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Xerox posts sustainability progress amid investor pressure

Company says 97% of its 20,000+ employees completed "net zero" training in 2022.
Melodie Michel
xerox sustainability

Xerox engaged with investors on sustainability almost three times a month in 2022, the $7.11 billion-by-annual revenue printing company has revealed. 

Xerox, which has set a 2040 net zero strategy, said  in its latest corporate social responsibility report that it had hosted 31 calls with 12 investors on sustainability.

The information comes as the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of institutional investors committed to transitioning portfolios to net zero emissions by 2050, said that it now has members managing $8 trillion in assets who have set “sub-portfolio” targets; mounting reporting pressure on downstream enterprises.

Xerox sustainability targets: Some progress achieved

Xerox is aiming to reach net zero by 2040, and has an interim target to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 60% by 2030, against a 2016 baseline. The company appears on track to meet this goal: in 2022, it achieved 6.9% a reduction in these operational emissions, bringing the overall cuts since 2016 to 46%, its report said.

What are Xerox's emisions and where do they stem from?

In 2022, Xerox Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions totaled 126,579 metric tons of CO2e, a 46% reduction from its 2016 baseline. About 65% were direct emissions from natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuel combustion. The remaining 35% of the total GHG emissions were indirect emissions from purchased electricity and steam, its report shows. Facilities owned or leased by Xerox, such as manufacturing sites, offices, and warehouses, contributed to 69% of its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. The remaining 31% are emissions from its service and sales vehicle fleet and other mobile sources

The company has also started pushing “Net Zero Training” across its employee base and said 97% of its 20,000+ employees had completed this in 2022. (The training “was designed to educate employees on the basics of climate change, the company’s plan to reduce emissions, and to communicate opportunities to participate in emissions reduction activities” Xerox said on October 19. 

Investors sought detail on its ESG reporting metrics, human capital, diversity, and executive compensation practices the company noted. The strategies employed to diminish Xerox’ operational carbon footprint included reducing energy use and preventing its products from ending up in landfill through the Green World Alliance programme. Its landfill avoidance now stands at 97.2%. However, Xerox’ Scope 3 emissions increased substantially in 2022, from 860,756 tonnes to over one million tonnes, driven mainly by growth in purchased goods and services, challenging its 2030 target to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 35%. 

Xerox's GHG emissions

Xerox hopes to achieve its climate targets by “improving operational efficiency with key stakeholders” across its value chain, and is betting heavily on training to help support these efforts under the net zero training programme led by Michele Cahn, VP, global government affairs, sustainability, citizenship & compliance. 

The training includes information on how Xerox measures its emissions across all scopes, what the company is doing and plans to do to meet emissions goals and mitigate climate risk, as well as how employees can help.

“At Xerox, we believe that long-term success hinges on all of us working together, striking a balance between financial growth, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship, and we are committed to driving positive change and creating a better future for all,” said CEO Steve Bandrowczak.

See also: Deutsche Bank sets strict emissions targets across corporate loans