As momentum builds to counter climate change, what role can businesses play?
In the 2020 Aon Impact Report, Aon has committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and to becoming a more resilient, sustainable organization by achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in alignment with Science-Based Targets.
“We believe this is a necessary step to take as a global corporate citizen to ensure we are doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint and help mitigate the significant and catastrophic impacts of climate change,” said Greg Case, CEO of Aon.
To achieve this goal, Aon’s efforts will focus on four key areas.
Reducing Environmental Impact in Operations and Facilities
Major efforts are in place at Aon to drive efficiency and reduce impact. For its larger office buildings in Chicago, London, Singapore and Spain, Aon has obtained ISO 14001 certification, which ensures effective environmental management. In addition, Aon has achieved LEED or BREEAM certification — which recognizes sustainability achievement and leadership — for almost a fifth of its occupied space.
Aon is boosting its efficiency and environmental impact efforts inside the office, too. One example is the transition from on-premises to off-premises cloud storage, which helps significantly reduce real estate and electricity usage. By investing in a transition from paper to cloud, nearly half of a million kilograms of carbon emissions are spared.
Taking Action Toward Sustainable Sourcing
Sustainable sourcing is another way to improve an environmental footprint, and Aon has prioritized partnerships to better aid this goal.
For example, a lease relationship ensures hardware like printers, print cartridges and laptops are used sustainably and recycled at the end-of-life. Aon is also prioritizing procuring “Green Materials” — products that support energy conservation and are easily recyclable. Ninety percent of paper that Aon purchases is certified FSC, EcoLabel or recycled.
Transitioning to Renewable Energy
In offices including the Netherlands and Italy, we’re switching to a completely renewable electricity supply. The next push is expanding the move to green energy in Ireland, the UK and Spain, with the aim of Aon increasing its EMEA renewable energy supply from the current level of 21 percent.
With a robust technology infrastructure, proven out by the transition to remote work in 2020, Aon is relying on alternative communication solutions that allow us to limit air and vehicle travel. This will result in saving thousands of carbon emissions every year.
“This is just a first step for us, but a very significant one,” said Case. “We believe it is in the best interests of our colleagues, clients and communities that we make this commitment, and we will continue to share our progress toward this goal.”
Read more about Aon’s road to net-zero emissions, and its work toward creating resilient communities and colleagues, in the 2020 Aon Impact Report.