For the fifth consecutive year, investments in renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets helped balance 100 percent of Verisk’s reported scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.
Verisk conducts its annual emissions inventory in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, a globally recognized standard developed in conjunction with the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For 2021, Verisk once again balanced 100 percent of its global scope 1, 2, and 3 (business air travel and downstream leased assets) emissions through a combination of purposeful energy reduction initiatives and investments in RECs and carbon offsets.
The results represent 100 percent of the units conducting business within Verisk during 2021, including five acquisitions that began reporting the first full month following their integration.
External assurance of our emissions was provided by an independent third party, and the emissions were reported as part of Verisk’s response to CDP's annual Climate Change Questionnaire. Learn more about our results and view our emissions history.
RECs (also known as energy attribute certificates) are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities that represent the environmental benefits of generating 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy. Verisk purchased RECs representing more than 24,000 MWh of electricity during 2021, supporting renewable energy projects—wind, hydro, biomass, and solar—in almost every country or region where we have offices.
Carbon offsets support emissions reductions that take place outside the company’s operations, each one representing a metric ton of carbon and carbon equivalents avoided or reduced. For 2021, Verisk used them to offset nearly 4,000 metric tons of emissions. The offsets were generated by efforts to reduce emissions at a landfill in Virginia.
Third parties, including the International REC Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard, certified all projects according to international standards.
While we’ve implemented many important energy-saving initiatives in the recent past, investing in RECs is a practical option for a company of Verisk’s size and circumstances that doesn’t own its facilities and therefore is unable to produce or purchase renewable energy directly. Together with carbon offsets, the investments represent an immediate step forward, helping balance Verisk’s greenhouse gas emissions for the near term to a degree that the company couldn’t achieve otherwise.
The reduction in Verisk’s emissions is attributable to several factors, including the continued transition of data processing activities from individual business units to Verisk’s LEED (Gold) data centers and, ultimately, to more efficient cloud-based platforms. In addition, Verisk has aggressively moved to reduce physical space and consolidate business operations into more modern, energy-efficient facilities, with the most significant changes during 2021 involving multiple offices in Boston and London.
Such changes also translate to fewer servers, printers, and appliances and a corresponding resource reduction. Finally, Verisk’s investments in technology to support remote working capabilities have not only addressed the immediate challenges associated with COVID but have also made it possible to consider future reductions in office space and business travel.
In terms of absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions reported to CDP—that is, before RECs and offsets are applied—Verisk exceeded its target to reduce such emissions by 21 percent by 2024, compared to a 2019 baseline.
The target was calculated by Ecometrica, an accomplished provider of sustainability software and services using Science Based Targets guidance aligned with a 1.5° global future. Verisk’s actual reduction through 12/31/2021 stands at 26.6 percent.
You will soon be redirected to the 3E website. If the page has not redirected, please visit the 3E site here. Please visit our newsroom to learn more about this agreement: Verisk Announces Sale of 3E Business to New Mountain Capital.