Thales: “We need partners to be able to implement some of the main emissions reduction actions.”

08/29/2022 | Reading time: 3 minutes

Céline Lugbull

Interviewpartner: Céline Lugbull works as Sustainability Manager for Thales Digital Identity and Security, provider of identity management and data protection technologies that help banks exchange funds, people cross borders, energy become smarter and much more.

Thales has conducted the Climate Performance Assessment in order to validate their action plans to address climate change. We talk to Céline Lugbull about her experiences, the key findings, and the next steps on her climate transformation journey.

We are pleased to have carried out the Climate Performance Assessment together with Thales. Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Céline Lugbull. I work as Sustainability Manager for Thales Digital Identity and Security. In this role, I am in charge of the deployment of our low carbon strategy, engaging all of our different departments and business lines.

How do you position yourself in terms of climate transformation? What climate goals have you defined for yourself?

At Thales, we have been working on reducing our carbon footprint emissions for years, measuring our first global footprint in 2009, and engaging in different action plans to address our most important emissions sources.

And this strategy has been strongly reinforced in the past few years. Thales has signed the Business Climate Pledge and set new ambitious and realistic science based targets, in line with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°.

We target a reduction of 35% of our operational emissions and employee mobility emissions by next year compared to 2018, then 50% by 2030, and achieve Net Zero by 2040. And for the other emissions, we target a reduction of 15% by 2030, but this target is to be reinforced soon based on an improved analysis of this area. Along with this focus on greenhouse gasses emissions, we also have a strong deployment of eco-design skills in our R&D and Marketing teams, to ensure eco-design principles will be deployed for 100% of our new products and services by next year, which address wider environmental impacts. We already have several eco-designed products, such as ECOSIM, green banking cards, energy efficient high security servers and card readers.

How did the Climate Performance Assessment help you? What are the most important learnings you take with you?

Specific external climate assessments such as the one from The Climate Choice are part of transparent communication about our low carbon strategy. They independently validate, through top ranking, our strong commitments and adapted action plans to address climate change. It is of big value for our investors, customers and other interested parties to receive this feedback.

What are the next steps you want to take in the context of climate transformation?

We have launched this year the SBTi (Science-Based Target initiative) certification process to substantiate our progress towards the goals we have set.

How do you deal with your supply chain and the emissions generated here?

The emissions linked to our supply chain represent more than 50% of our global emissions and it’s as such one of the important low carbon strategy focuses.

Following a first analysis to identify the main emitting supply chain categories, we address our suppliers with a global ESG questionnaire and additionally with a specific carbon one. Our objective is to ensure that the engagements they have taken align with our own targets. Thus we assess their strategy and goals to understand their level of engagement. Then we ask them about the specific measurements of the emissions linked to the products and services they deliver us. And we look at their reduction actions. When we assess their maturity as not sufficient, we work with them so that they define an action plan to reach the expected level by next year.

What tips and best practices would you like to pass on to other companies?

The first would be to handle the topic through best practice standards, such as TCFD, SBTi, CDP, GHG protocol, net zero initiative.

Then to get everybody involved, from top management to every single employee. Likewise, both our interested parties, i.e. our suppliers, and our customers and investors must be involved, as we need partners to be able to implement some of the main emissions reduction actions.

Finally, the highest-emitting categories should be prioritized first.