Sustainability19 April 2021

We’re committed to becoming a carbon negative business.

This means that we’ll aim to reduce our carbon footprint to less than zero, to have the net effect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere rather than adding to it.

We’ll count all of our carbon emissions, including within our supply chain and across all our labels. Our commitment will be achieved in stages, with UK-managed operations becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022 and US-managed operations by 2024.

The landscape we work in is changing rapidly. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) we have until 2030 to avoid substantial climate and ecosystem breakdown.

Taking action on sustainability issues is important to our stakeholders – including our artists and employees – and to the continued success of our business. The climate and ecological crisis is one of the great challenges facing humanity and we want our impact as a business to be beneficial to the environment.

We’ll get there by following a strategy rooted in climate science. As a priority, we’ll reduce internal and supply chain-related carbon emissions at a rate aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This means reducing total emissions 46%, by 2030.

Emissions that cannot be avoided will be neutralised by investing in projects that prevent carbon from entering the atmosphere and, wherever possible, projects that actively remove and store carbon. We will adopt an internal price on carbon emissions, reflective of the broader carbon market, to factor the cost of decarbonising into financial planning.

To get to work on measuring emissions and reducing our impact as quickly as possible, we’ve started our programme by focusing on UK-managed operations. This includes our work across the UK, European and Rest of World markets. Having developed a robust methodology, we will extend our work to include US-managed operations, covering the North American market, by the end of 2021.

We work closely with partners from UK and European industry associations to help address sustainability issues in a coordinated way. We are a founding member of IMPALA’s Sustainability Taskforce as well as AIM’s Climate Action Working Group.

We will report transparently on our progress every year. Our Emissions Inventory Report Emissions Inventory Report provides a detailed breakdown of our emissions profile and reduction targets. Our Sustainability Policy, which sets at the commitment we have made to improving our sustainability performance, is available here.

We released 5,010 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from our UK-managed operations in 2019. This figure includes:

• Scope 1 emissions: direct emissions from our operations (e.g., energy burned in buildings that we own or operate)
• Scope 2 emissions: indirect emissions from the electricity we purchase (e.g., electricity purchased in buildings that we own or operate)
• Scope 3 emissions: indirect emissions from our supply chain associated with the production and distribution of our products (e.g., emissions from manufacturing, distribution, business travel etc)

We’ll reduce emissions from our own operations 50% against a 2018 baseline, by 2030.

We’ll achieve this by reducing consumption of gas and electricity in our offices through behaviour change initiatives and smarter building management. We’ve already installed 46 solar panels at our head office, which generate a significant proportion of our electricity demand. We’ll also switch all of our sites over to renewable energy suppliers by the end of 2021.

We’ll reduce indirect emissions from our supply chain by 46% against a 2019 baseline, by 2030.

We’ll achieve this by focussing action on three key areas:

• Products: we’ll work strategically with suppliers to identify and adopt lower-impact vinyl and CD production techniques
• Distribution: we’ll optimise our logistics operations to maximize use of sea freight and will improve the accuracy of our digital distribution footprint by working closely with digital players
• Our business: we’ll reduce business travel and drive engagement on sustainability topics with our staff

We’ve had some success here already. In 2020, we halved the carbon intensity of shipments with our largest logistics provider by increasing our use of sea freight and, as part of AIM’s Climate Action Group and IMPALA’s Sustainability Taskforce, are working collaboratively to improve the impact of manufacturing processes at pressing plants.

For more information on our targets, see our Emissions Inventory Report.

For more information on any aspect of our sustainability programme, contact Will Hutton, (Head of Sustainability).