Pursuing climate-neutral operations is part of the a.s.r. strategy. In early 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on a.s.r.’s carbon footprint through its own business operations. Hybrid working following the COVID-19 pandemic also led to a reduction in CO2-eq emissions compared with the 2018 base year, meaning that the target on both KPIs was met.
a.s.r. actively manages waste, mobility, energy consumption and CO2-eq emissions to minimise its impact on the environment. It focuses special attention on its carbon footprint, which has two levels of impact:
Indirect footprint due to investment activities (see chapter 4.9.and the Climate Report 2022);
Direct footprint due to own activities, as explained below.
a.s.r.’s target is to reduce direct CO2-eq emissions by 50% in 2025 compared to the base year 2018. To achieve this, a.s.r. constantly aims to reduce its emissions. The remaining emissions are offset by purchasing certificates with the Verified Carbon Standard, the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard, and Plan Vivo.
All employees are based in the Netherlands. Approximately 92% of all the 4,313 FTEs work from the head office in Utrecht. a.s.r. has a total of 100,302 m2 of office space in use, of which the head office represents the major share of 92% (91,912 m2 gross floor area). This makes the head office and its employees the most material part of a.s.r.’s direct CO2-eq footprint. The figures in the diagram are based on the a.s.r.’s head office and presented in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. 6.2% of the head office has not been used by a.s.r. itself since mid-2020. a.s.r.’s energy consumption does however include consumption by the sub-tenant. a.s.r.’s offices in Enschede (1,830 m2 gross floor area), Rotterdam (approx.1,000 m2 gross floor area of office space and 3,900 m2 gross floor area of archives), Heerlen (2,815 m2 gross floor area) and the Distribution & Services offices are not included.
At a.s.r., emissions from fuel and heat, cooling and from leased cars fall under scope 1. In 2022, a.s.r.’s business travel was affected by the measures taken in relation to COVID-19 in the first quarter and as a result of changes within the lease car fleet. The increase in the number of electric cars and improved fuel efficiency contributed positively to lower emissions from the overall fleet, as a result of the policy introduced in 1 January 2021 for all new lease cars to be fully electric. The rise in CO2-eq emissions during 2022 was mainly due to increased employee travel following the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in that year. a.s.r.’s head office in Utrecht has been fully carbon-neutral since 2019 and it has not used gas since the middle of 2019.
Emissions due to electricity consumption fall under scope 2. In 2022, a.s.r.’s head office consumed 47 kWh of purchased energy per m2 (gross floor area + atriums) (2021: 51 kWh). a.s.r.’s goal is to consume a maximum of 50 kWh/m2 gross floor area + atriums by 2030. This is in line with the Paris-agreement. This target was achieved in 2022 partly due to the increased use of renewable energy compared with previous years. There are now also fewer people on average working at the head office due to hybrid working. Scope 2 emissions remained at zero since all electricity consumed was carbon-neutral. The vast proportion of this electricity is generated by Danish wind turbines. As in previous years, a.s.r. generated part of its electricity itself using solar cells. At a total of 983,196 kWh, more electricity was generated in 2022 than in previous years. For the second year in a row, a.s.r. supplied surplus electricity back to the grid.
Emissions from mobility - excluding Scope 1 mobility (lease cars) - and waste fall under scope 3. In 2022, CO2-eq emissions increased by 1,300 tonnes compared with 2021. Compared with 2018, Scope 3 emissions fell by 3,476 tonnes, which means that the projected savings of 50% for the 2018-2025 period were already largely achieved in 2021. Due to the easing of COVID-19 measures, CO2- eq emissions rose slightly compared with 2021, but were still significantly below pre-pandemic levels. This was mainly due to incentives for hybrid working, which reduced commuting.
a.s.r. compensated the emissions resulting from its scope 1, 2 and 3 activities, expressed in tonnes of CO2-eq, through the planting of trees (3,034 tonnes compensation). The Trees for All foundation is responsible for sustainable CO2-eq sequestration in certified sustainable forest projects. CO2-eq compensation for a.s.r. took place in 2022 through certified Trees for All projects in Uganda, Bolivia and Mexico. A total of 13,958 trees were planted.