Taking action for the climate through a targeted strategy to reduce our carbon footprint
Taking care of the planet also means taking care of you and your clients. Through their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy, AXA Partners and the AXA Group are demonstrating their increasing commitment to environmental protection. Indeed, at AXA Partners, we believe that it is essential to build long-lasting relationships with our partners so that we can move forward together as we strengthen our commitment to society. Three scopes, defined as international standards, help us to guide our actions. Find out in this article, why and how we have decided to reduce our carbon footprint and tackle the environmental issue.
Assessing our environmental performance: how and why we do it
At AXA, we believe that preserving the environment also means taking care of people. This commitment is reflected across all parts of our organization and is inherent to our core insurance business.
For many years now, the AXA Group has assessed its carbon footprint which includes all AXA Partners sites with more than 50 employees. Through this, we measure the environmental impact of our buildings (energy and water consumption, waste generation and management), our business travels (by train, plane and AXA vehicle) and our employees’ commutes as well.
In order to determine more precisely what actions could be taken to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the short, medium and long term, various levers divided into three scopes are to be activated. These scopes are related to direct emissions, linked to the combustion of fossil fuels (mainly the vehicle fleet), indirect emissions linked to the energy needs of our buildings, and other indirect emissions linked to the nature of our activity. These three scopes also allow us to have a holistic view of our environmental impact. Whether it is the heating method we use in our offices, or the amount of fossil fuel our suppliers use, we can get an accurate measurement of our ecological footprint.
In 2020, AXA Partners France commissioned a full carbon footprint assessment which also included emissions from our service providers and laid the foundations for an environmental strategy likely to be used by other AXA Partners entities. All stages of the value chain are thus taken into account, including the environmental impact of our suppliers and partners. By assessing the company's emissions, AXA Partners is able to identify various levers for action aimed at reducing its environmental impact. In other words, a detailed emissions assessment is the first step in raising awareness and implementing concrete actions.
CSR is increasingly integrated at different levels of the organization and in the daily tasks of all employees. Reducing our overall environmental impact involves concrete (but not always obvious!) measures in the workplace, such as installing energy-saving LED light bulbs, reducing water flow, and more precise heating and air conditioning control to avoid over-consumption.
Getting everyone involved in a CSR policy that takes care of the environment
Carrying out an accurate scope-based analysis allows AXA Partners to identify what practical steps should be taken in order to cut our CO2 emissions. To rally the company's many employees, effective communication is also essential: "We recently created a 'Climate @ AXA Partners' SharePpoint: a unique space where employees can learn about the strategies put in place by AXA Partners and the AXA Group," explains Matthieu Meunier, Global Corporate Responsability Officier at AXA Partners.
In addition, all employees were invited to take part in an ideation contest focusing on two environmental topics: how AXA Partners as an organization can reduce its environmental impact, and how, as individuals, we can contribute to these efforts.
Having a global approach, common to the entire value chain of the company, is also essential to achieving our environmental objectives. Adapting and rethinking operating methods, as well as taking into account new sources of emissions are also part of a well-targeted environmental strategy.
Hence, each division’s expertise is necessary and useful. In 2020, a global program aimed at "digital sustainability" was launched by the AXA Group. This program was created to raise awareness on "digital sustainability" and measure AXA's digital activities’ carbon footprint. The various components (usage, equipment, data centers and services) were considered in a holistic way so that they can be reduced at Group level. "The IT teams are currently working on ways to reduce our environmental impact linked to the increasing use of digital tools. Similarly, the Purchasing, Logistics, Finance and HR teams are working to reduce our overall environmental impact," explains Matthieu Meunier.
The AXA Group is committed to further reducing its environmental impact
At Group level, the environmental strategy revolves around the AXA For Progress Index. As an investor, AXA is committed to increasing its green investments to €26 billion by 2025. AXA also wants to set an example and help its employees to become leaders of the transition by training all teams on climate issues by 2023. Achieving carbon neutrality and supplying 100% of our electricity through renewable energies by 2025 are also among the Group's objectives.
At AXA Partners, electricity has come from renewable energy sources since 2018. Through its various actions and statements, AXA Partners aims to further reduce by 23% its CO2 emissions by 2025 (compared to 2019). "The role of the CSR team is to ensure that environmental and social issues are effectively addressed by consolidating these various initiatives," concludes Matthieu Meunier, our Global Corporate Responsibility Officer. An ambition distilled through AXA Partners’ entire value chain, and which also involves supporting our partners in their efforts to operate in ways that are more respectful of the environment.
Would you like to learn more about AXA Partners' CSR policy? Then please visit the Our Values page to learn about the actions we take every day to demonstrate our firm commitment to a sustainable future.