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CO2 results in 2022

A post-Covid-19 reference year

As we do every year, we calculate our CO2 footprint for the past year to measure our progress in CO2 emissions. We do this as part of our CO2 management system according to the CO2 Performance Ladder, where we are certified at level 3 of the ladder. The 2022 results are discussed and analyzed below.

On the one hand, our emissions are mapped to identify which activities are responsible for the largest share of our total CO2 emissions, but also to detect exceptional peaks early. On the other hand, understanding our emissions allows us to take more targeted and efficient measures to reduce our emissions.

Types of emissions

We map our CO2 emissions that result from:

CO2 footprint results for 2022

The total CO2 emissions from all SBE offices in 2022 amounted to 505.07 tons of CO2. This corresponds to the annual average CO2 uptake by 50.51 hectares of forest or 21,044.77 trees, or, to put it in different perspective, equal to the emissions of 70.15 households in 1 year.

As in 2021, scope 1 (gas and fleet emissions) is the most polluting scope of all CO2 emissions at 89%.

If we then zoom in on the distribution of the entire CO2 footprint by category, we notice no major surprises compared to last year. A modest decrease in electricity emissions was observed as the share of fossil energy in the purchased electricity mix decreased. Emissions are lower than compared to 2021, due to the higher share of nuclear energy in the mix, despite the increase in consumption.

  • Scope 1

    In total, scope 1 involves emissions of 452.10 tons of CO2. With a 91% share, the fleet of fossil fuel vehicles is the largest source of emissions within scope 1. In total, the CO2 emissions associated with the heating of SBE’s various branches correspond to 40.37 tons of CO2, whereby Sint-Niklaas has the largest share.

    SBE’s fleet of vehicles caused emissions of 411.73 tons of CO2 in 2022. Diesel consumption rose another 6.66% from 2021, while petrol consumption also continued to rise by a staggering 31.14%. Despite the increase in fuel consumption, the share of emissions from diesel cars is lower than that of petrol cars for the first time since we started doing the calculations.

    Compared to 2021, fleet emissions increased by 70 tons of CO2 in 2022. On the one hand, this can be explained by the Covid-19 measures that were still in effect in 2021, as well as by the recruitment of many new colleagues in 2022 (resulting in the growth in the number of company cars).
    We should therefore consider the trend in emissions over the years per FTE for our comparisons of reduction goals to present a more accurate picture of the figures.

  • Scope 2

    In total, emissions of 38.74 tons of CO2 can be linked to electricity consumption (scope 2). These emissions are obviously mainly due to consumption within the Sint-Niklaas office. In addition, the Belgian branches’ electric vehicle fleet already accounts for a 19% share within scope 2 emissions.
    Compared to 2021, total scope 2 CO2 emissions only increased by 0.3 tons.

  • Scope 3

    In total, scope 3, or business travel, is responsible for emissions of 14.23 tons of CO2. Within these emissions, air travel has the largest share (79%).
    Compared to 2021, total CO2 emissions from this scope increased by 4 tons of CO2. This is due to the lifting of Covid-19 measures in 2022, which meant that more travel was allowed to attend training courses, meetings, go to project sites, other offices, etc.

Our CO2 policy

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The full CO2 report is available here, and you can learn more about how we at SBE are committed to sustainability by reducing our CO2 emissions.

Reduction goals

Our total CO2 footprint in 2021 was equal to 440.81 tons of CO2, which represents an increase of 64.26 tons in 2022. When expressed in FTEs, this corresponds to 2.58 tons of CO2 per FTE in 2021 and 2.69 tons of CO2 per FTE in 2022, respectively, or an increase of 4% per FTE.

We would like to reiterate that 2021 was an exceptional year, in which a lockdown was still in effect. This means that 2021 was actually an unrepresentative year (less heating in the offices, fewer trips to the office using company cars). Consequently, starting with the emissions results for the current year, we will use 2022 as the new reference year. We also made some minor adjustments to the reduction goals to make them more achievable next year.

The scope 2 and 3 reduction goals have therefore been combined under the same reduction rate, because we believe it is difficult to achieve a decrease in scope 3 business travel when sustainable travel is encouraged. When scope 1 decreases and colleagues stop using cars more often as a result, this automatically causes an increase in scope 3 business travel.

By scope, this translates as follows:

Scope 1: fleet and heating

Increase of 4.7% in CO2 emissions per FTE compared to 2021.
The 10% reduction target was not met.

This is explained on the one hand by an increase in the number of company cars, and on the other hand by longer delivery times for electric cars. The first electric company cars were, for example, not added to our fleet until the last quarter, which was much later than expected. We hope to initiate a decrease in fossil fuel vehicle fleet emissions starting next year, and we encourage everyone to opt for more sustainable commutes.

Scope 2: electricity

Decrease of 5% in CO2 emissions per FTE compared to 2021.
This goal achieves a status quo.

Although total electricity consumption has increased, the total purchased electricity mix is less polluting.

Scope 3: business travel

Increase of 16% CO2 emissions per FTE compared to 2021.
The 1% reduction goal was not met.

More frequent travel was allowed again in 2022, which caused a sharp increase in pollution from air travel in scope 3.

Reduction measures taken

Future reduction measures

Vlasbrug Wielsbeke


Do you have questions about our CO2 emissions or tips for reducing our CO2 emissions?

Don’t hesitate to contact us, we are looking forward to help you!

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