Responsible individual actions add up to help reduce emissions, says Senior Director James Callow.

Climate change and rising global temperatures require concerted efforts from all of us to protect our future on the planet. At Prudential, we are committed to making a positive difference by encouraging companies in which we invest to lower their emissions, and also by reducing our own carbon footprint.

James Callow, Senior Director – Corporate Property and ESG Lead for the Environment, explains Prudential’s operational emissions targets and why our colleagues must maintain momentum despite the progress we have made so far.

Q. How has Prudential’s ESG journey has evolved over the years from an operations perspective?
James
: There have been big changes in the past few years, reflecting the urgency with which climate change needs to be addressed to protect our environment. And following the strategic transformation of the company - the focus has also really shifted to Asia and Africa in terms of environmental reporting.

There is now a much more engaged approach to the environment, and we have started setting one single target for our whole Group. We’re also starting to develop roadmaps for local businesses, including Eastspring, so that they can meet their individual targets.

The quality of the data has been improving as well, as we now get actual electricity consumption data in many markets, instead of having to rely on estimates. That has improved transparency, and accountability.

Q. As a large asset owner, Prudential plans to decarbonise its portfolio to become Net Zero by 2050, from the investment side. What are Prudential’s targets on the operations side?
James
: Being a life insurer, we don’t have any energy-intensive assets such as factories or large data-centres. So, we don’t have a very large carbon footprint, as compared to a manufacturing company, for example. Our emissions are mostly from electricity consumption at our offices.

Our target at present is to make our operations carbon-neutral by 2030. What that means is that we will offset any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases that we release into the atmosphere by reducing an equal amount of emissions elsewhere in our operations.

The way we get to carbon-neutrality is three-fold. Firstly, by minimising our emissions. We are targeting a 25 per cent reduction in our direct and indirect emissions (also known as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions) per full-time employee, from our emissions level in 2016.

Secondly, by purchasing green power in markets where it is available. 

And thirdly, by carbon offsetting.

We are well on our way to meet our targets. But we shouldn’t be satisfied with the progress we’ve made so far, because scientific evidence continues to show that we need to do a lot more to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

We really need to keep raising the bar of expectations for ourselves, and set an example for others.

Q. What is Prudential doing to reduce emissions from its properties?
James
: Quite a few things, actually. Firstly, where we are letting new offices or moving locations, we have been trying to take up space in new and energy-efficient buildings where it is possible. This means we are starting off in a building where the inherent emissions will be lower.

Across the Group, we have also been upgrading our lighting systems with LEDs. our offices where there is no central air-conditioning, and we have options, we have been upgrading the air-conditioners with more energy-efficient appliances.

However, we can achieve a lot more through behavioural changes. Turning off lighting or air-conditioning appliances when not in use, printing on both sides of the paper and in batches, separating and disposing waste correctly, using water optimally, and avoiding plastic in favour of eco-friendly materials where possible, all of them add up.

Q. Does Prudential’s strategy mean it’s spending more money than before on electricity to meet its emissions targets?
James
: No, the good news is that upgrading the lighting and air-conditioning systems will actually save money over time. Replacing lights with LEDs, for example, results in an immediate drop in electricity consumption, which in just a couple of years or so would more than make up for the initial costs. Thereafter, we’ll actually have savings every year.

Energy generated from green sources is often more expensive than that generated from fossil fuels. But that expense is still cheaper than buying carbon offsets. If we can buy green energy, and make up for the additional cost by reducing consumption, then we will be making progress towards our targets without spending more.

Q. What can individuals do to help reduce emissions?
James
: Climate change is a threat that affects everybody, so it’s everyone’s responsibility to do something about it. At Prudential, our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy reflects our collective consciousness.

Behavioural changes are absolutely essential. At the end of the day, having an energy-efficient system will not be very successful in lowering emissions if users don’t switch off the lights when they leave a conference room, or if the air-conditioners keep running even when there is no one in the office.

Responsible actions by individuals, who are aware of the environmental impact of their actions, can really go a long way.

Small and simple steps, done repeatedly and at scale, will eventually produce a meaningful impact.

 

.

 
Related content
Insights
Supporting a just and inclusive transition towards a low-carbon economy
Read article
Insights
ESG at Prudential: Creating a better future together with you…
Read article
Insights
ESG at Prudential: How we manage our direct impact on the environment
Read article
Insights
ESG at Prudential: How we make a difference through Responsible Investing
Read article

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

Prudential

You are about to enter the website of our US affiliate Jackson National Life Insurance Company, an indirect subsidiary of Prudential plc of the United Kingdom.

Proceed to the site

Prudential

If you are looking for an affiliate of Prudential Financial, Inc, whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

Proceed to the site

Prudential plc is an international company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world, and it has been in existence for over 170 years. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America, or the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).

PPM America

Prudential

You are about to enter the website of our US affiliate PPM America, an indirect subsidiary of Prudential plc of the United Kingdom.

Proceed to the site

Prudential

If you are looking for an affiliate of Prudential Financial, Inc, whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

Proceed to the site

Prudential plc is an international company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world, and it has been in existence for over 170 years. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America, or the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).

  • Load
  • More

For M&G and Prudential UK customers and policyholders:

In October 2019, Prudential plc separated its UK operations and, as a result of this separation, Prudential UK is now owned by M&G plc. The M&G plc group is a separate, independent group and as such we are not able to help any M&G or Prudential UK customers or policyholders.

Therefore, to find the best way to make contact, please visit www.pru.co.uk/contact-us

For further information on the M&G plc group, please visit the M&G website: www.mandgplc.com