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Environment

The Board recognises that a responsible approach to the environment is attractive to the Group’s existing and prospective stakeholders. Customers can require Bloomsbury to demonstrate that the Group is a good corporate citizen during the tender process for new and existing contracts.

The Executive Committee (which consists of the Executive Directors and the managing directors of the publishing divisions and Group functions) have responsibility for environmental matters of their teams. These people report to the Chief Executive who has overall Board level responsibility for environmental matters and issues.

The impact on the environment of our business predominantly arises from the activities the Group subcontracts to its suppliers including the printing, production, distribution, recycling and disposal of printed books. Bloomsbury also has office-based editorial, product development, sales and administrative activities, which operate through an employee workforce based at offices in the UK, the US (New York), India (New Delhi) and Australia (Sydney).

Our policy is to reduce both the financial cost to the business and the impact of the business on the environment. We employ specialist independent external advisors, Trucost, to monitor our impact on the environment. Key areas where we are active in reducing the direct and indirect environmental impact of the business include:

Print on demand: changes in technology and the print supplier base are increasingly making it economic to print books at the time and in the quantity needed for sale rather than bulk printing and holding as warehouse stock. This reduces the CO2 generated by pulping, recycling and transporting unsold books.

Online print: we are increasingly moving to e-books and online products that have very little environmental impact and will save on using natural resources. Our strategy embraces digital publishing and the potential benefits this may bring to the environment. However, we recognise that each physical book on a bookshelf represents a significant quantity of captured carbon so that the interplay between electronic and physical books on the environment is more complex.

Book manufacture: We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and controlling the materials that go into their composition. Our major suppliers hold FSC, or FSC and PEFC accreditation, and we specify on our Purchases Orders when FSC-accredited materials are to be used (over 90% of purchasing). Where FSC-accredited materials are not available, we specify the grade, type, and trade name of the paper, which must be from a known and reputable source. We make regular trips to their factories to monitor their recycling and other locally relevant environmental initiatives. These visits also provide an opportunity to view employment practices at first hand, including employee minimum age and working conditions. Other required accreditations to act as a supplier to the Group are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Where the manufacture/handling of novelty items is involved, e.g. on our Children’s lists, we also require ICTI accreditation.

Building and office facilities: most of our employees travel to work by public transport and we support part-time and homeworking. We provide bicycle storage for staff who ride to work. For most employees we have implemented separate recycling bins for different waste materials so that a significant proportion of our office waste is recycled. Lights are generally fitted with motion detectors and our office policy is to turn off lights out of hours when not in use. We have previously taken advice from the Carbon Trust and continue to apply their recommendations to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we use point-of-use instead of bottled water coolers, fit energy efficient lamps, ensure heating systems are regularly maintained and programmed efficiently and turn off unnecessary electrical equipment out of hours, amongst other measures.

Environmental targets

We aim to beat the greenhouse gas and waste production normalised tonnes per £million revenue averaged for the previous two years. By setting such a target we are focused on continuously increasing our efficiency at using natural resources.

Our direct operations are predominantly office-based and have been independently assessed as having a low impact on the environment. The Group’s consumption of natural resources, although relatively minor, is significantly impacted by ambient weather conditions beyond our control and by the buildings we lease.

Greenhouse gases

Our independent external advisor, Trucost, has calculated the tables below based on data we have provided. We report on our waste production and greenhouse gas emissions aligning with the 2006 Government Guidelines, Environmental Key Performance Indicators, Reporting Guidelines for UK Businesses. In respect of greenhouse gases, we report consumption of natural gas, vehicle fuel and electricity in kWh, converted to CO2-e following the protocols provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (“DEFRA”). Emissions have been categorised against the Greenhouse Gas Protocol scopes of reporting. This information is unaudited.

The Board reviews the emissions and environmental impact of the Group as a formal agenda item at least annually.

Scope 1 Direct impacts

Greenhouse gases Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes CO2-e 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Normalised tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Target tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28 February
2017
Building operations Emissions from natural gas and diesel consumption in utility boilers Annual consumption in kWh collected from fuel bills, converted according to Defra Guidelines for the London office (Headquarters). Data scaled up by number of employees to estimate emissions for Dublin and Edinburgh serviced offices. Natural gas was not used in India and Australia offices. 30.5 26.6 0.21 0.21 0.23
Refrigerants Emissions from refrigerant leakage Refrigerant use provided only for London office and not estimated for other sites as not considered applicable. 8.6 7.2 0.06 0.06 0.06
Company cars Emissions from petrol and diesel consumption Annual consumption in litres calculated from fuel bills for UK converted according to DEFRA Guidelines. There are no company cars in India and the US offices. Previous year data was used for Australia. 39.1 40.4 0.27 0.33 0.32
Total Scope 1     78.2 74.2 0.54* 0.60* 0.61

* The combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 normalised tonnes per £million revenue for the 12 months to 28 February 2017 is 4.42 (29 February 2016: 5.35).

Scope 2 Supply chain impacts (purchased electricity)1

Greenhouse gases Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes CO2-e 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Normalised tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Target tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28 February
2017
Electricity use Directly purchased electricity, which generates greenhouse gases Annual consumption of directly purchased electricity in kWh collected for the London, Oxford, Alton and Haywards Heath offices in the UK and the US and India offices. Data has been scaled up by number of employees to estimate emissions for operations in the rest of the US and Australia. KWh data converted according to DEFRA, EPA and IEA. 553 5882 3.883 4.753 4.93
  1. Figures in the table are location based (emissions associated with purchased electricity based on the site location only - i.e. grid emission factor. This does not reflect any sustainable sourcing or supplier specific activity, but allows for recognition of efficiency improvements).
  2. In adherence to the GHG Protocol guidance, 666 tonnes CO2-e (2016: 658 tonnes CO2-e) is the equivalent market-based figure (based on the contractual instruments used to procure electricity. This may include renewable tariffs, RECs, guarantees of origin or other such instruments. It does not only relate to renewables and can simply be a supplier disclosed emission factor).
  3. The combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 normalised tonnes per £million revenue for the 12 months to 28 February 2017 is 4.42 (29 February 2016: 5.35).

Waste

Below we report our waste disposal by method of disposal in metric tonnes per annum and normalised to revenue.

Greenhouse gases Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes CO2-e 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Normalised tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28/29 February
2017
2016 Target tonnes per £m revenue 12 months to 28 February
2017
Landfill General office waste (which includes a mixture of paper, card, wood, plastics and metals) sent to landfill sites Annual quantity of waste generated in London offices, Oxford sites, US and India offices. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of the UK and the US. Previous year data was used for Australia. 76 75 0.53 0.60 0.70
Recycled General office waste sent to recycling facilities Annual quantity of waste generated in London offices, Oxford sites, US office and India. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of the UK and the US. Previous year data was used for Australia. 53 52 0.37 0.42 0.47