We carefully monitor our environmental impact and the management of environmental issues is an integral part of managing the total risks faced by our business.
We have processes in place to measure and report on our global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, together with waste and water data for the 12 months, October through to September. In 2016, we increased our absolute GHG emissions from our occupied estate and company owned vehicles to 72,568 TCO2-e. The increase was driven by growth in our business and increased data centre activity. When normalised against floor area, our GHG emissions efficiency metric improved by 7 per cent to 123 kgCO2-e/m2 in 2016 (2015: 132 kgCO2-e/m2) and 12 per cent over the past three years (2013: 139 kgCO2-e/m2).
We continue to deploy energy management strategies across our business. A new 100% renewable energy contract for electricity purchased for our UK occupied property estate was introduced during the year, replacing an earlier low carbon energy contract. Our US business, increased the Energy Star performance score for its Corporate Head Office in Lansing by 80 per cent over the year, placing it in the top 20 per cent of its type in the country https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/about-us following an earlier energy efficient re-fit. In Asia, we delivered our first LEED Gold certified refurbishment for our One Island East offices in Hong Kong through LED lighting, daylight sensors, energy and water efficient appliances and a green ‘living’ wall in reception.
We maintained our sector positioning in key benchmarks, including the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) with a B rating in 2016 (level with our peers) and ClimateWise, the insurance sector climate initiative managed by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, maintaining our position of 9th out of 19 participants http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/business-action/sustainable-finance/climatewise. Our performance in ClimateWise against six core principles is independently audited.
M&G Real Estate forms part of the M&G Group of Companies, the asset management arm of Prudential plc in the UK and Europe. Its approach to Responsible Property Investment enables it to manage and respond to the growing range of environmental and social issues that can impact property values. It also helps M&G Real Estate to protect and enhance fund and asset performance for its clients. Responsible Property Investment is integrated within M&G Real Estate’s day-to-day investment practices. Carbon emissions from the investment portfolio of M&G Real Estate have nearly halved over the past four years. It has achieved six Green Stars (2015: four Green Stars) in the 2016 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark survey out of eight participating funds. M&G Real Estate’s progress can be found in its annual Responsible Property Investment report.
We expect continued developments on environmental factors in the years ahead, including increasing disclosure of climate related risks and opportunities for financial companies. The work of the Financial Stability Board in particular could be a major development in the transition to a low carbon economy with its guidance on strategy, risk management, metrics and reporting on climate risks http://www.fsb.org/2016/12/fsb-welcomes-task-force-consultation-on-recommendations-for-climate-change-disclosure/.
In recognition of the growing importance of the environment, we strengthened our internal environmental capabilities and focus with the recruitment of a Head of Environment, Health and Safety. This is a new global facing role and will work with our Business Units to drive forward our environmental programmes, including the deployment of a global environmental targets framework covering our three regional markets.