Staff Writer l Palladium - Oct 28 2021
Palladium Cutting Emissions from Energy and Travel in Half, Requiring Targets from Suppliers

Credit: Appolinary Kalashnikova

Palladium is speeding up its efforts to reduce carbon emissions with a commitment to cut direct emissions to power buildings and fleet in half, and to cut emissions from corporate business travel in half, both by 2030. This is part of longer-term ambition to achieve net zero by 2050.

Palladium is part of a coalition of business and industry leaders committing to the Business Ambition for a 1.5 degree future, a global call for accelerated action on climate change under the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

According to Palladium CEO Christopher Hirst, Palladium will work creatively to reduce the emissions within direct control, while working with suppliers to set their own science-based targets, ensuring two thirds of our largest providers by spend have targets by 2026.

As one of the largest contractors to the Governments of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States for the delivery of aid and humanitarian assistance, more than 90 percent of Palladium’s emissions are from indirect and not ‘owned’ sources of emissions. These emissions exist in the value chain, particularly to purchase goods, services, and capital goods in order to deliver programs that improve socio-economic outcomes in developing countries.

“Setting targets is a rallying cry to our staff, our clients, and our partners that we need to do more, more quickly, and we need to do it collectively, influencing change in the systems in which we work and live,” says Hirst.

“For example, most of Palladium’s offices and projects are based in developing countries, so only a small part of our operations is powered by renewable energy. We intend to increase this to 100 percent by 2030, as more countries move to renewable energy connections. Where this does not happen in the target timeline, we will develop creative solutions for our offices.”

A Journey Towards Net Zero

“Setting emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the most ambitious of the Paris Agreement goals – to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels – further demonstrates our commitment to having a positive impact,” adds Hirst.

As momentum builds in the lead-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Hirst believes that science-based targets highlight the magnitude of the challenge and opportunities, and the need for more urgent efforts.

Hirst says that Palladium will progressively build the understanding of its carbon footprint in the supply chain, becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way emissions are calculated and tailor solutions and monitor progress of carbon reduction efforts.

“This will also include accounting for the contribution we make to climate change mitigation in our work, managing projects and investing in carbon sequestration and credits through nature-based solutions such as the Revere financing facility for nature restoration and Partnerships for Forests,” he said.

Calculating Footprint

Palladium applied the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard and guidance from the SBTi to determine carbon emissions. In an effort to be as ambitious as possible, all activities within financial and operational control were included.

Emissions were calculated using a hybrid approach:

• Specific data: Sourced data directly from suppliers and employees. For example, energy needed for business travel and employee commutes, converted to carbon emissions where necessary using conversion rates specific to the many locations in which Palladium operates.

• Financial data: For emissions categories without specific data, such as purchased goods and services, the team used financial data and applied a conversion rate specific to foreign aid and humanitarian assistance.
This process has involved staff from across the company – from corporate headquarters to project offices which operate in more than 90 countries around the world.

“Palladium has a reputation for innovation and partnerships that lead to positive impact, so we will harness that energy to identify low carbon solutions with our clients, implementing partners, and suppliers, as well as the communities we work with,” Hirst explains.

“We have been committed to reducing our carbon footprint for several years, funding innovative carbon offsetting projects that deliver co-benefits for the environment and for community development, while also delivering cutting edge nature-based solutions for governments, the private sector, and communities.”

Palladium’s emissions reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. SBTi is a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

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