APG|SGA Sustainability Report 2019: strategy in line with the 1.5°C climate target

Aug. 31, 2020

For almost 20 years, APG|SGA has been reporting on its active commitment to the environment. Its current sustainability strategy is in line with the 1.5°C climate target. APG|SGA is working toward the milestone of reducing directly influenceable emissions by 30% in absolute terms by 2023 (compared with 2017 figures), with the long-term target of net zero by 2035. The Sustainability Report 2019 details the social, environmental and economic performance of the company for the previous year.

Climate change has become a major issue, one that has to be urgently addressed. The future of the planet relies on us all extending our existing climate protection targets. The APG|SGA is leading with a positive example, becoming the first Swiss outdoor advertising company to join the global movement ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’, with ambitious measures to match. This is a key prerequisite for achieving the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. The 2023 milestone for ‘scope 1 and 2’ (all emissions that APG|SGA can influence directly) calls for a reduction of about 420 t CO2eq compared with figures for 2017. ‘In 2018, we managed to surpass the reduction target for the year. There was a slight deviation in 2019, but we did not exceed the 1.5°C target. This means that the APG|SGA climate strategy is still on track. We are well aware of our responsibility – to society, to the environment and to our employees and business partners. Making our business sustainable is a key prerequisite for the future viability of APG|SGA. Thinking and acting responsibly is the APG|SGA way, and this has driven management decisions within the company for decades. We embody sustainability,’ says Beat Hermann, CFO of APG|SGA. 

Evolution in electricity consumption
In 2019, APG|SGA massively expanded its digital portfolio. However, this was not matched by an equivalent increase in pollution. That’s because the company purchased 100% certified green ‘naturemade star’ electricity. The optimisation offensive in lighting concepts and illuminated advertising panels and the reconfiguring of ePanels for LED technology have also helped to save energy.

Overview of vehicle performance
Efficient energy use is the focus of the vehicle fleet. CO2 emissions for APG|SGA vehicles are significantly lower than the Swiss average (2018: 137.8 g CO2) – a shining example of the reduction pathway. In 2015, APG|SGA set a CO2 limit for new vehicles for the first time, guided by Swiss legislation (130 g CO2/km). In 2016, the company voluntarily increased its efforts in the reduction pathway and from this year, 2020, the rate will be 95 g CO2/km in line with the standardised driving cycle NEDC. After that, the currently defined CO2 reduction pathway will be measured against the European test procedure WLTP (worldwide harmonised light-duty vehicles test procedure) and further optimised.

Occupational safety and health protection
In the Bern, St. Gallen and Zurich offices, building and occupational safety were reviewed in an audit carried out by the institute ‘safexperts’. Further audits are planned for Lausanne and Sion in 2020. Requirements for infrastructure, documentation of harmful substances, technical facilities and fire protection are becoming increasingly complex. The existing safety concept will be revised to make it fit for the future. The highest priority here is avoiding accidents and other dangers. ‘We aim to take a leading role in the field of occupational health and safety,’ explains Alexandre Zimmermann, Head of Infrastructure at APG|SGA.

Social responsibility
APG|SGA is not only committed to secure, future-proof and attractive jobs – it also assumes social responsibility in wider society. In the area of purchasing, the company has long-term partnerships with social institutions; for example, in the manufacture of fasteners for advertising panels. Poster sponsorship provides targeted support for cultural and sporting events. 

CDP ranking
In 2019, more than 8,400 companies reported climate-relevant data to the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). APG|SGA received a score of A- in this global climate protection rating (2018: B) in a national and international comparison of the most prestigious listed companies. The ‘CDP Climate Score’' ranges from a top score of A to D. APG|SGA submitted the standardised CDP survey once more in late August 2020. The results are expected to be made known in January 2021. 

More information
•    APG|SGA Sustainability Report 2019
•    Environmental overview
•    Business Ambition for 1.5°C
•    'naturemade star' green electricity
•    safexperts institute
•    New Vehicle Regulation

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