Environmental sustainability is of particular importance to the Company and its stakeholders – especially our colleagues who are involved at all levels of the Company from the frontline to the Board. We have established seven work streams to drive our programme forward across our global business, focussing on meaningful, practical changes we can measure and make in our operations, and align our work wherever possible to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.Read more
Environmental sustainability is of importance to the Company and its stakeholders – particularly our colleagues who are involved at all levels of the Company – from the frontline to the Board, but also to our customers and suppliers, and increasingly our investors too. We have established seven work streams to drive our programme forward across our global business.
The Company’s environmental focus is to use resources more efficiently in order to reduce our environmental impacts including minimising greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, water use and waste generation.
Our principal emissions are derived from vehicle fuel consumption (83% of emissions). We focus on minimising the amount of driving to service our customers, through route density initiatives, on adjusting our vehicles to run more efficiently in the way we use them, on reducing the weight our vehicles carry and are also piloting the use of electrical vehicles or other ways (including using public transport in some cities) to conduct our activities in a less energy and emissions-intensive way. We have also signed up to the UK’s EV100 electric vehicles commitment.
Our waste volume predominantly comes from packaging to keep our products intact during delivery or from the replacement of the products themselves but we have introduced operational initiatives to recycle, re-furbish or use waste in heat recovery. We have a major focus on managing our waste more effectively.
At Board level our chief executive has overall responsibility for meeting the Company’s environmental commitments. He has personally championed and driven the Company’s approach to the Environment and Sustainability. Executive compensation is linked to sustainability with the 2019 and 2020 Performance Share Plan awards having 5% of the payment subject to environmental improvement based on the average reduction in our CO2 emissions index. In addition to regular reporting, the board had a dedicated discussion during its strategy review day on the Company’s environmental strategy.
In October 2019, the Chief Executive discussed ideas for further improvement with the Company’s EU Forum employee representatives. The topics included reducing the use of plastics, recycling bait boxes, and possible alternative power sources. A colleague suggestion, which we have since adopted globally, was to discuss environmental issues in meetings alongside safety as a first agenda item.
Environmental Work Streams
In 2019, we established seven work streams to help us take practical steps to deliver our long-term ambition to be at net zero carbon emissions ahead of the UK Government’s target of 2050.
Our environmental work streams cover:
- Supply chain
- Non-Toxic services
- Workplace – culture and behaviours
At a management level these environmental work streams are each owned by a nominated senior executive. We will begin to execute our global environment plan based on these seven work streams during 2020.
These will be monitored and overseen by specialist Safety, Health and Environment teams. Accountability for implementing the environmental work streams at a local level lies with country management teams, since there are differing operational requirements in each country and service category. However, where common practices exist globally, such as vehicle management, accountability for developing environmental responsibility for initiatives lies with the Operational Excellence team, and best practices including frontline initiatives are shared via global and regional senior management teams.
The environmental policy is core for all operations and is the basis for training our colleagues on environmental management, with accountability for training on environmental matters sitting with country management teams. Our Code of Conduct (produced in 26 different local languages) details our approach to the environment and our colleagues’ role in contributing to this.
Responsibility for product development-related environmental initiatives lies with category teams within the Marketing & Innovation function and responsibility for supplier-related environmental initiatives lies with Group Procurement and Supply Chain.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
This year we aligned our approach more closely to the most relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are working towards becoming signatories of the UN Global Compact.
This includes our commitment to focus on:
- Goal 13 “Climate Action” – through integrating climate change measures into our strategies and planning, as well as improving education and awareness around climate impact and mitigation initiatives; and
- Goal 17 “Partnerships for the goals” – by looking to work in collaboration with others to support achieving the delivery of the UN Goals. Since 2018 we have worked in partnership with climate change charity Cool Earth where c.850 acres of rainforest was protected for a second year to prevent the release of carbon from deforestation equivalent to the company’s annual carbon footprint. This has seen us contribute to projects in Papua New Guinea, Cameroon and Mozambique.
Policies relating to the environment are company-wide, reviewed regularly by the Safety, Health and Environment leadership team, whose focus is on establishing local business protocols and approaches relevant to each business. 20 business operations have environmental management systems certified to ISO 14001, representing around 12% of total revenue in 2019.
There were no fines, penalties or settlements reported in 2019 involving the company in relation to environmental incidents.
The Company has received accreditation and membership of the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index of leading companies since 2005. In 2019 it scored 78% for climate strategy (81st percentile) representing a 21% increase over 2018 and 64% for operational eco-efficiency (77th percentile).
For its submission for the 2019 Carbon Disclosure Project, the Company was ranked in the C performance band.
On the basis of our performance, we qualified for inclusion in S&P’s SAM Sustainability Yearbook 2020, as an Industry Mover. This means our sustainability performance is within the top 15% of our industry and that our score advanced most from 2018 to 2019 compared to our industry peers.
