PACT at WSP
Sustainability is at the core of our business strategy. We’re so passionate about it, we developed ‘PACT’ (personal allowance carbon trading) – the world’s first personal carbon trading scheme for staff. It’s a unique, innovative scheme designed to help our staff manage their personal carbon impacts outside of the office and it’s been a huge success here. We’re very proud of it.
The history of PACT
Launched in 2007, PACT enjoyed a successful two year pilot within our UK business. Staff uptake was great, with 80 staff signed up. The scheme proved so popular we made a significant investment to up-scale the initiative and opened the scheme to our global business in late 2009. We now have 890 staff participating with many more expected to join in the next sign up period.
How does PACT work?
The scheme is voluntary and entirely trust-based. Staff are given a yearly personal carbon allowance and access to an online portal to track their home energy usage and travel activities. At WSP, members receive a salary bonus if their emissions fall below the threshold at the end of the year. Those in the carbon red pay into the scheme, up to a set limit, with all ‘fines’ donated to a nominated charity. Other companies participating in PACT have set up their own incentive schemes which include vouchers, charitable donations and giving away ‘low carbon’ prizes.
Why is PACT so important to us?
It works – on average our staff have achieved a 10% reduction in personal carbon emissions in their first year. In fact, PACT is so effective it’s now embedded as an integral part of our overall sustainability strategy. And we want to be able demonstrate our commitment to reducing carbon. David Symons, Director responsible for PACT, sums up our view:
“Consultancies are good at advising clients, but we should have better story to tell on carbon reduction. We wanted to do something more leading edge, push the boundaries and set ourselves a serious challenge’.
It’s great for our profile too. During the 2009 re-launch, the scheme generated intense media interest in the UK, US and Australia, featuring in The Times newspaper and attracting coverage across the BBC TV & Radio network. The media coverage prompted overwhelming support for the scheme and generated an advertising equivalent value of £382,000.
The Guardian Careers Supplement even commented:
The future for PACT
PACT is currently available to 4,000 of our 10,000 staff and we hope to open the scheme to all employees globally in 2011. Many participants see PACT as a real benefit of working here, so we expect the scheme to continue to grow and develop.
Our clients love PACT too. We’ve received a huge level of interest from clients looking to adopt the scheme in their own organisation. To find out more details, click here.
“PACT…is a shining example of how a far-sighted employer can help staff to combine their personal and work ethics.”
PACT has already been adopted (and adapted) by a number of our clients.
“It was intiatives like PACT that made me want to work for WSP – they actually practice what they preach and care about sustainability issues.”
Julian Elsworth, Senior Consultant