x

Environment

The Board recognises that a responsible approach to the environment is attractive to the Group's existing and prospective stakeholders. Customers can require Bloomsbury to demonstrate that the Group is a good corporate citizen during the tender process for new and existing contracts.

The Executive Committee (which consists of the Executive Directors and the managing directors of the publishing divisions and Group functions) have responsibility for environmental matters of their teams. These people report to the Chief Executive who has overall Board level responsibility for environmental matters and issues.

The impact on the environment of our business predominantly arises from the activities the Group subcontracts to its suppliers including the printing, production, distribution, recycling and disposal of printed books. Bloomsbury also has office-based editorial, product development, sales and administrative activities, which operate through an employee workforce based at offices in the UK, the US (New York), India (New Delhi) and Australia (Sydney).

Our policy is to reduce both the financial cost to the business and the impact of the business on the environment. We employ specialist independent external advisors, Trucost, to monitor our impact on the environment. Key areas where we are active in reducing the direct and indirect environmental impact of the business include:

Print on demand: changes in technology and the print supplier base are increasingly making it economic to print books at the time and in the quantity needed for sale rather than bulk printing and holding as warehouse stock. This reduces the CO2 generated by pulping, recycling and transporting unsold books.

Online print: we are increasingly moving to e-books and online products that have very little environmental impact and will save on using natural resources. Our strategy embraces digital publishing and the potential benefits this may bring to the environment. However, we recognise that each physical book on a bookshelf represents a significant quantity of captured carbon so that the interplay between electronic and physical books on the environment is more complex.

Book manufacture: We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and to controlling the materials used to produce them. To that end, we work only with FSC and PEFCaccredited suppliers, and we use FSC materials for over 90% of the Group's output. Where FSC-accredited materials are not available we specify alternatives from known and reputable sources. We make regular trips to suppliers' factories to monitor their recycling and other locally relevant environmental initiatives. These visits also provide an opportunity to view employment practices at first hand, including employee minimum age and working conditions. Other required accreditations to act as a supplier to the Group are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Where the manufacture/handling of novelty items is involved, e.g. on our Children's and Games lists, we require ICTI accreditation.

Building and office facilities: most of our employees travel to work by public transport and we support part-time and homeworking. We provide bicycle storage for staff who ride to work. For most employees we have implemented separate recycling bins for different waste materials so that a significant proportion of our office waste is recycled. Lights are generally fitted with motion detectors and our office policy is to turn off lights out of hours when not in use.

We have previously taken advice from the Carbon Trust and continue to apply their recommendations to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we use point-of-use instead of bottled water coolers, fit energy efficient lamps, ensure heating systems are regularly maintained and programmed efficiently and turn off unnecessary electrical equipment out of hours, amongst other measures.

Greenhouse gases

Our independent external advisor, Trucost, has calculated the tables overleaf based on data we have provided. We report on our waste production and greenhouse gas emissions aligning with the 2006 Government Guidelines; Environmental Key Performance Indicators: Reporting Guidelines for UK Businesses. In respect of greenhouse gases, we report consumption of natural gas, vehicle fuel and electricity in kWh, converted to 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. This information is unaudited and is shown in the tables below.

Environmental targets

We aim to beat the greenhouse gas and waste production normalised tonnes per £million revenue averaged for the previous two years. By setting such a target we are focused on continuously increasing our efficiency at using natural resources.

Our direct operations are predominantly office-based and have been independently assessed as having a low impact on the environment. The Group's consumption of natural resources, although relatively minor, is significantly impacted by ambient weather conditions beyond our control and by the buildings we lease.

During the year the business beat its target for the overall level of emissions of CO2 from our offices worldwide. Analysis of the reasons indicates the reduction in emissions arose from:

  • Better data - more granular emission factors becoming available
  • Virtualisation as the business migrates more of the IT computing resources to the cloud
  • Less use of company cars
  • Reduced need for air-conditioning in the head office
  • Emissions rising slower than growth in revenues

Scope 1 Direct impacts

      Quantity   Target
Greenhouse gases Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes CO2e Normalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue   Normalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue
2017 2018 2017 2018 2018
Stationary fuel use Emissions from natural gas and diesel consumption in utility boilers. Annual consumption in kWh collected from fuel bills, converted according to DEFRA guidelines for the London office (Headquarters). Data scaled up by number of employees to estimate emissions for Dublin and Edinburgh serviced offices. Natural gas was not used in the US, India and Australia offices. This year the India office has diesel consumption in utility boilers. 30 33 0.21 0.20   0.2
Refrigerants Emissions from refrigerant leakage. No refrigerant used in 2017/18 financial year. 9 - 0.06 -   0.1
Company cars Emissions from petrol and diesel consumption. Annual consumption in litres calculated from fuel bills for the UK and India. Converted according to DEFRA guidelines. There are no company cars in the Australia and US offices. 39 16 0.27 0.10   0.3
Total Scope 1     78 49 0.54 0.30   0.6

Scope 2 Impacts

      Quantity   Target
Greenhouse gases Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes CO2e Normalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue   Normalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue
2017 2018 2017 2018 2018
Electricity use Directly purchased electricity, which generates greenhouse gases. Annual consumption of directly purchased electricity in kWh collected for the London, Alton, Haywards Heath, Oxford and Indian offices. Data scaled up by the number of employees to estimate emissions for the operations in the rest of the UK, US and Australia offices. kWh data converted according to DEFRA, EPA and IEA guidelines. 494 319 3.47 1.98    
Scope 2 MBE Market Based Emission for purchased electricity. Calculated by using purchased electricity data in kWh and residual mixes for UK and US. For India and Australia, location based emission factors are used from IEA guidelines. 598 339 4.19 2.10    
Total Scope 2     494 319 3.47 1.98   4.3

Indirect Impacts

      Quantity   Target
Water Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute cubic metres Normalised cubic metres per £m revenue   Normalised cubic metres per £m revenue
2017 2018 2017 2018 2018
Water consumption Directly purchased water. Annual volume of water purchased provided for the London, Oxford and India offices. Disclosed UK data was scaled up using number of employees to estimate water consumption in the rest of the UK, US and Australia offices. 5,115 7,239 35.88 44.82   41.4

      Quantity   Target
Waste Definition Data source and calculation methods Absolute tonnes Normalised tonnes per £m revenue   Normalised tonnes per £m revenue
2017 2018 2017 2018 2018
Landfill General office waste (which includes a mixture of paper, card, wood, plastics and metals) sent to landfill sites. Annual quantity of waste generated in the London, Oxford and India offices are provided. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of the UK, US and Australia offices. 76 50 0.53 0.31   0.56
Recycled General office waste sent to recycling facilities. Annual quantity of waste generated in London, Oxford and India offices are provided. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of UK, US and Australia offices 53 63 0.37 0.39   0.40