Carbon footprint can be defined as the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person. The name is derived from the fact that emissions with global warming potential are calculated and expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents; i.e. impacts are normalized and expressed in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that would have the same effect on our environment.
In December 2015 Philips has announced its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2020. We aim to drive down carbon emissions in our own operations by reducing our own energy use, logistics and business travel. Next, we will focus on sourcing energy from renewable sources. Any remaining emissions that cannot be directly changed to renewable energy (i.e. business travel or logistics) will be compensated by a voluntary carbon off-setting program.
Philips measures its footprint to identify and express the impact we as Philips have on global climate change. Philips’ EcoVision sustainability program includes a 40% reduction goal of carbon emissions in the period 2007 – 2015. In 2016 our carbon footprint went up with 8% compared to 2015, meaning we are right on track to meet our reduction goal. In our efforts to reach our target, we maintain a three step approach. We firstly focus our efforts in reducing our energy consumption and CO2-e emissions. This means identifying and implementing those CO2 abatement levers that reduce both costs and emissions at the same time. Secondly, the focus is on generating renewable energy on site. Finally, we consider purchasing of electricity generated by renewable sources.
Examples of recently conducted emissions reduction projects are reducing energy consumption from building services such Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and lighting by switching conventional lighting solutions to more efficient lighting (e.g. LED), replacing old AC units with new energy efficient units and installation of occupancy sensors. But also actively promoting the use of video conferencing to reduce business travel, and driving modal shifts in our logistics activities to reduce air freight.