We have aligned our Scope 1 and 2 carbon reduction roadmaps to a science-based pathway of 1.5°C, and set progress against this in both our in-year and long-term incentives (see page 181 of our Annual Report 2022). We continue to mature our approach to the quantification and understanding of the more complex Scope 3 emissions.
Our in-year and long-term incentives are aligned to the Group achieving a 4.2% operational GHG emissions reduction target, in line with a science-based pathway of 1.5°C, year-on-year over ten years (from a baseline year of 2019), with a 90% reduction in GHG emissions being achieved by 2050. As our understanding of Scope 3 emissions matures, we will consider reduction pathways in line with a science-based pathway of 1.5°C.
Our top ten largest sites accounted for 42% of our total energy consumption. By these sites setting energy reduction targets, they have the biggest influence in reducing our energy use and, in turn, our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
During the reporting year, we have seen a reduction in Scope 1 emissions, this is due mainly to a reduction in natural gas consumption in the US and the UK. Scope 2 emissions have increased by 5%, however this was largely a result of an update to the electricity benchmarks for locations that need to be estimated, in order to improve the accuracy of those estimations.
Overall Group-wide greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 5%, this is mainly due to an increase in Scope 3 business travel, largely caused by flights. Whilst travel has increased (post COVID recovery), business travel emissions are still well below the levels seen prior to the pandemic.