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Major brokers Aon PLC and Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. more than halved their carbon emissions from business travel in 2020 as they shifted to digital ways of working during the pandemic.
In its inaugural environmental, social and governance report released Wednesday, Marsh McLennan said its air travel emissions fell by 75% in 2020 versus 2019 levels as it halted most staff travel and increased its use of technology.
The acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC and addition of 10,000 staff had increased its air travel in 2019, Marsh McLennan said.
Marsh McLennan’s Scope 3 emissions, which include only emissions from staff air travel, fell from 79,555.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019 to 19,298.0 metric tons in 2020, according to the report.
Monthly use of video conference technology increased by 250% as Marsh McLennan staff primarily worked from home, the report said.
“After our successful transition to remote work, we announced plans to reduce our travel even when travel is likely to rebound after the pandemic,” Marsh McLennan said.
Marsh McLennan’s emissions from its business operations and indirect emissions related to its electricity consumption in 2020 declined only marginally, however.
Meanwhile, Aon’s business travel emissions fell by 59% to 12,977 metric tons in 2020, from 31,838 metric tons in 2019, based on figures in its annual impact reports.
Aon has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030, a goal it said it will accomplish by “reducing the environmental impact of our own operations — like a reduction in our real estate footprint and travel by leveraging virtual capabilities,” according to its 2020 report.
Marsh McLennan has pledged to be carbon neutral in 2021 and to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 15% below 2019 levels by 2025, president and CEO Dan Glaser said in its report.
A report by the Global Maritime Forum said that decarbonization is the top issue facing the maritime industry over the next decade, Seatrade Maritime News reports. Other issues affecting the industry include new environmental regulation, societal demands for sustainability and failure of climate-change mitigation and adoption.