Building the sustainability of the organisation through an appropriate focus on our use of natural resources.
Management approach and performance
In 2014, CPA Australia’s direct impacts on the environment, through our electricity use, travel and waste, did not emerge as material issues in our materiality review. However, we continue to monitor our environmental risks in order to support best practice and our commitment to integrated reporting.
The most material environmental issues continue to be influencing our members’ and suppliers’ environmental performance.
We manage these areas in the following way:
Suppliers – we embed environmental sustainability questions into our tender evaluation process to help us determine if potential suppliers have appropriate sustainability policies, reporting and targets, can provide innovative approaches to help us lower our environmental impact, and have an ongoing commitment to environmental and broader sustainability concerns.
Members – we continue to educate members on sustainability via the CPA Program and via advocacy and thought leadership around broader sustainability and reporting topics. We are an organisational stakeholder of the GRI and our chief executive sits on both the IIRC and HRH The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) project.
We will also continue to monitor our own environmental performance through using an independent third party (Ernst & Young) to assess our emissions and to ensure we are "walking the talk" ourselves. We have an environmental sustainability policy for our staff that reflects our low level of environmental risk.
A key challenge in this area continues to be maintaining an appropriate focus on reducing our environmental impacts given our low emissions.
Greenhouse gas inventory
The 2014 GHG inventory was prepared using the following legislative and reporting frameworks, the NGER act, ISO 14064, the NCOS program and the GRI G4 Guidelines. This inventory includes emissions from electricity consumption, air travel, taxi travel, waste generation and office paper usage.
CPA Australia has no scope 1 emissions (direct i.e. natural gas consumption), with our impact in this area being through scope 2 (electricity consumption) and scope 3 (other indirect i.e. flights and paper usage) emissions.
Our emissions per member in 2014 were 30.5 kg CO2e compared to 31.6 kg CO2e in 2013 and 45.8 kg CO2e in 2012.
Our major sources of GHG are staff air travel (59 per cent of emissions) and office electricity consumption (31 per cent of emissions) and these will be the areas where we continue to focus our efforts in 2015 and beyond in order to reduce our emissions.
2014 saw a five percent increase in flights due to an increased distance travelled on international flights
The total waste generated by CPA Australia decreased by approximately 18 per cent in 2013. This decrease came mostly from our Sydney, Malaysia, Singapore and China offices.
There was also a reduction in emissions from paper usage but this does not substantially impact our total emissions due to the low percentage of emissions from this source.
We currently report on four Scope 3 emissions (flights, taxis, waste and office paper) previously considered the minimum under NCOS. As the NCOS guidelines now recommend reporting on significant sources rather than a minimum number we will look to review our reporting in 2015 to ensure we are reporting on the sources of emissions that are material for our business.
Greenhouse gas inventory
CPA Australia total electricity usage
Electricity usage declined by approximately 6 per cent driven by a reduction of electricity usage at our Victorian head office which is a result of the continuing impact of changes we made in 2011 including using energy consumption as a criteria when selecting new premises and office equipment. We are currently unable to report on our energy use split into electricity, heating, cooling and steam as this data is not available from our providers. We will continue to work with our providers in 2015 to improve our reporting in this area.