Environment

Environmental Policy

The Environment

We have a responsibility to manage the impact of our operations on our shared environment, to build a sustainable business and contribute towards a sustainable future. We continue our work to reduce our environmental footprint, which in turn helps build resilience in our operations to climate-related risks.

Climate governance at Bloomsbury

The diagram below illustrates the governance structures in place at Bloomsbury to manage climate change and sustainability.

2022/2023 progress

During the year, we have made significant strides in our work on environmental sustainability, building on the strong progress made in the prior year. The illustration below sets out some of the key milestones achieved in 2022/2023.

Science based targets

In September 2021, Bloomsbury received validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (“SBTi”) for our near-term Scope 1,2 and 3 emissions reduction targets.

Scope 1 and 2 targets

We have set reduction targets for our operational footprint (Scopes 1 and 2) in line with the Paris Agreement and have committed to a 46% reduction in emissions by 2030 (base year 2019/2020). We aim to use 100% renewable energy at our offices where possible. For sites where this is not possible or practicable, we have purchased Renewable Energy Certificates, meaning that 100% of the energy purchased during the year was renewable.

This has resulted in our Scope 2 market-based emissions being zero. Our Scope 1 emissions are 96 tCO2e, resulting in an 80% reduction in our total Scope 1 and 2 market-based emissions in 2022/2023 from our base year of 2019/2020.

Scope 3

We have also set a Scope 3 target to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions across our supply chain by 2035 (base year 2019/2020). Our Scope 3 targets are in respect of Category 1 (purchased goods and services) emissions, which accounted for 83% of Bloomsbury’s Scope 3 emissions in our base year of 2019/2020.

In 2022/2023, we improved our GHG calculation methodology, including as a result of having access to more granular supplier-specific data. This has resulted in an increase in our Scope 3 results. The weighting of our Scope 3 emissions has also changed across the relevant categories.

Regular engagement with key suppliers in respect of sustainability issues has enabled us to better understand the progress they are making in their own efforts to reduce carbon emissions associated with their operations and how we can partner with them to achieve Bloomsbury’s own targets.

CDP climate change and forestry questionnaires

In 2022/2023, we completed the CDP climate change questionnaire, achieving a B score in our first scored response, reflecting CDP’s assessment that we are demonstrating coordinated action when it comes to climate issues. As the first step on the way to understanding and disclosing the potential biodiversity impact of our operations, we also completed the minimum version of the CDP Forest questionnaire.

Industry collaboration

Bloomsbury is represented by the Head of Sustainability on the UK Publishers Association Sustainability Task Force as well as the UK Independent Publishers Guild Sustainability Action Group and the UK Book Industry Communications Green Supply Chain Committee. All groups drive industrywide collaboration to tackle climate change. Bloomsbury was a founding signatory of the Publishing Association’s ‘Publishing Declares’ pledge and is an active member of the Book Chain Project, a collaborative project run by Carnstone, which aims to provide accurate information about suppliers, enabling publishers to make responsible decisions throughout the supply chain.

 

2022/2023 Environmental performance

We report on our greenhouse gas emissions as required by the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. We also report on our greenhouse gas emissions, waste production and water consumption in alignment with the 2006 Government Guidelines, Environmental Key Performance Indicators and Reporting Guidelines for UK Businesses. In respect of greenhouse gases, we report in respect of stationary fuel use (onsite consumption of natural gas), vehicle fuel use, refrigerant use and electricity use in kWh, converted to tonnes of CO2e 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. The analysis of the Group’s emissions, together with waste production and water consumption, is performed by an independent external advisor, Corporate Citizenship, based on data we have provided, including utility bills, vehicle fuel data, and expenditure on business travel.