The Company reports its environmental efficiency eco-performance – data is provided over a 5-year period – against the following areas:
- Carbon Emissions Efficiency Index
- Absolute emissions
- Eco-efficiency indices for property energy and vehicle fuels
- Workwear and Hygiene processing plants – eco-efficiency indices for water and energy; and normalised emissions
- Waste reduction
Carbon Emissions Efficiency Index
The Company reports on tonnes of CO2e using 2019 DEFRA conversion factors for fuels, gases and UK electricity, and International Energy Agency conversion factors for non UK electricity generation.
We report also on the intensity value of emissions, relating emissions values to activity levels – in this case at constant exchange rates to provide accurate like-for-like performance comparison, removing currency variations.
The following table shows the five years’ index of intensity values – which have improved by 20.4% over four years and a 3.7% improvement in 2019.
|Index of energy and fuel derived CO2e emissions at CER per £m of revenue||79.64||82.66||88.46||89.64||100.00|
In 2019, the Company’s absolute greenhouse gas property and fuel derived emissions increased by 5%. At the same time, ongoing revenues increased by 8.6% (Constant Exchange Rates) and by 9.9% (Actual Exchange Rates). The Company acquired 41 businesses during the year and has acquired 193 companies since 1 January 2015.
The following table shows absolute emissions (split by scopes) derived from property energy and vehicle fuels over the past five years (based on data collated from all the countries in which the Company operates).
|Type of scope||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015|
|Total scope 1||178,889||170,518||167,289||151,829||147,729|
|Total scope 2||17,195||16,282||17,513||14,209||15,218|
|Total scope 3||44,463||42,311||40,215||35,608||34,196|
|Total outside scope||5,153||4,872||4,491||3,950||3,729|
|Total – all scopes & outside scopes||245,700||233,983||229,508||205,596||200,872|
In addition, Rentokil Initial reports on fugitive gas emissions. A scoping exercise in 2013-14 assessed HFCs leakages from air-conditioning and refrigeration units, confirming HFCs leakages represented less than 0.5% of the Company’s total 2012 emissions. Consequently, these were and continue to be considered non-material for reporting.
The use of Sulfuryl Fluoride has grown to become a more significant contributor to Rentokil Initial’s emissions following growth in fumigation service contracts, especially in North American operations. This gas is a substitute for Methyl Bromide, banned under the Montreal Protocol because of its ozone-depleting properties although certain uses of methyl bromide are exempt. Sulfuryl Fluoride is used in large fumigation contracts against persistent, hard-to-treat pests such as termites which causes significant threat to public health and property. Consequently, there are year-on-year variabilities in emissions, based on customer demand and acquisitions of businesses that specialise in structural fumigation.
Studies, such as Barnekow and Thoms, indicate there is no suitable fumigation alternative to Sulfuryl Fluoride approved currently by regulatory authorities. However, as mentioned in the Marketplace section, the Company’s Innovation team continues to research and is actively looking into alternatives to Sulfuryl Fluoride with chemical manufacturers.
For 2019, absolute emissions derived from use of Sulfuryl Fluoride are 548,449 tonnes (2018: 363,399 tonnes 2017: 481,390 tonnes; 2016: 720,322 tonnes; 2015: 612,310 tonnes). The lack of year-on-year trends demonstrates the variability in customer demand and effect of acquisitions.
Carbon Reduction Commitment Efficiency Scheme
The UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Efficiency Scheme ended in April 2019. The Company’s UK operations report property-based emissions against these requirements and for the period April 2018 to March 2019 shows UK carbon emissions of 2,035 tonnes of CO2e (2,139 tonnes for 2017-2018). This initiative has now closed and has been replaced by the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting regulations, against which we report.
Vehicle emissions represented 83% of the Company’s energy derived emissions in 2019 with this increasing from 73% in 2015 mainly due to the expansion of our pest control and hygiene businesses, and the reduction in property-related energy use. Following 41 acquisitions in 2019, the Company estimates its fleet to be c.19,000 vehicles.
Vehicle fuel efficiency has improved by c.8% since 2015 and made good progress in 2019 with a 3.4% improvement, largely due to the increased focus on vehicle efficiency practices across the global fleet.
|Eco-efficiency Indicator – vehicles||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015|
|Index of vehicle energy consumption – thousand litres per £m turnover at CER||92.1||95.3||95.1||93.8||100|
As vehicle usage contributes a large percentage of our current emissions, the business has already implemented a range of programmes which support in delivering our goal, including:
- Using vehicle technology and influencing driving behaviour designed to deliver improved vehicle efficiency. These include implementing route optimisation software and engine control unit (ECU) remapping to adapt the performance of the vehicles to their use in our business
- Improving route optimisation (thereby minimising driving time between customers) through acquisitions close to existing locations
- Deployment of new technologies such as the Service+ routing and scheduling system
- Implementation of the Trimble Driver telemetry system across North America, South Africa and Europe. This in-cab system feeds back to a driver, information about driving behaviour, helping colleagues to achieve better safety and fuel consumption
In working towards achieving our ambitious target, over the last four years a number of our operations have been proactive in choosing more efficient vehicles which has meant the amount of CO2 per km driven has been reduced.
