environmental targets that will contribute to keeping global average climate warming to below two degrees Celsius; help others do so through our environmental content and services

Absolute performance Intensity ratio
(Absolute/revenue £m)
2016 variance 2015 2016 variance 2015
Scope 1 (direct emissions) tCO2e 7,966 7% 7,446 1.16 -7% 1.25
Scope 2 (location-based emissions) tCO2e* 91,913 -4% 95,947 13.33 -17% 16.07
Scope 2 (market-based emissions) tCO2e* 32,153 4.66
Total energy (MWh) 195,556 -6% 207,093 28.36 -18% 34.68
Water (m3) 337,889 0% 337,645 49.00 -13% 56.55
Waste sent to landfill (%)** 24% -1%pts 25% 0.25 -23% 0.32
Production paper (t) 46,128 -10% 51,285 6.69 -22% 8.59

* This is the first time market-based emissions have been reported in compliance with the updated GHG Protocol guidance. See our reporting guideline and methodology for more details.

* * Intensity metric shows tons of waste sent to landfill / £m revenue.

Approximately 11% of the improvement in the intensity ratios is due to currency movements.

Focus area Targets 2020 2016
Climate change Reduce Scope 1 and 2 location based carbon emissions by 40% against a 2010 baseline -37%
Energy Reduce energy and fuel consumption by 30% against a 2010 baseline –29%
Purchase renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of RELX Group's global electricity consumption 62%
Waste Decrease total waste generated at reporting locations by 40% against a 2010 baseline –44%
90% of waste from reporting locations to be diverted from landfill 88%
Production paper* 100% of RELX Group production papers, graded in PREPS, to be rated as ‘known and responsible sources’ 100%
Environmental Management System Achieve ISO14001 certification for 50% of the business by 2020 15%

* All paper we graded in 2016 – 92% of total production stock – was graded 3 or 5 stars (known and responsible sources) with the exception of 0.02% of the total which achieved a grading of 1 star.

We have reported on all emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. We have included emissions from all operating companies within the Group.

We have used the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition) and the data has been assured by an independent third party, EY. Details on methodology and the assurance statement can be viewed in the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Climate change statement

Climate change is an important issue to RELX Group. We agree with the scientific community’s opinion that human activity is affecting global warming and we back the globally recognised target of an 80% absolute reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. We support mitigation activities to reduce climate change, including reducing deforestation and protecting rainforests. We believe adaptation to cope with changes in climate is also necessary.

We are committed to reducing the impact our activities have on climate through proactive measures including:

  • understanding our environmental footprint
  • setting and striving to meet our environmental reduction targets
  • working with suppliers to reduce the impact of our products and services; providing information to other stakeholders
  • partnerships with industry, government, and non-governmental organisations to support mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change
  • advocating ambitious, robust, and equitable policies on climate change that respond credibly to the scale and urgency of the crisis
  • utilising our own environmental expertise

We continue to publish unbiased peer reviewed articles, legal advice, and other content, and also host exhibitions around climate change related issues. We aim to inform debate, aid decision makers, and encourage research and development on climate change.

March 2016

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