Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
For the third 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 Protocol, a globally recognized standard developed in conjunction with the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For 2019, Verisk once again balanced 100 percent of its global scope 1, 2, and 3 (business air travel) emissions through a combination of purposeful energy reduction initiatives and investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.
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.
Renewable energy certificates (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 nearly 35,000 MWh of electricity during 2019, supporting renewable energy projects—wind, hydro, and solar—in almost every country or region where we have offices. The largest projects included the Persimmon Creek Wind Farm in the United States, the Twin Rivers Wind Farm in England, the Chuzachen Hydroelectric power project in India, and the St. Leon Wind Farm in Canada.
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 2019, Verisk used them to offset nearly 19,000 metric tons of emissions. The offsets were generated by efforts to reduce emissions at landfills in Illinois, Montana, and West Virginia.
Third parties, including Green-e Energy, the International REC Standard, and the Climate Action Reserve, certified all projects according to international standards.
While we’ve implemented many important energy-saving initiatives during the recent past, investing in RECs is a practical option for a company of Verisk's size and circumstances: an energy load decentralized among locations in about 20 countries, with office space leased, not owned, and almost always in multi-tenant buildings. Taken together with carbon offsets, the investments represent an immediate step forward—balancing Verisk's greenhouse gas emissions for the near term to a degree that the company could never achieve otherwise.
In the context of the company's growth and CDP's scope 1 and 2 revenue-based intensity calculation, our 2019 emissions (reported on a location basis) are more than 15 percent lower now than when we first measured emissions five years ago.
Many initiatives have helped reduce our greenhouse gas emissions during the recent past:
- completing major office renovations in our Jersey City headquarters, leading to a LEED (Gold) designation for Commercial Interiors
- migrating data processing activities to Verisk's eastern and western data centers, both LEED (Gold) certified, and taking advantage of processing efficiencies offered by cloud services
- consolidating operations where possible, including various offices in Beijing, London, New York, San Francisco, and Singapore
- improving fuel efficiency in our automobile fleet over a series of years