In the UK, over the last four years, the proactive choice of more efficient vehicles has meant that the amount of CO2 per km driven has been reduced. Car emissions reduced from 107g per km in 2015 to 100g in 2019, and commercial vehicle emissions from 167g per km in 2015 to 157g in 2019.
Since 2018, the Company’s core fleet choice list in the UK has been focused to achieve a sub 110 g/km list with continued focus and aim on further reduction to deliver business benefit and lower benefit in kind tax payments for colleagues.
Over the last five years, the Company has consolidated its property portfolio through co-location, resulting in improved property energy efficiency, improving by 55% since 2015. In 2019, this strong progress continued with a further improvement of 8.6%.
In addition, improvements in operational geographic density – a key focus for the Company – have been achieved through focusing its acquisition strategy on businesses operating in the same areas, enabling further co-location. This programme continued in 2019 with particular emphasis on integrating newly-acquired businesses.
|Eco-efficiency Indicator – properties||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015|
|Index of property energy consumption
– thousand KWH per £m turnover at CER
Eco-efficiency in Workwear and Hygiene
In 2019, the Workwear and Hygiene processing plants in France and UK increased their product volume-related emissions by just over 1.4%. However, since 2015 emissions have reduced by 3.1%, through the use of technology and developing responsible behaviour including in France:
- Reduction of water and energy consumption through a constant renewal of machines and the use of more efficient laundry at lower temperatures
- Control of effluent discharges (the wastewater sent to the treatment plant): less impact on the environment. Reducing in particular the levels of bleach, washing with neutral ph
In France, of the total water consumed in the workwear washing processes, it was found in 2018 c.75% came from ground sources, such as boreholes, with the remainder from supplies provided by municipal utilities, whilst in the UK, 100% is sourced from utilities. The water intensity indicator improved by 1.7% in 2019, largely due to product mix changes, although since 2015, this indicator has reduced by 2.3%.
|Textile plants indicators||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015|
|Kilogrammes of CO2 emissions per tonne processed||271.71||267.92||266.80||256.9||280.3|
|Water usage per unit washed -litres used per kilogramme||9.54||9.70||9.07||8.56||9.33|
In addition to improving energy and water consumption efficiencies our operations are looking at reducing their waste. One of our key initiatives for 2020 will be to evaluate the waste produced across the group and fast-track initiatives to deal with waste more effectively, including recycling, re-manufacture, re-using and energy recovery.
In the France Workwear plants, a new three-year plan to reduce emissions has been put in place. There has already been a rigorous waste separation programme for a number of years. Through this initiative, 92% of used clothes from the textile rental and maintenance business have experienced a second life, transformed into acoustic and thermal insulating materials for the building and automotive industries, using an ISO-certified partner.
1 million work clothes, weighing 519 tonnes, are transformed each year.
The remaining clothing with retro-reflective tape which cannot be recycled, is incinerated to generate energy for local factories.
Waste Reduction Initiatives
In another waste management initiative in France and Italy, action is has been taken to substantially reduce the metal and plastic waste burden within the Hygiene washroom businesses. This involves establishing facilities to refurbish dispensers rather than buy new units. Over the last two years, 90,350 units in France and 24,000 units in Italy have been refurbished.
On average about 51% of dispensers are suitable for refurbishment. The refurbished dispensers are worth around €1.5 million. With the cost of refurbishment being less than €500,000, not only does this process avoid putting returned dispensers into landfill but also drives operational margin.
In addition, the business has commenced refurbishing white towel rolls, dying them blue. Again, this reduces waste being created and is commercially viable.
Reducing Product and Operational Impacts
We offer a number of products and services, and operational initiatives, which reduce our environmental footprint. These include our Lumnia range of insect light traps.Read more
Reducing Product and Operational Impacts
Lumnia and on-site servicing of feminine hygiene units, both mentioned in the Marketplace section, offer significant reductions in environmental impacts. This year Lumnia received external certification from PlanetMark for demonstrating 62% lower carbon emissions. As at the end of 2019, over 100,000 units have been installed for customers.
On-Site Servicing reduces the water required in cleansing feminine hygiene units but also reduces the payload for vehicles, by taking just the waste in a liner rather than the entire unit away for cleaning and exchange, leading to reduced fuel consumption. It has also been demonstrated to be a more hygienic option and to save costs of industrial cleaning equipment at our branches.