Stationary electricity consumption (kWh)

Country2022/20232021/2022
United Kingdom555,381
507,559
United States410,691208,033
India44,24530,530
Australia14,07615,788
Total1,024,393762,131

Natural gas consumption (kWh)

 

Country2022/20232021/2022
United Kingdom183,279116,162
United States155,164-
IndiaNot relevant-
AustraliaNot relevant-
Total375,026116,162

 

Notes: 1. The increased electricity and natural gas consumption during the reporting period is a result of a more stable working pattern following full office re-opening during 2022/2023. 2. The more significant increase in electricity consumption in the US is due to the acquisition of ABC-CLIO. ABC-CLIO’s electricity consumption represented 24% of the total US consumption during 2022/2023. 3. Data on natural gas consumption is not available for Bloomsbury’s New York office, therefore the above figure for the US has been estimated.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions, waste and water consumption

  • Total Scope 1 and 2 (market-based) GHG emissions for 2022/2023 were 96 tCO2e. Scope 1 makes up 100% of these emissions as we purchase 100% renewable energy for all our offices, either direct from the supplier or via the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.
  • Scope 1 emissions increased by 140% on the prior year. This increase was due to several factors:
    • Higher electricity and natural gas consumption during the reporting period, due to a full return to working from our offices, on a hybrid basis. In the prior year many colleagues chose to work remotely rather than from our offices.
    • The inclusion of a full year of data for ABC-CLIO and Head of Zeus. In the prior year, data for each company was included only from the point of acquisition (June 2021 for Head of Zeus and December 2021 for ABC-CLIO).
    • Access to more granular data and improving our emissions calculation methodology.
    • The decision to estimate emissions for fugitive emissions and natural gas for sites where no data has historically been available.
  • Bloomsbury generated 89.65 tonnes of waste in 2022/2023 (2021/2022: 40 tonnes), of which 47% is disposed of via a closed loop or combustion. This is a 48% reduction in waste generation compared to pre-pandemic levels (175.29 tonnes in 2019/2020). The increase from 2021/2022 reflects the return to office working during 2022/2023 and the inclusion of a full year of data for ABC-CLIO and Head of Zeus. We also refined our methodology to calculate estimates where there were data gaps.
  • Total water consumption for 2022/2023 is 3,401 cubic meters (m3 ), a 20% reduction in consumption from pre-pandemic levels (4255 m3 in 2019/2020). The increase from 2021/2022 reflects the return to office working during 2022/2023 and the inclusion of a full year of data for ABC-CLIO and Head of Zeus.

Response to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

Bloomsbury recognises the importance of sharing climate-related information with our stakeholders. We are committed to making disclosures in alignment with the TCFD recommendations to demonstrate how we identify, assess and manage our climate-related risks and opportunities.

The climate scenario analysis and quantification results set out in the following pages show the hypothetical potential financial impact of selected risks arising from climate change across different climate scenarios over the period 2023/2024 to 2050/2051. There are uncertainties inherent in climate scenarios and these uncertainties increase with the length of time period being considered. More reliance can be placed on the short-term analyses with the long-term analyses being the most uncertain and, therefore, seen as directional. The results of our analysis indicate that even without the mitigating actions in place or being planned, the Group is not expected to be significantly impacted by climate issues. With mitigating actions, the effect on the Group is not material.

The Group’s approach to climate-risk analysis and management is set out in the 2023 Annual Report.

Governance

Governance structure for climate-related matters

The Board is responsible for the oversight of climate-related matters and has responsibility for approving substantive strategies for reducing the environmental impact of the Group’s business operations and addressing climate risk. The Executive Committee implements these substantive strategies through the executive management of core business Divisions and functions.

Climate-related responsibilities are distributed across the organisation, with several committees having key roles. These committees include members of the Executive Committee and senior production and operations managers, ensuring comprehensive expertise regarding the impact and significance of climate-related matters throughout the Group’s value chain.

The Remuneration Committee assists the Board to align the Remuneration Policy with the Group’s strategy, including climate-related matters. For 2023/2024, bonus objectives for Executive Directors include a 4% weighting for the achievement of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emission-reduction targets.

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