Environmental impactWe are committed to integrating principles of sustainability consistently into the daily work of our teams and operations.
Sustainable working environments
All our agencies are guided in the process of implementing sustainable office operations and reducing their environmental impact. Programmes include energy and/or water consumption reduction, sourcing clean energy, smart printing practices, using healthy and sustainable catering options for internal events, and recycling and/or banning single-use plastic.
When opening a new agency or moving to a new location, preference is given to buildings with an eco-certification.
We have been utilising our progress report – a strategic performance management tool – to benchmark agency sustainability results against global standards and other agency offices.
It analyses five areas:
- Office operations
- Client projects
- Talent and community
- Sales and marketing
In 2020, we adapted the reporting process to take into account the particular context created by the pandemic. Agencies were still encouraged to track their performance but we did not allocate any score to it. Twenty-six progress reports were completed, with special kudos to MCI China, MCI Middle-East and MCI UK for their outstanding achievements.
Dorier, our audiovisual experience design agency in Geneva, in addition to existing IS0 9001 certification is now also ISO 14001 certified. This standard certifies Dorier’s effective environmental management system and highlights the agency’s progress in reducing the environmental impact of its events and day-to-day operations.
Digitisation – the cloud
Throughout 2020 we continued our ambitious process of “walking into the cloud”. We have migrated and outsourced our servers to a cloud-based infrastructure to reduce our environmental footprint.
Our infrastructure and applications are now hosted on Microsoft Azure and Office 365, which are the best-in-class solutions in terms of sustainability. Microsoft has implemented energy-efficient technologies and solutions and commits to limiting the CO2 consumption of its data centres.
We aim to continuously reduce our IT footprint, and in 2020 part of this process involved upgrading most of our IT equipment. Our new machines are highly efficient and eco-certified where possible, and the replaced equipment was recycled or donated.
We also deployed efficient collaboration solutions such as upgraded remote support and Microsoft Teams solutions that help us better collaborate while reducing the need to travel.
We regularly share best practices and tips with our talents on how to reduce our digital carbon footprint during onboarding, via internal awareness campaigns, and through webinars and training.
“We have deployed the best-in-class solutions, reducing our carbon footprint while allowing us to work efficiently during the Covid-19 crisis. We will continue optimising our infrastructure and look for innovative solutions such as AI, AR and VR to make mci group as thrifty as possible.”
Chief Information Officer
Measuring our carbon footprint
Measuring our internal emissions
We voluntarily report our carbon emissions. We collect data on our business travel, office energy consumption and ICT operations (data and devices).
In 2020, our total internal greenhouse gas emissions were 6,986 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (tCO2e). The average emission equates to 4,86 tCO2e per talent.
of our carbon emissions were created by our ICT operations (including client projects)
by the air travel of our staff, and office energy usage accounted for
of our internal footprint.
Overview of our CO2 emissions
Office closures and travel restrictions contributed to a significant reduction in our carbon emissions per employee (from 7.51 tons CO2e/talent in 2019 to 4.86 in 2020). Our scope 1 and 2 emissions fell by 71%, while our scope 3 emissions were down 60%.
Our digital footprint (IT, data storage and transfer) went up by 22%, this is due to the increased number of online productions we managed on behalf of our clients. Our current tracking of our carbon emission from our ICT operations does not allow us to separate emissions from our own operations from emissions from client projects (e.g. indirect emissions). The methodology for digital carbon emission is still evolving; we hope in the future to be able to better measure our digital footprint so we can define where we need to set priorities.
Emissions from client projects
Connections and social interactions are an integral part of human life. Events are where people meet, celebrate, share and learn. Similar to many other human activities, large-scale in-person events are often accompanied by a significant climate footprint.
The average conference produces 1.89kg of waste per day for each attendee, as well as 176.67 kilograms of CO2 emissions per person, according to MeetGreen. Over three days, a large corporate event could contribute around 3,480kg of waste to landfill. A third of what is disposed of during an event is recyclable, and delegate travel accounts for almost 90% of its carbon emissions.
With the Covid-19 restrictions, we have found novel and innovative ways to bring people together, using technology to share online experiences. This of course drastically reduces the carbon emissions.
Learning from the pandemic, we want to continue to help our clients reduce the project-related emissions by rethinking the approach, using innovation and technology, and collaborating with our value chain to raise awareness about sustainability and create better experiences. Read how we are doing it here.
Our carbon measurement methodology
Our greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement process follows the “Bilan Carbone” methodology and uses the emission factors data from Base Carbone®. These methodologies and public databases are administered by ADEME (French Agency for the Ecological Transition). This methodological guide is based partly on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol document and the principles of the ISO 14064-2 standard.
We report using carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), which account for carbon emissions and other more potentially damaging greenhouse gases (SF6, CO2, CH4, N2O).
Our performance in 2020
- In 2021, our agency in Spain will be receiving the Biosphere certification and our Paris agency is applying for ISO 20121 (Event sustainability management systems) certification.
- Covid-19 has shown us how much we are able to achieve and collaborate on without the need for physical travel. Because of this we plan on reviewing our travel policy in the coming year.
- In line with our IT strategy, we continue to simplify and standardise how we work for increased efficiency and cost savings.
- We will continue to promote an environmentally conscious culture through awareness and frequent training focusing on our digital carbon footprint.
- The future of work will most likely affect our office space requirements (less space, shared office space, office design, etc.), which in turn means we will need to review how we measure our carbon footprint, including emissions from our digital activities.