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Corporate Sustainability

Taking actions that reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and mitigate the effects of climate change

Environmental stewardship at IHS Markit includes efforts to minimize our environmental impact and identify areas for improvement in our operations and in our communities. We make choices that help to reduce waste and our carbon footprint, increase operational efficiency and enable our colleagues to support a healthy planet. This means we go beyond simply compliance with environmental regulations, and instead, strive for leadership and innovation throughout our business. As a professional services company, our impacts are largely due to office and data center operations, travel and our supply chain. Therefore, we are committed to incorporation of sustainable design in new projects and remodels, and further, are investing in LEED certified or equivalent certifications. We are also committed to consolidating our data centers, increasing virtualization and increasing transparency across all aspects of our supply chain. To this date, IHS Markit has never incurred any monetary environmental fines or penalties.

As part of our commitment to Climate Action, IHS Markit signed on to the RE100 in 2017, with a commitment to Renewable Energy by 2020, and joining in the We Mean Business coalition of companies committed to Climate Action. IHS Markit reports into the CDP annually, and we continue to pursue opportunities through environmental efforts that advance progress in support of sustainable development goals #12-Responsible Consumption, #13-Climate Action, #14-Life Below Water and #15-Life on Land.

Our energy impact

In accordance with our IHS Markit Sustainability Policy and commitment to the climate action, our goal is to minimize and reduce our environmental impact including mitigating the impacts of climate change. We have signed on to RE100, committing to source 100 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020 for office electricity. Through our RE100 commitment, IHS Markit is now part of the We Mean Business coalition of more than 700 companies and investors committed to climate action. As of 2020, we are generating renewable energy around our global locations through the use of unbundled energy attribute certificates such as RECs.

The majority of our carbon footprint is from scope 2 emissions via office electricity and scope 3 emissions from business air travel, external data centers and cloud services. Scope 1 emissions contribute only 1% of our total footprint and air travel accounts for more than 98% of all business travel. Other relevant scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services can be found here. For scope 1 and 2 emissions, we use an operational control consolidation approach using fuel factors and average grid emission factors for countries and regions. Our baseline year is 2016 when we finalized our merger as IHS Markit. Our environmental data and assurance section at the bottom of this webpage provides further information on our Y-on-Y environmental performance, scope 3 emissions, standards, methodology, and quality assurance.

2019-2020 highlight (compared to 2018)

  • 16,136 tonnes of scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions in 2019 (14% absolute reduction)
  • 15,784 tonnes of scope 3 GHG emissions from air travel in 2019
  • 5,250 tonnes of scope 3 GHG emissions from our external data centers in 2019 (8% reduction when normalized for revenue)
  • 7 percent reduction in GHG emissions from offices, air travel and data centers (normalized for revenue)
  • Since 2018, purchased and retired 104,062 carbon units to offset our 2017, 2018 and 2019 footprint associated with global offices, business air travel and data centers
  • Scheduled generation of more 39,000 MWh globally in 2020 per our RE100 commitment for office electricity
  • 27% of our office area (representing ~33% of our employees) is recognized for environmental efficiency such as LEED or ENERGY STAR
  • Invested US$92 million in the last nine years to upgrade to more modern and efficient buildings and incorporated elements of sustainable design into 24 global office projects since 2014
  • Check out our internal business functions scorecards to see our progress towards sustainable design, green travel suppliers, sustainable events and occupancy agreements

Any GHG intensity reductions since 2016 are likely due to ongoing initiatives including office consolidation, data center consolidation and virtualization, incorporation of sustainable design into offices, and a stricter travel policy.

In 2019, IHS Markit also generated 353 metrics tons of scope 1 direct greenhouse gas (DGHG) emissions (a 32 percent absolute reduction compared to 2018). The scope 1 emissions represent 100 percent of owned IHS Markit office space and 10 percent of all IHS Markit office area both leased and owned. We only report DGHG emissions for locations that we own and have operational control.

Managing our resources

IHS Markit strives to minimize the impact from waste and water use in our office operations. This includes the use of post consumer and environmentally certified material, water sensors and low-flush toilets, and reducing waste with respect to office supplies and equipment. For e-waste, our vendors meet strict environmental standards including e-stewards, R2, ISO 9001 and ISO 140001 certifications. As a professional services company that operates in mostly leased offices spaces, with no manufacturer or production of material goods, our significant water impact is from potable water usage inside our offices.

All new IHS Markit fitouts strive to be designed to BREEAM/LEED-certified standards. This means that everything from the materials used to the overall design of the space is carefully considered in terms of its impact on the environment. IHS Markit seeks to obtain LEED Silver certification (or equivalent) from the USGBC on all new office projects. Since 2014, we have incorporated elements of sustainable design in 33 global offices with the goal to incorporate sustainable design in at least 33% of all our projects.

2019 highlights

  • Generated 577 metric tons of landfill waste, 45 metric tons of e-waste and recycled 394 metrics tons
  • 90% of offices have at least single-stream recycling
  • Recycled more than 20 metric tons of personal colleague electronic waste (since 2012)
  • Donated 869 items of older corporate computer and desktop equipment to non-profits through office campaigns (since 2012)
  • Diverted and repurposed 16 tonnes of e-waste (averaging 10-16 tonnes per year)
  • Decreased the number of printing devices by 29% and increased our colleague-to-printer ratio to 50 (+16 percentage points from 2018)
  • Used 189,000 pounds of paper (23% reduction from 2017)
  • 74% of our offices reported using certified or at least 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) paper
  • Used 187,658 cubic meters of potable water in our offices (about 3,274 gallons of water annually per employee)
  • Check out our internal business functions scorecards to see our progress towards sustainable design, green travel suppliers, sustainable events and occupancy agreements
  • Employees, working with more than 150 nonprofit organizations, contributed more than 11,000 volunteer hours globally in environmental projects

Employee and office engagement

Guided by our volunteering policy that allocates 3-work days per year to volunteer and our philanthropy policy, employees routinely participate in environmental projects including litter pickup at national parks and beaches, habitat restoration, or use of pro bono skills to judge the Carbon XPrize competition. Please see the environmental stewardship section in our sustainability snapshots for more examples. With respect to office engagement, half of our offices regularly set annual environmental goals and targets around energy efficiency, elimination of single use plastic, and recycling.

