LHV reduced its carbon footprint by 28% year over year

15. March 2021

Last year, LHV joined the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, and set making its office activities climate neutral as one of its goals. Year over year, LHV reduced its greenhouse gas footprint by 28%.

While the greenhouse gas footprint originating from the activities of LHV’s offices in Tallinn and Tartu was the equivalent of 1,210 tonnes of CO2 in 2019, i.e. 2.6 tonnes per employee, then in 2020, this figure was significantly lower – the equivalent of 865 tonnes of CO2, i.e. 1.7 tonnes per employee. The largest part, i.e. 66% of the footprint from LHV’s office activities, was made up of electricity and heating, 27% by commuting to work, 4% by business travel, and 3% by office expenses.

According to Ragne Maasel, LHV’s Head of ESG, the lower figure is a result of adhering to the action plan for reducing environmental impacts, and the common effort of all employees. ‘Last year, pursuant to our CO2 footprint report, we developed an action plan for reducing environmental impacts, which we have consistently implemented. Transitioning to green electricity at the Tallinn office has had the greatest effect, but changes in the daily habits of employees, such as using more daylight, reducing paper use, and waste sorting have also had an effect,’ explained Maasel.

To affirm this, the Tallinn office was issued the BREEAM certificate and the European Green Office certificate, and was also named the Best Green Office of the Year by the Estonian Association for Environmental Management.

Of course, the effects of the rearrangements caused by the coronavirus cannot be underestimated since the number of business trips and the commuting of employees from home to work were reduced. For example, emissions on account of air travel were reduced by 87%, and on account of employees’ commutes by 21%.

‘Several changes in our working culture – such as more active use of video conferences, working from home, and also more conscious consumption – are likely to be more common in the future and will also help to limit emissions. If we act and consume sustainably, both at work and at home, and publicly share our experiences, it will hopefully lay the foundation for a larger cultural shift and help to better understand the ambition behind our sustainability, as well’ Maasel added.

Survey results show that within a year, LHV’s CO2 footprint has increased in thermal energy consumption, waste generation, and on the account of other business travel types, such as by train, bus, etc. In terms of waste, the increase is caused by the increase of the emissions factor value used in the calculation methodology, compared to the previous year, and adding the effect of destruction of waste (e.g., documents) to the calculations.

LHV’s goal, however, is to reach climate neutral office activities in 2022 – for this, in addition to reducing emissions, the greenhouse gas footprint, which cannot be wholly avoided, must be compensated for. To achieve this goal, it is important to collect and analyse data as accurately as possible.

LHV Group’s greenhouse gas footprint has been calculated in accordance with the internationally recognised and most commonly used greenhouse gas reporting standard ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard’. The standard covers the assessment of the emission of seven greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), dinitrogen monoxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Sustinere helped to perform footprint measurements.

LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group’s key subsidiaries are LHV Pank, LHV Varahaldus, and LHV Kindlustus. LHV employs over 520 people. LHV’s banking services are used by 264,000 clients, and pension funds managed by LHV have 180,000 active clients. LHV’s UK branch offers banking infrastructure to 140 international financial services companies, via which LHV’s payment services reach clients around the world.

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