Our net zero
Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced vs the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.
The UK Government has a target to become net zero
by 2050. As a responsible business, we aim to achieve it
ahead of this: our near-term targets are to halve carbon
emissions before the end of 2030, before fully achieving
net zero across our entire value chain by 2040.
In June 2021, we signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (‘SBTi’) Business Ambition for 1.5°C. By doing so, we are committed to achieving net zero before 2050 and to reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. Our goal at Auto Trader is to achieve net zero earlier than this and we are committing to achieving net zero across our entire value chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 2040 and every year thereafter. Our near and long-term targets have been validated by the SBTi, with our near-term targets forming a core component of our net zero strategy.
We have committed to:
How we’re taking action
To meet the SBTi’s definition of net zero, we need to reduce our emissions by at least 90% and then use carbon removal initiatives to neutralise any limited emissions that cannot yet be eliminated. It is therefore essential that we fully understand the source of our emissions.
We have built on the work to understand our full Scope 3 emissions across all entities within the Group, in addition to our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, providing us with a complete understanding of our carbon emissions throughout our value chain so that we can identify where we need to focus our efforts.
We have made further progress during the year to reduce our direct carbon footprint – our offices are predominantly on renewable energy tariffs and our data centres have been migrated to the cloud.
Addressing our Scope 3 emissions is a bigger challenge and something we have less control over. The make up of our carbon emissions is heavily weighted towards Scope 3, and within that purchased goods and services, use of sold product sand employee commuting are our major contributors. In order to meet our 1.5°C commitments and net zero ambition, we will undertake targeted actions. Within our Scope 3 emissions are emissions relating to the projected lifetime emissions of vehicles temporarily held on balance sheet by Autorama – we expect the volume of vehicles held on balance sheet to reduce over time. Another key focus area will be on supplier engagement and working with our procurement team to understand the emissions of our suppliers so we can engage with them further on their sustainability plans. From a business travel perspective, we are reducing our fleet of vehicles and are aiming to switch any remaining business vehicles to EV or low emission. We are also encouraging rail travel over flying where possible for business travel.
The switch to Connected Working will result in less employee commuting and whilst we are still encouraging collaborative working, the advance in technology and communication tools should lead to less travel, be that commuting to the office or to visit a customer. We have also successfully launched our employee salary sacrifice scheme to lease an electric vehicle.
The initiatives helping us
achieve our long-term targets
Our carbon transition plan is our framework for ensuring we realise
our aim of being net zero by 2040, whilst also supporting consumers
in making more sustainable vehicle choices, along the way.
Our carbon transition plan
We want to minimise our impact on the environment, thereby protecting our business from the impact of climate change.
Our strategy is to put the brakes on carbon, not only across our own operations
and supply chain, but also using our capabilities and voice to influence the
automotive industry to support others in the transition to a low carbon
economy and take urgent action to tackle climate change.
SOME OF THE ACTIONS WE'RE TAKING
Switch 100% of our fleet vehicles to be EV or low emission
Fully migrate all of our data centres to to the cloud
Reduce overall electricity use by 50% and procure 100% renewable energy for our remaining needs
Achieve a 50% reduction on our business travel emissions
Achieve a 50% reduction in commuting emissions
Require 50% of suppliers to have meaningful carbon reduction targets
Our total CO₂ emissions1
(base year restated)
Scope 2 (location based)
Total (Scopes 1 and 2)
Fuel & energy-related activities
Upstream transportation & distribution
Waste generated in operations
Employee commuting & working from home
Upstream leased assets
Use of sold products
End of life treatment of sold products
Scope 3 (total)
Total (Scopes 1, 2 and 3)
Tonnes of CO2 equivalent per FTE 2
Tonnes of CO2 equivalent per £million turnover 3
Scope 2 (market based)
Supporting the industry
The government’s plans to reach net zero are ambitious and a lot need to happen in the coming years to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support the mass consumer adoption of EVs. We are also playing an active role supporting the industry with their own sustainability plans.Read More
To support consumers in making the switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles we have increased the coverage and exposure we give electric vehicles (‘EVs’) across all our platforms. In particular, we have introduced an EV hub on our website where consumers can access articles and videos on electric vehicles, reviews and advice.Read More
We support the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) and its recommendations and are committed to assessing the impacts of climate risks and opportunities across our operations and supply chains.Read More