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Future-fitting our offices for sustainability

Chris Hodgson
20 Jan 2023

Capgemini received ‘Gold’ recognition in 2022 through the Green Lease Leaders programme, recognising our commitment to increase the environmental performance of buildings. Here’s how we are investing in sustainable offices across the UK.

At Capgemini, we are committed to reducing our global carbon emissions by 90% as part of becoming a net zero business by 2040. We have around 23 offices across the UK. To help us reduce our carbon emissions, it’s important that these offices function in a low carbon, efficient way.

Chris Hodgson, UK Head of Environmental Sustainability, caught up with Richard Law from our UK corporate real estate services team as well as Tony Jones and Deborah Biddulph from our Telford building management team to discuss recent sustainability action at our offices.


Chris: So, what happened during 2022 to improve energy use at our offices?

Richard: Across our offices, we continued transitioning to renewable energy sources. Around 95% of electricity used at our offices and data centres is from renewable sources. In the past year we’ve focused on steps to shift our more recently acquired offices onto renewable energy contracts.

We’ve also sought to improve energy efficiency. For example, we ran projects at our offices to install movement sensors to switch off lights, to replace lightbulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs, and to fit improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Tony: Yes, at our Telford office, we’ve updated the heating and cooling system to use the heat from ambient air from outside the building. It’s exciting because this means the system no longer needs to consume energy to mechanically heat or cool the building during spring and autumn. We also installed more energy efficient hand dryers in the washrooms.


Chris: Reducing water consumption is a focus across our offices. Can you share an example from Telford, Tony?

Tony: Sure. At our Telford office, we rolled out water blade taps to cut water use in office bathrooms. These taps fan the water out into a ‘blade’ shape, which uses approximately 40% less water per hand wash compared to a conventional tap (when used for the same length of time). This has the potential to be a significant saving based on the fact we have around 1,400 employees at our Telford site.


Chris: I know you’ve been focused on making the space around our Telford site more biodiversity friendly, Deb. What happened during 2022?

Deb: We made the areas surrounding our office more insect and wildlife friendly by planting native plants, by allowing the grass to grow long and wildflowers to bloom, and by tending to the office roof garden. We also took care of 200 trees that we planted in late 2021 at the edge of our office site – in a space that the next-door local community can enjoy, too. And employee volunteers organised regular litter picks in the neighbourhood near our Telford office, similar to the beach clean ups organised by our Worthing office.


Chris: Tell me about efforts to minimise waste?

Richard: In the UK, we’re taking action to help achieve our global Group goal to send zero waste to landfill. In 2022, my team worked with the building management company that services our offices to implement measures such as installing refillable dispensers for sugar and coffee, replacing use of disposable plastic sachets. We want to keep reducing use of plastic at our sites.

Tony: Indeed. For example, at our Telford office we use zero plastic for catering and offer plastic pen recycling facilities.

Richard: Another step we took was to introduce composting at more of our sites where we lease the whole building. These turn food waste from our office kitchens into compost for use by the ground management teams. In 2022, our Aston, Inverness and Nairn offices started composting, joining Telford.

Chris: That’s great to hear. We’re also mindful that every item purchased for use at our offices has the potential to become waste unless circular economy principles are applied at the outset. Given this, our Group sustainability and procurement teams continued developing approaches to systematically embed sustainability into vendor selection and procurement choices.


Chris: By promoting sustainable ways to travel to our offices, we hope to reduce emissions from our employees’ travel.

Richard: Yes, we encourage employees to cycle, walk or run to work, when possible. Almost all our offices bike parking and changing facilities (including showers) are available.

Chris: And to help employees who drive to our offices reduce their emissions, we continued to provide access to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles through our UK company car programme. As of December 2022, 87% of the vehicles in our UK fleet were electric or plug-in hybrid models.

We also conducted a survey in late 2022 to better understand how our employees’ commuting habits may have changed following the Covid-19 pandemic. The results will guide our future strategy.


Chris: Looking ahead, a key focus will be on supporting our newer office sites – gained through recent acquisitions – to embed more sustainable ways of operating. This includes actions to improve energy efficiency, waste management and circularity measures, as well as exploring renewable energy options.

What really stands out to me is how valuable this work is in engaging individuals across our business to think about better protecting our planet, and how sustainability initiatives can provide a way for people joining Capgemini to meet others with similar interests.

Chris Hodgson

UK Head of Environmental Sustainability
Chris is responsible for leading, developing and implementing Capgemini UK’s net zero roadmap. He is a Practitioner member of IEMA and has over 15 years of experience working in the field of sustainability. He’s passionate about helping create a shared vision for a net-zero future and his Connectwell project won a Global Good Award for Environmental Behaviour Change by aligning technology, culture and capabilities.