Ramboll’s offices, business travel and other operational activities are our main sources of emissions. By monitoring our emissions and working towards reducing them, we can limit our own contribution to climate change, while at the same time providing advice to our clients to help them decrease their negative environmental impacts, and Ramboll’s own environmental policy, management system and programme is aligned with the EN ISO 14001 standard on environmental management. As laid down in our environmental management policy, we respect and support internationally recognised environmental principles as stated in the Rio Declaration including applying a precautionary approach.
In 2019, Ramboll’s total CO2 emissions were measured at 36,546 tonnes, equal to 2.07 tonnes per employee (FTE), a slight decrease from 2018 (2.08). Although we have decreased our energy consumption per employee (FTE), looking at the overall development over the last years, the level of CO2 emission per employee from business travel is slightly increasing due to more air travel.
We are continuously reducing the need for travelling by implementing improved video conferencing equipment and setting targets to reduce internal travel costs. We have implemented a data management system to monitor our emissions and initiated an analysis of future target setting. Due to major organisational developments compared to our baseline year 2016, we are aware that our emissions target of 20 per cent reduction can be difficult to reach in 2020. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the beginning of 2020 may have a positive impact on our emission reduction.
Ramboll consumes energy in our own offices and operations. We can reduce our adverse impact on the climate by purchasing green energy and reducing our energy consumption, improving our energy efficiency, and reducing our energy intensity. Energy consumption from electricity, cooling and heating was 7,168 tonnes in 2019 (2018: 6,197). This represents a reduction from 0.46 tonnes per employee in 2018 to 0.41 in 2019.
During the year, the energy efficiency has been improved in several offices. We have optimised the use of office space and certified buildings account for 36 per cent of our total leased area in m2.
Business travel and mobility
The trend in business travel, on the other hand, is developing negatively. A high level of internal travel activity is related to the implementation of a matrix organisation, a business support organisation, and major acquisition integration efforts in 2019. CO2 emissions from business travel increased in 2019 to 29,378 tonnes (2018: 21,630), equal to 1.67 tonnes per FTE from 1.62 tonnes in 2018. This is mainly caused by an increase in air travel, especially in North America, as a result of our increasing internationalisation. We are encouraging employees all over the world to change their business travel behaviour accordingly, and following up on travel purposes, to mitigate new upwards trends in our internal travels. Throughout the Group, we are continuing our conversion of the car fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles. As an example, in Denmark, Ramboll has decided that following the normal replacement schedule, the car fleet will comprise entirely of electric vehicles in due course.
Ramboll consume water in our own offices and operations. We are working towards reducing our water consumption through a focus on our water withdrawal, water efficiency, recycling and reuse, water discharge and affected water bodies. Ramboll is aiming to reduce water consumption by 15 per cent per employee by 2025 and to re-use secondary water, such as rainwater, whenever feasible.
By working towards reducing our waste and wastewater in our own offices, for instance, through improved waste management, recycling, spills and hazardous waste management, we can reduce our negative impact on the environment.
We have set a target to increase the amount of sorted waste to 90 per cent and the amount of sorted hazardous waste to 100 per cent by 2025. We have also set a target to reduce the total waste produced per employee by 15 per cent by 2025. Many activities are undertaken locally in Ramboll offices to reduce waste. For example, in Denmark where three of our largest canteens are located, daily food losses are measured in an effort to raise awareness and mitigate food waste.