House of HR joins the SBTi
It has been official since our CEO Rika signed the formal commitment letter last December, but now it’s on the website, too: House of HR is fully committed to the Science Based Targets initiative.
Okay, it has been official since our CEO Rika signed the formal commitment letter last December, but now it’s in black and white on the website, too: House of HR is fully committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Big news? Actually, yes. Remember when we said in our ESG charter that we would
- keep on working to reduce our carbon footprint and energy use,
- take responsibility for contributing to the efficient use of natural resources,
- contribute by creating awareness among our stakeholders, but also by embedding sustainable consumption principles in our day-to-day activities?
Well, as a company that likes to walk the talk, we looked for ways to further contribute to the E in ESG: environmental stewardship. While House of HR may not be a traditional high-emission company, we do recognize the importance of taking a proactive role in addressing environmental concerns.
First, we needed to understand our current emissions. In 2022, we undertook a comprehensive analysis to calculate the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the entire group, including all our PowerHouses. This calculation was based on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, a widely accepted global standard. The results provided valuable insights and paved the way for our next step: devising a strategy to reduce emissions in line with climate objectives.
It was during this process that we became aware of the SBTi, a global framework that enables organizations to formally commit to reducing their emissions in line with scientific climate goals, specifically aiming to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. By aligning with the SBTi, we’re not only demonstrating our conscious efforts but also ensuring that our emission reduction targets are scientifically validated and in line with global climate objectives.
Now, about those targets. The emissions data from 2022 serves as the baseline, against which we are developing an action plan to achieve a significant reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2032 – easier said than done, of course. Especially because House of HR continues to grow, and our emissions will also naturally increase. Therefore, the action plan must consider organic growth and emission reduction strategies for all three scopes.
By officially registering and signing up for the SBTi, we committed ourselves to a 24-month timeline to develop the plan. Once validated by the SBTi, House of HR can proudly declare itself SBTi compliant and will be required to report on its progress annually. And we’re proud to say we are ahead of schedule, as we expect to submit our plan for review by mid-2024.
By now, you’re probably dying to know what’s in the plan. So here goes, in broad outline!
We identified three key areas for emission reduction. First, we aim to transition to renewable energy sources for our office spaces. This includes advocating for using green energy suppliers within the group and thinking about sustainable energy sources, for example, installing solar panels on the roof of the headquarters of House of HR in Kortrijk.
Secondly, we’ll transition our fleet to electric vehicles (EVs). Already, Accent, which has a large car park, has embraced EVs with a fully electric car catalogue.
Furthermore, House of HR is also actively addressing Scope 3 emissions, encompassing indirect emissions from purchased assets, goods and services. When leasing company vehicles, for instance, we’re actively considering their production emissions. And when buying new assets, goods and services, specific procurement practices help us align with our sustainable principles. We’re also exploring collaborations with suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability. We don’t just buy stuff from anybody!
Rounding off: with our commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative, we want to inspire others in the industry to join the movement toward a sustainable future – it’s not because you don’t make traditional consumer goods that your contributions to the environment are unimportant. So, consider this move a testament to our genuine dedication to environmental sustainability. Besides, it’s through our actions that we want to create a positive impact on stakeholders, including employees, candidates, customers, suppliers, investors and the broader community. It’s what we mean when we say we change lives.