Six years after 196 parties signed the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is believed to be the best last chance to accelerate our collective response to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree celsius. One of the largest meetings convened by the UN, the conference takes place Oct 31-Nov 12 in Glasgow, Scotland.

As a company committed to supporting a sustainable planet for future generations and a longstanding transformation partner to the Glasgow City Council (GCC), we are proud to support our client and host city during COP26.

Our global progress toward achieving net-zero by 2030

At CGI, we take responsibility for responding to global climate change by ensuring our processes and behaviors are sustainable and by improving our social and environmental responsibility and business ethics.

In January 2021, we announced our commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 with respect to carbon emissions under our direct and indirect control as defined by Scope 1, 2 and business travel in Scope 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This important initiative, which supports COP26 objectives, is part of a broad range of sustainable activities we are investing in to reinforce the company’s ambitious corporate social responsibility strategy.

We are also implementing sustainable operating practices that align with the UN Global Compact and ISO 14001. Since 2014, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 66% with renewable energy making up 50% of our company’s energy consumption. Recent progress includes the successful transition of our Phoenix data center, which made up 47% of our electricity consumption globally, to 100% renewable energy coming from solar, wind and biomass.

Active participation in COP26 and our UK operations’ journey to net-zero

Our commitment to net-zero emissions aligns with our environmental stewardship efforts across the globe to create a more sustainable world in collaboration with clients, partners, governments, the UN and other parties at the global, regional and local levels. Across our operations, our global environmental objectives are reinforced by local goals.

In the UK, our journey to net-zero has accelerated in the past months. Some of the key steps we’ve taken recently in the UK include:

  • Supporting COP26 in Glasgow by showcasing our sustainability solutions at a leading partnership conference with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and holding student outreach activities
  • Obtaining validation of CGI’s UK Science-Based Targets by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2026; SBTi provides a clearly defined pathway and expert support for companies to reduce GHG emissions based on the latest climate science findings
  • Running the first CGI Digital Climate Technology Ecosystem Partner Search campaign to encourage businesses with digital solutions that drive net-zero outcomes to join our partner ecosystem and help accelerate our clients’ journeys to net-zero
  • Signing the We Mean Business Coalition Open letter with more than 600 businesses worldwide calling on G20 leaders to agree to strengthen their national climate targets to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree celsius 
  • Becoming a member of the COP26 Business Leaders Forum to learn from cross-sector companies about climate action and the journey to net-zero
  • Joining the UN’s Race to Zero Campaign along with other businesses, cities, regions and investors to drive mobilization for a decarbonized economy
  • Advancing the understanding and future conservation of seagrass through collaboration with the charity Project Seagrass and application of the CGI GeoData360 Earth observation platform to identify seagrass meadows from space

“I passionately believe that digital technology has an important role to play in enabling us all to live and work more sustainably. From providing us with the information we need to take the right decisions to simplifying access to the benefits of a move to a greener economy and delivering a just climate transition, I’m certain that the digital sector will play its part. In the words of the COP26 President, Alok Sharma, ‘We can, and we must, rise to the occasion’.”

Tara McGeehan, UK and Australia President