It's great to start the summer with some good news. And that's what we're going to do. We've reduced our carbon footprint by an impressive 29% since we started measuring in 2010!
We remain firmly committed to carbon neutrality and we're aiming to reduce our emissions even further, although an increase in global travel makes this challenging.
We put a price on our emissions by offsetting annually to a recognised standard PAS2060. We choose projects which are in line with our Corporate Responsibility goals and make measurable contributions to local communities, while contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development goals.
New science-based targets
We are pleased to announce our new science-based emissions targets. Science-based targets are focused on setting reduction goals which are based on keeping global temperature rise to under 2 degrees by 2050, as recommended in the Paris agreement. This shows our determination to set long-term ambitious goals and to stick to them.
Our first emissions target is to reduce our footprint by a further 36% by end 2024, against our 2014 baseline.
We've just returned from rural Uganda, where we have been visiting some of the schools we support to identify future projects, observing the local savings & loans groups, leading workshops and investigating how we can further support local entrepreneurs. It was a very full schedule, with so many inspiring and impressive experiences, it's hard to single out just one.
Perhaps one of the most memorable parts of the trip was our visit to small businesses, which are thriving against all odds. With the help of the savings & loans schemes, supported by Build Africa and Euroclear, local farmers are learing how to escape from subsistance farming and expand their efforts to break the cycle of poverty.
Supporting young people as they enter into the workforce is something that Euroclear feels strongly about. As a major employer in Brussels, we have a special interest in helping young people to achieve their dreams.
So, it was with great pleasure that we agreed to sponsor the Euroclear Social Entrepreneurship award at the Junior Achievement European Company of the Year finals on 12 July. Throughout the day, the 37 ‘mini companies’ pitched to the various juries and hosted stalls on the Place Rogier in Brussels to display their wares. They even received a visit from HRH King Philippe of Belgium, who showed a real interest in their initiatives and is obviously a keen supporter of young entrepreneurship.
Our CEO, Lieve Mostrey, attended the gala event at Autoworld in the evening, in the company of Minister Alexander De Croo and European commissioner Marianne Thyssen, among over 700 other guests. It was an amazing evening – wonderful to see so much young talent and energy and encouraging that so many young people are considering the impact of their products upon society and the planet.
Our award for Social Entrepreneurship recognises the team that has best embodied the concept of making a profit while at the same time benefitting society. The winners, the Dutch team Inizio with their innovative recyclable flat pack coffee cup perfectly embody the ‘People, Planet, Profit’ principle.