Partnering with our vendors and customers

Further reducing our impact and risk means making responsible choices regarding our vendors and providing solutions to customers that advance their sustainability goals. Check out our Vendor Code of Conduct to see the acceptable conduct we expect from all our suppliers.

Our information, analytics and expertise

For customers, sustainability can be a organizational imperative and driver for growth and innovation. Working with industry leaders or non-profit agencies - on both paid engagements and pro bono projects - we provide customer solutions that harness information, analytics and expertise to address sustainability challenges throughout organizations around the world.

Reducing risk in the supply chain

Since 2013, IHS Markit has used an external provider to better understand our environmental footprint. Due to lack of customer participation, we moved away from this provider and are in the process of incorporating environmental and social assessments into our internal vendor management system. The goal is to obtain a more detailed profile of our top vendors and to have better control of potential risks.

Partnership with Mastercard to launch the Priceless Planet Coalition

IHS Markit partners with Mastercard in launching the Priceless Planet Coalition to engage both customers and corporations in sustainability and climate action. Along with other founding partners including Citibank, Santander UK and American Airlines, the Coalition commits to planting 100 million trees in the next 5 years. One early Coalition initiative will award consumers with the planting of trees for using public transportion. Another initiative allows Mastercard's corporate card customers to contribute to the Coalition's forest initiatives.

For IHS Markit, use of our corporate credit card will go towards forest initiatives in lieu of receiving standard loyalty and reward points. IHS Markit Chairman and CEO Lance Uggla states, "The effects of climate change are very real, and companies have a responsibility to lead by example to protect our planet. Trees play an important part in reaching the Paris Climate Accord and working with others we can have a bigger impact in achieving a more sustainable future. I’m proud that we can lead by example as the first corporation to participate."

Sustainable design

All new IHS Markit office fitouts strive to be designed to BREEAM/LEED-certified standards. Everything from the materials used to the overall design of the space is carefully considered in terms of its impact on the environment including the purchase of low emitting amd recycled content material, low emitting VOC paint, water efficient devices, and ENERGY STAR rated equipment. Our goal is to incorporate sustainable design in 33% of the projects we undertake in 2019.

Partnership with Xerox and transition to Konica Minolta

For the past few years, IHS Markit has partnered with Xerox in an enterprise-wide strategy to reduce our environmental impact and increase productivity. Please see the case studies for our offices and our centralized print shop.

Konica Minolta, our current supplier, has a strong committment to the environment including the use of eco-friendly plastics, bio-based toners and energy saving technology in their printing devices. For example, their C658 model is made up of 35% recycled material and ENERGY STAR certified with duplex printing set as default and one touch control of power consumption.

External data centers

We estimate that over 60% of our data center footprint is sourced by renewable energy or has been recognized for carbon reduction or energy efficiency: ViaWest has been recognized as Xcel Energy’s 2010 Cooling Efficiency Champion and for leading the Rocky Mountain region in its utilization of green technology; Century Link received Carbon Trust Standard recognition in 2013 for their LO6 data center that IHS Markit uses; Equinix uses 100% renewable energy for their data centers we use in London and Amsterdam.

Cloud services

As we transition to cloud-based services, our main providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have taken actions and made strong commitments towards energy efficiency, waste reduction and 100% renewable energy.

Energy Star IT equipment

Our corporate supplier of desktop computer hardware is Dell, a company with a strong commitment to the environment. Currently about 50 percent of our computer inventory is ENERGY STAR™ compliant. We project that we will be at 70% inventory by the end of 2018 and at 100% in the next couple of years as we exchange out our legacy Markit equipment.

Business travel

Our preferred airline carriers, United Airlines and British Airways, are committed to leading commercial aviation in reducing their footprint in the air, on the ground, and at their facilities. Travel with these preferred carriers represent over 35% of all IHS Markit air travel spend.

To reduce air travel, we have a travel policy that emphasizes showing a return on investment for all air travel, combining multiple purposes for a trip, and using alternative collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams (where we average more than 20,000 hours of use per month).

We also continue to contract with and drive use of green travel suppliers to reduce the impact of corporate travel. In 2018, 52% of employee hotel stays were at green hotel properties (+19 percentage points since 2016) and we have a goal to increase this to 54% in 2019.

Environmental data and assurance

Environmental and social data is collected each fiscal year and audited internally. We track more than 50 key performance indicators (KPIs) in alignment with and based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 reporting guidelines. We are now in more than 5 years of tracking environmental metrics, with improvements every year in the availability and access to information, and in our environmental performance.

Our data is managed centrally, with inputs from colleagues around the world, our global "sustainability champions" who are leading local efforts at local offices, and from our internal business functions. Data is aggregated up to the regional and corporate level for quality control, audit and evaluation. More than 75% of our business operations are captured in the environmental and social indicators we report.

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