Environmental impact

We 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.

Certifications

Our methodology is based on leading international standards in sustainability (such ISO).

Our clients and partners are developing their sustainability programmes and demanding more responsible and transparent business practices. More and more corporations select their partners based on their sustainability performance and if they have any recognised international certifications.

Some of our agencies decided to take the next step and validate their sustainability processed and measure their performance through a certification.

  • Dorier, our audio-visual 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.
  • MCI France is ISO 20121 (Event sustainability management systems) certified.
  • MCI Spain received the Biosphere certification, a private voluntary and independent certification system, based on the principles of sustainability and continuous improvement.

Other agencies are following the lead and started to prepare for their certifications.

Digitisation – the cloud

Throughout 2021 we almost finished 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 2021 we optimised our Azure environment to reduce the number of resources in the Cloud.

We also really benefited from efficient collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Teams solutions which 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.

Finally, we are preparing for the ISO 27001 and 27701 certifications and will be audited by the end of 2022. This increases our security, the way we manage data privacy and improves the way we manage our IT environment.

Edouard Duverger, Chief Information Officer

 “We continue to benefit from cloud-based solutions which allow us to reduce our carbon footprint while helping us to thrive after the Covid-19 crisis. We optimised our infrastructure and are still looking for innovative solutions such as AI, AR and VR to make mci group as thrifty as possible. We work intensively on preparing the ISO 27001 and 27701 certifications which will make us a world-class organisation.”

Edouard Duverger,
Chief Information Officer

Measuring our carbon footprint

We voluntarily report our carbon emissions. We collect data on our business travel, office energy consumption and ICT operations (data and devices).

In 2021, our total internal greenhouse gas emissions were 4757,37 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (tCO2e). The average emission equates to 3,30 tCO2e per talent. Our internal carbon footprint is divided as follows:

 

 

 

%

ICT operations (including client projects)

%

employees' business travel

%

office energy usage

 

 

 

Overview of our CO2 emissions

Due to office move or closing, we no longer have scope 1 emissions. Our scope 2 emissions however increased by 12% (with an energy consumption of 1277809 kWh) compared to 2020, but still well below our 2019 figures as many of our talents were still working from home.

Travel restrictions in 2021 continued to impact positively our Scope 3 carbon emissions (down by 33%), and consequently our overall carbon emissions per employee (from 4,86 tons CO2e/talent in 2020 to 3,30 in 2021, that is 57% less than in 2019).

Our digital footprint (IT, data storage and transfer) fell by 26%. 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.

Carbon neutral group-wide internal meetings

Reducing our impact on the planet starts with us. In 2021, we took the decision that all internal group-wide meetings organised for our management teams and talents will be carbon neutral. We will start by reducing the total footprint of the event by making the right choices and will then mitigate our unavoidable emissions.

Our first ever carbon neutral Directors meeting, planed in November, was unfortunately cancelled due to a Covid-19 outburst, but we decided to offset our event by making a donation to Cool Earth.

 

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).

A significant challenge for reducing carbon emissions is to be able to measure them with confidence. In addition, 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.

We are working to improve the quality and coverage of our emissions data so that we can set science-based reduction target for 2023.

Mitigating unavoidable emissions

 

Over the years, we have taken significant steps towards reducing our carbon emissions by increasing our efficiency and encouraging our offices to optimise their operations for our Earth.

Since 2017, we started mitigating our unavoidable emissions by partnering with Cool Earth, a non-profit organisation that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its impact on climate change.

Cool Earth is not a carbon offset programme per se. We decided to partner with them because their strategy of putting people first is aligned with our own core values. With Cool Earth we are therefore able to offset our carbon emissions while helping to preserve indigenous culture and the people of the Amazon.

Our performance in 2021

Our agency in Spain received the Biosphere certification and our Paris agency the ISO 20121 (Event sustainability management systems) certification.
Saving rainforest with Cool Earth by protecting an estimated 10,500 trees (= approx. 11,420 tCO2 stored)

Outlook

  • Within our own operations, we will continue to phase out plastics and single-use items, and promote a more circular economy.
  • We will continue to promote an environmentally conscious culture through awareness and frequent training.
  • In line with our IT strategy, we continue to simplify and standardise how we work for increased efficiency and cost savings.
  • Improve how we measure our carbon footprint and set science-based reduction targets.
  • We aim to have 50% of our top 10 offices with an environmental or social certification by 2030.
  • All our group internal meetings will be carbon neutral.
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