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Decarbonizing to Meet Today’s Challenge

Abt has a strong portfolio of projects that address climate change all over the world. We assess and spotlight climate risks, facilitate financing for clean energy, and uncover cost-effective, life-saving adaptation strategies. And we address climate change every day through our own operations.

In 2015, we committed to decarbonize by the year 2050. We set our first emissions reduction target at a 25 percent reduction from the base year 2012 by 2021, focusing on our U.S.-based operations. By implementing key efficiency strategies in global transportation and energy use, we met that target early. To date, Abt has reduced emissions by 49.7 percent.

These charts are interactive and represent Abt’s U.S. GHG emissions (location-based). Hover over each color or click on a source in the legend to explore.

We account for our own internal emissions with the same rigor that we apply to project work around the world. Abt’s greenhouse gas inventory is regularly externally verified; the 2018 verification for the first time captured Abt’s global emissions from our Australia- and Britain-based operations, and indirect emissions related to air travel, employee commuting, and data colocations. This steady progress toward decarbonization is a point of pride, as aggressive curbing of emissions is critical for the well-being of people worldwide. We have begun developing Abt’s next interim target for 2026, which will feature a global scope and science-based methodology limiting warming to 1.5°C.

Responsible Operations: Changing Practices, Changing Behaviors

Responsible Operations in Our Corporate Offices

Ground pollution. Toxins seeping into the water supply. Public health concerns. These are just some of the problems caused by landfills that encouraged Abt to make a commitment in 2015 to significantly minimize waste in our offices. We set a 2020 goal to divert 80 percent of the waste generated in our two largest U.S. offices from going to landfills. Our Massachusetts office has exceeded that goal, achieving an 83 percent diversion rate—sending 32 percent less waste to landfill than in 2016. This was accomplished by revamping processes and engaging our staff in new behaviors.

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Abt is also changing how we buy office supplies—the everyday paper, toner, and other supplies that cumulatively can have a large impact on our waste and carbon footprint. In 2019, we enhanced the sustainability requirements within our vendor contracts, updated the list of preferred environmentally friendly supplies to limit purchase options, and optimized shipping and delivery processes to reduce transportation emissions and packaging waste. 

Responsible Operations in Our Project Offices

Abt project offices around the world are also adopting sustainable operating practices. KOMPAK, the Abt-led partnership between the Australian and Indonesian governments, works to reduce poverty in Indonesia by addressing constraints related to service delivery and employment opportunities. Though KOMPAK’s mandate does not include activities directly linked to safeguarding the environment, as one of the largest international development projects funded by Australia, the KOMPAK team mobilized to integrate sustainable operations into project implementation.

In August 2019, the KOMPAK team launched an internal “GO-GREEN” campaign, rethinking operations across the office, from double-sided printing to paperless meetings. They are already realizing significant reductions in the use of disposable plastic, packaging, and paper use, and an increase in food composting. Starting in the Jakarta office, this campaign has now scaled to all six provincial offices and their 200 staff members.

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