Reducing Carbon Emissions

  • 2006/06/14
Time period
  • September 2005  –  December 2006
  • ‘Horizon Climat’ – A project to reduce carbon emissions

    Consolidating Caisse des Dépôts’s financial and operational strategies

    As a responsible public financial organisation, Caisse des Dépôts has the know-how to combine financial and social performance. Achieving environmental performance through our loans, investments and other operations requires innovative financial tools and remains a challenge.

    We still need to raise employee and management awareness regarding the risks of climate change,

    to achieve coherence between our own processes and the financial strategies we are promoting and implementing.

    In 2005, Caisse des Dépôts decided to assess its GHG emissions, based on 2004 activity.

    The Bilan Carbone, a calculation tool supported by governmental agency ADEME provided surprisingly high results for an organisation operating in the service sector (5 500 employees producing 30 000 tons of CO2e).

    To comply with France’s objective to divide emissions into four by 2050, it was decided to reduce emissions by an average of 3% per year, starting in 2006.

    An internal network was created, including representatives of every site across the country, every function with a decisive impact on our carbon footprint (logistics, purchasing, etc.), as well as accounting and communications.

    Through a combination of site, functional and plenary meetings, addressing energy consumption, people transportation, purchasing of goods and services, the network produced over 70 realistic solutions to reduce emissions.

    Local action plans were put together to address the most significant emissions of each site. These are being consolidated with processes to factor carbon performance into management systems

    on the part of support functions, to ensure global effectiveness. Priorities are set.

    Action is being implemented, with internal communications spreading the message and accounting systems gradually integrating the necessary data to monitor progress against objectives.

    Factoring carbon emissions (let alone other environmental impacts) in management and accounting systems is a demanding and complex process.

    Changing day to day behaviour at the office (including traveling and commuting habits) requires time and understanding of the issues at stake.

    On the positive side, fighting climate change makes sense to many people in the organization, across various departments and different levels in the hierarchy.

    The project has been an opportunity to develop the understanding of innovative financial strategies in-house.

    Reducing carbon emissions entails processes with a very concrete impact and has generated constructive cross-functional cooperations.

    Assessing GHG emissions is also a way to assess dependency on oil whose prices are going up.

    In many cases, controlling GHG emissions amounts to monitoring consumption, thereby cutting costs.

    In addition to the action plan to reduce emissions, Caisse des Dépôts has decided to go carbon neutral i.e. to compensate emissions it cannot prevent. Through the initial purchase of carbon assets to finance ‘clean’ projects, Caisse des Dépôts will be ensuring its own carbon neutrality

    as of 2006, through to 2012.

Principles covered
  • None reported
  • Other