The Company’s Eco-Label accredited range of soaps and washroom equipment is designed to ensure customers have environmentally-accredited products delivering reduced environmental impacts. It has received Eco-Label accreditation for its Eco-Clear urinals solution that combines a water management device and patented urinal sleeve that contains bio-enzymes penetrating uric acid, salt and scale, preventing build-ups and eliminating foul odours. The specially designed water manager enables up to 90% water saving without affecting urinal hygiene levels.
Our Entotherm heat treatment is a chemical-free method of pest control that is effective through the targeted application of heat against most types of pest insects such as bed bugs, cockroaches and wood boring insects. It eliminates all life stages of insects in just one treatment (egg, larva and adult) minimising any disruption. It is also suitable for use against moulds and pathogens. This product has eliminated the use of chemicals in these treatments.
Rentokil Initial’s workwear service typically involves washing garments with hot water. However for those garments for which this is an ineffective treatment a new service has been introduced by one of our European operations. The new service uses liquid CO2 (in a totally recycled system) with non-toxic chemicals producing high quality cleaning of specialist garments for sectors such as the emergency services, petrochemicals and food manufacturing. The process enables dirt such as sand and mud to be extracted using a unique filtration system. This process also has some beneficial environmental impacts as it enables customers to avoid traditional cleaning processes using highly toxic dry cleaning chemicals such as perchlorethylene, as well as avoiding polyester micro fibres in the garment fabric contaminating the waste water, due to the totally closed system.
Limiting our Environmental Impact through Digital Transformation
At the end of last year our Singapore and Malaysian Pest Control businesses commenced integration of our Safety Risk Assessment App with our ServiceTrak Pest and SoloApps. This has continued to be rolled out to other countries during the year with 136,000 Safety Risk Assessments completed by App, which previously would have been done on paper.
We estimate this reduces the annual paper used by a tonne (equivalent to 18 trees) and a saving of £15,000. It is estimated when the full roll out is completed across Asia (this will save around 140 trees annually as well as reducing energy consumption from printing.
This follows similar initiatives in our UK and other operations, where electronic invoicing began to be rolled out during 2016.
Building Partnerships for Long-term Environmental Benefit
Our CEO has led the new Rentokil Initial Cares initiatives – one of the first programmes to use unclaimed dividends and shares (worth over £1 million in Rentokil Initial) to support good causes including climate change initiatives. In June 2019 he led a panel discussion at the House of Commons with the chair of the Commons Committee on Climate Change to encourage other companies to use their unclaimed dividends to support climate change programmes. As an example of a Rentokil Initial approach we have built a collaborative relationship with the climate change charity Cool Earth where c.850 acres of rainforest was protected in 2019 (and a similar areas also in 2018) to prevent the release of carbon from deforestation equivalent to the Company’s entire property and vehicle emissions footprint.
Electric Vehicles Case Study from the Four Pilots Undertaken
During 2019, the Company undertook four pilot projects on the cost and effectiveness of using electric and hybrid vehicles in different cities and environments. We also became a signatory of the EV100 group including a commitment to a transition to commercially viable electric vehicles by 2030.Read more
Electric Vehicles Case Study from the Four Pilots Undertaken
During 2019, the Company undertook four pilots on the cost and effectiveness of using electric and hybrid vehicles in different cities and environments. The pilots took place in the UK, Norway, France and Netherlands – with a number of cities in these countries either prohibiting driving of fossil fuel vehicles in the next few years or planning to introduce penalties or supplemental charges for their use.
Electric vehicles are becoming more efficient but some data from the trials showed the payload was lower, only a shorter range was achieved (especially in cold weather), longer delivery times for new vehicles and in some countries the charging infrastructure is not well developed, particularly outside large urban areas.
The pilots continue and the lessons learned will allow the Company to identify the opportunities, geographical considerations and challenges for implementation that each operation will take account for fleet selection. This has also given us tangible data to be able to set challenging but realistic targets for 2030 in line with our commitment to the UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals.
One of our pest control teams in Brazil is trialling electric scooters
Rentokil Initial plc is committed to transitioning to electric vehicles across its fleets in the UK and Europe by 2030, subject to suitable electric vehicles being available, economically viable, and an adequate charging infrastructure in place in each country to ensure operational effectiveness. We also aspire to fully electrify our vehicle fleet in North America and all remaining markets, recognising that improvements in local government policies and the EV market landscape will be required. The Company is fully committed to supporting The Climate Group to advocate for the measures needed to unlock progress.
Where electric vehicles are not viable, Rentokil Initial plc will explore other ultra-low emission alternatives.
Our Responsible Business
Find out more about our workplace and diversity programmes, our 2019 performance and future ambitions.Read more
Find out more about how we manage and encourage the right culture across our business.Read more
Find out more about our business performance indicators over the last five years.Read more