Published on in Built EnvironmentResponsible Business

Economies all over the world are dealing with the impacts of ever evolving social and environmental challenge. In recent weeks, there has been increased coverage of climate efforts due to COP26, and it is clear that climate change will compromise our communities further if we don’t rapidly change our way of life.

We need collaborative and strategic measures to create a more sustainable future to safeguard the planet and all life within it; and the time to act is now. Businesses need to step up. We all have a responsibility to do more for the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

The global initiative, Science Based Targets, helps organisations to set targets and action plans to reduce GHG emission in line with the UN Paris Agreement and has called on businesses to set their own ambitious targets.

Fujitsu is reducing its impact on the environment by using renewable energy, transforming its office buildings, improving waste management and intentionally working with sustainable businesses to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

A responsible business

We often say being a responsible business is part of our corporate DNA. Since Fujitsu was founded in 1935, environmental conservation has been a core part of our business strategy, And last year, we reinforced our purpose “to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation”.

The Fujitsu Energy and Climate Vision sets out our global strategy around energy and climate impact between now and 2050. We’re committed to reducing our CO2 emissions by 71.4% by 2030 (compared to 2013) and reaching net zero by 2050 across our global operations.

We’re making good progress in Europe to contribute to this global goal and are proud to be ISO 14001:2015 certified, an international standard for environmental management systems,  across Europe for environmental credentials and how we manage our outcomes in Europe.

Using 100% renewable energy

In the UK, we started using renewable energy in 2012 and since 2014 have been using 100% renewable electricity and gas. We’ve even installed solar panels on one of our buildings to generate our own energy and to sell any excess back to the grid.

But we must also look beyond just carbon emissions in our offices. If we’re to build a more sustainable future, we need to consider other ways our operations impact the environment and take action. For example:

  • Plastic waste is a major global concern, so we’ve taken steps to eradicate single use plastics in our offices across the country. In the UK we’ve taken steps to remove plastic cups from vending machines and are working with suppliers to reduce plastics across all of our catering facilities.
  • As we refurbish our offices, we believe in donating our unwanted resources for good. So, our old desks and equipment are donated to charities and schools and we seek to reuse whatever we can.

We don’t have all the answers just yet but there is a real drive across every part of the organisation to see how we can do better and take every opportunity to be a more sustainable company.

We’ve always had a distributed workforce but the growth in hybrid working over the past 18 months has given us an opportunity to reimagine how we work and how we use our offices. Our ‘Work Your Way’ commitment means that our people have the flexibility to choose how and where they work. And with many still working primarily from home, our offices take on a different role.

Designing sustainable offices

Our hub strategy is all about creating a working environment that is activity based, collaborative and more representative of the Fujitsu brand and culture.

For this reason, we’ve redesigned our office spaces from poorly lit meeting rooms and rows of desks divided by lots of cupboards, to a more modern and informal working environment.

And as we re-design our offices, we’re putting sustainability front and centre.

Keeping to our sustainable goals, we didn’t throw everything away and start from scratch. Where possible, we have worked with suppliers to laminate doors and partitions, and respray skirting boards and door frames.

We’ve also implemented other efficient ways to use less energy across our real estate. For example, we use LED lighting which is more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent bulbs and have installed more energy efficient heating and cooling units across our offices and data centres.

In addition to these refurbishments, when it came to choosing furniture, it was important to partner with a sustainable business. We chose to work with Kinnarps because of their environmental credentials. For example, all the supplies from their factory were delivered using their ‘blue trucks’ which run on mixed diesel that includes biodiesel and reduce their transport emissions by about 40%.

The furniture was also wrapped in blankets, rather than in polystyrene and plastic, which saves 270 kilograms of waste packaging for every lorry that leaves their factory; and 90% of the wood used is certified as being responsible.

One of the most remarkable feats of this project has been designing the office to ensure all rooms are wheelchair accessible. And we’ve created a specific quiet zone in the building particularly for neurodivergent employees who may need different lighting conditions, wall coverings and desks.

We’ve completed projects in the last 24 months in London, Helsinki, Stockholm, Paris and Amsterdam; and projects are currently underway in Edinburgh, Madrid and Tallinn.

Whilst we’re completely committed to keeping our office buildings, it’s all about investing in spaces and making them better quality for our people and for our customers in a way that truly represents what Fujitsu stands for.

Consciously working with sustainable businesses

As an organisation committed to do its part in reducing carbon emission to zero, we’re diligent about who we choose to work with, ensuring that our visions are aligned. So, we look at the sustainability credentials of the organisations we choose to do business with. For instance:

  • We ask suppliers to share the details about their energy emissions
  • We ask suppliers to sign up to our Responsible Procurement Charter to understand how they operate as companies
  • When recruiting new staff, ensure we attract candidates from diverse backgrounds

So, in various areas of our supply chain and procurement, sustainability is at the core.

Priorities for the future

Firstly, our mission is to reduce our overall carbon emissions. And secondly, to provide sustainable products and services that help our customers to reduce their own emissions and become more sustainable themselves.

Finally, we’ll continue to implement our Environmental Action Plan by upgrading, improving and enhancing our buildings responsibly.

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