Tracking and reporting on carbon emissions
Commitments and achievements
Alcatel-Lucent has committed to reducing its carbon footprint from 2008 levels by 50% by 2020 (direct carbon emissions from our operations according to GHG Protocol Scope 1 and 2). Alcatel-Lucent also measures and reports on Scope 3 emissions. (The GHG Protocol is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify and manage GHGs.)
While Scope 3 activities are not part of our 50% reduction target, we do have considerable influence over emissions from our supply chain. For example, annual emissions related to product logistics amount to more than 175,000 metric tons of CO2. By moving to a regionalized manufacturing model, using more short-distance surface transport and further shifting freight from air to surface transit, we are taking concrete steps to reduce our Scope 3 emissions. Similarly, investing in videoconferencing systems at key locations enables faster and better collaboration among employees without the need for carbon-intensive business travel.
Carbon Disclosure Project
In 2012, Alcatel-Lucent participated in the CDP Supply Chain and Investors questionnaires scoring 77 points (Industry average was 48) for Disclosure and was assigned the B band (Industry average was D) for Performance.
We also invested in an enterprise carbon accounting tool late in 2011 that helped streamline and automate our greenhouse gas data-collection process, identify additional opportunities for reductions and reveal best practices for reducing the carbon footprint of our operations. All of this helped maintain our leadership position in carbon footprint measurement and reporting.
Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions
Through its global approach to sustainability, Alcatel-Lucent is targeting everything that contributes to reducing its carbon footprint, both directly and indirectly. We report emissions from sources including facilities, fleet operations, mobile sources of combustion and others resulting directly from our business operations. Alcatel-Lucent also reports Scope 3 emissions and strives to continuously improve emissions-reporting activities by working with suppliers and business partners.
Scope 3 emissions are often the largest source of emissions for companies and therefore often represent the largest opportunity for GHG reductions. Scope 3 emissions include upstream activities such as the production of goods and services purchased by the company as well as downstream activities such as consumer use and disposal of products sold. A comprehensive approach to GHG emissions measurement, management and reporting — including Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions — has enabled us to focus on the greatest opportunities to reduce emissions within our entire value chain.
Each year, as the ability to collect and report on this data improves, we add additional indicators. In 2012, we added truck transport activities to the Scope 3 assessment program.
Green team leaders and building managers ensure carbon footprint data is provided on a regular and reliable basis for major Alcatel-Lucent facilities worldwide, and that local action plans are implemented to reduce environmental impact. Organized into three regions, our Green teams work with Office of Sustainability experts who share knowledge and provide structure, direction and access to best practices.
Along with reporting energy usage data, Green team members identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption and emissions, ranging from straightforward behavioral changes and short-term payback initiatives to longer-term measures.
Living our best practices
Greening our network
The Business & Information Technology Transformation function within Alcatel-Lucent is actively supporting the company’s commitment to carbon footprint reduction, progress against which is measured quarterly as a part of the Business & Information Technology Transformation operational scorecard. Programs currently underway cover four key areas: PCs, printers, data centers and videoconferencing solutions.
To gain a better understanding of the actual carbon footprint impact associated with our employees’ commutes to work, we asked our people to document each mode of travel they use on a daily basis for a typical workweek. All days that employees teleworked were accounted for. Based on the provided information, we determined employee commuting resulted in the emission of 190,141 tons of CO2e. We also learned that the average distance between the home and the office is 21 kilometers for our people, with an average one-way commuting time of 41 minutes.
Employees used the following modes of transportation in 2012 (based on total commuting distance):
Dematerializing business travel
Responsible for 6% of Alcatel-Lucent’s Scope 3 carbon footprint in 2012, business travel offers the company an opportunity to both reduce emissions and demonstrate the advantages of our advanced multimedia communications solutions. Thanks to alternatives such as videoconferencing, Alcatel-Lucent has reduced emissions from business travel by 35% since 2008.
On the ground
Alcatel-Lucent continues to assess its real estate portfolio, creating natural habitat enhancements at company-owned locations by identifying for instance remediation/clean-up projects. For example, our property in Naperville, Illinois covers 117 acres, including 28 acres of natural prairie and 69 acres of low-maintenance areas that only require grass cutting and mulching at two-week intervals. Prairie maintenance is performed every year on a three-year cycle, and minimally applied organic herbicides are used to spot-treat invasive plants on the property.
Under the sea
We ensure that when we lay submarine cable on the ocean floor, we comply with specific environmental standards and obtain all necessary permits from authorities. The cables we lay are small — about 17 mm in diameter — and are designed to have no impact on the environment.
Based on our determination that a more robust water-monitoring program is needed within our facilities, we are in the process of issuing revised internal guidelines that will establish specific timelines to:
- Install sub-meters within targeted facilities
- Track water consumption per usage category (domestic, irrigation, process) and facility type (office, laboratory, warehouse, manufacturing)
- Establish water-consumption reduction goals by the 2014–2015 time period
Within Alcatel-Lucent, water use is limited to cafeteria services, landscaping, toilets and facility cleaning and cooling. All our facilities and cleanups comply with local legal requirements for water discharges, and contaminants of concern (such as metals and volatile organic compounds) are removed prior to discharge.
Though the nature of our business means our water discharges are not significant, we have implemented or initiated projects to reduce their environmental impact. In our Murray Hill facility, we continue to implement a unique project using hydrogen peroxide. A temporary system was installed and other sites in our portfolio are currently investigating the feasibility of this approach.
We maintain a process for monitoring air emissions, water and soil discharges that seriously harm the environment in the countries in which we operate. No air emissions, water and soil discharges above any legal reportable quantities took place in 2012.
We have reduced the amount of waste1 we generate by 34% (i.e., 8,859 metric tons) between 2008 and 2012.
In 2012, we established an objective to reduce the amount of landfilled waste1 to 15% by 2015 (down from 36% in 2009).
1 Hazardous and non-hazardous waste from our operations (excluding electronic waste)
We have also a requirement stating that all Alcatel-Lucent and joint venture facilities and operations that generate or manage waste and byproducts that include hazardous waste and electronic scrap shall evaluate the possibility to reuse Alcatel-Lucent branded equipment within Alcatel-Lucent for maintenance or resale and reduce waste and scrap generation by applying pollution prevention and waste minimization principles and mechanisms at both process and facility levels.
We monitor our operations and activities with regard to occupational noise and community noise regulations. In 2012, no noise-related issues were reported or regulatory citations written regarding either community or occupational noise.
Encouraging eco-awareness among our people
In 2012, Alcatel-Lucent University delivered globally more than 12,000 training hours on Environment, Health and Safety issues. Note: these training hours do not take into account other EHS awareness channels such as workplace “ergonomic guidelines”, EHS topics covered in mandatory Code of Conduct training, or other communication vehicles as mentioned above.
In 2012, we conducted a global employee survey to provide accurate information about the commuting habits of Alcatel-Lucent employees. Sent to 10,000 employees and with a response rate of 27%, by extrapolation, the survey enabled us to calculate the carbon emissions associated with employee commuting. We also determined that Alcatel-Lucent's efforts related to environmental protection are rated good to excellent by 58% of its employees.