Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Wanting to make a difference to the industries we serve and communities we live in is a common goal at Ascential.

Customers are at the heart of everything we do every day, and we constantly review what we produce and how we do it to ensure we remain ahead. We have continued to progress our Corporate and Social Responsibility aims, particularly around supporting our employees and giving back to the communities we serve. Over the past 12 months we have also further reduced our environmental impact, and introduced policies around labour standards, human rights and anti-corruption policies throughout our business and supply chain. With these and other measures, we believe we are continuing to make a positive impact on our customers world-wide, the communities we live in and serve, and our people.

Increasing energy efficiency and re-cycling
We have a policy across all existing and new buildings to work with our landlords to ensure installation of energy efficient low temperature hot water, low energy lighting and low power technology. As a business, Ascential encourages recycling in all its forms.

Waste recycling
Ascential encourages recycling in all its forms and works closely with our facilities management company and landlords to highlight any and all initiatives. In 2016, the [London-based] business recycled 90 tonnes of material, including 16 tonnes of general waste and 34 tonnes of mixed paper. This is an increase over 2015 and 2014 and was recognised with a “most improved recycler” award in 2016 from one of our building landlords.

Reducing print in line with customer need
The business constantly seeks to improve print run efficiency and generate less waste on paper stock. It purchases the lowest paper volume necessary and uses only one or two grades across all titles and supplements. It also follows a criteria of mill assessment rated on product grade, energy consumption per tonne and percentage of recycled fibre content from certified forestry sources and continues to consolidate collection of overseas copies and scale back usage of polywraps.

The paper requirement of the Group has diminished in recent years with the sale of MBI in January 2015 and as many customers have increased consumption of content on mobile and other devices rather than print. This decline in paper requirements has continued in 2016 as several products have ceased print or reduced frequencies. Initiatives are in place to further reduce paper weight and volume in line with advances in paper technology and customer demand and a further significant drop in paper usage is expected in 2017 on the sale of the Heritage Brands.

Paper usage 2013 2014 2015 2016
Magazine and other product print (tonnes) 12,144 11,057 894 642

Paper purchased in the business was 2,187 reams of A4 and 174 reams of A3. This is a reduction of 239 reams of A4 and 74 reams of A3 over 2015. Since 2014, the business has reduced its A4 and A3 paper usage by more than 50% and 40% respectively.

Air travel
As an increasingly global business, Ascential carefully monitors and aims to manage our air travel effectively. The level of business travel by air is partly explained by the need to visit the United States increasingly frequently, following the move of the WGSN headquarters to New York in 2014, and the acquisition of US brands - Money20/20 in 2014; Retail Net Group in 2015, One Click Retail in 2016 and MediaLink in 2017. The company continues to encourage the use of video conference facilities and webinars as much as possible so as to remove any unnecessary travel.

Where possible, the business encourages business use of trains rather than cars. In the UK, we reduced the number of company cars to 27 (35 in 2015).

Greenhouse gas emissions statement
Ascential is required to measure and report its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by the Companies Act 2006. We are required to disclose the company’s emission of carbon dioxide (equivalence) as well as CO2 intensity value while stating the methodology used to calculate these emissions. As a result, we measure our annual emissions in relation to our revenue as this is the key indicator of our growth. The table below includes both combustion of fuel and purchased electricity and gas associated with our offices.

  2016 Unit
Scope 1 *
Scope 2 **
Absolute carbon emissions (tCO2)
Tonnes of CO2e
Tonnes of CO2e
Tonnes of CO2e
Intensity factors:
• Total area
• Total headcount
Square metres
Full time equivalence (FTE)
Carbon intensity (area) 48.17 Kg of CO2e per m2
Carbon intensity (headcount) *** 538.27 Kg of CO2e per FTE
Year on year change (n/a)    

* Scope 1 emissions are from fuel used in company-leased vehicles and are calculated using the distance-based calculation method (DEFRA GHG conversion factors 2016). Emissions from personal or privately-hired vehicles used for company business are considered to be Scope 3 (GHG protocol) and are not included following the ‘Operational control’ boundary approach (see Methodology and scope).

** Scope 2 emissions are from the consumption of energy at Ascential offices and does not include approximately 40 home workers. CO2 figures are based upon the energy consumption of approx. 84% of Ascential’s operations (using office surface area) with estimates for the remainder. Where the consumption of energy other than electricity (eg natural gas) is supplied as part of a leased building’s SLA and is not available, this information has not been included in the data.

*** Scope 3 does not include approximately 40 home workers.

Methodology and scope
Carbon Dioxide equivalence emissions data has been collected, calculated, consolidated and analysed following the GHG Protocol (Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard) and DEFRA Environmental Reporting Guidelinds (2013) following the ‘ operational control’ approach. The boundary for reporting extends to include all entities and facilities that are owned or leased by Ascential and are also actively managed by Ascential.

Timeframe and future reporting
As this is the first year of reporting CO2e emissions following our IPO last year, only data for 2016 has been shown. In future, year over year emission figures will be given. Furthermore, Ascential intends to review its environmental data management process with a view to continuing to improve data accuracy and disclosure going forward.

Behaving ethically throughout our supply chain
For Ascential our suppliers, partners and other third parties involved in the provision of goods or services to us are important. They underpin our ability to serve our customers through market-leading exhibitions, festivals and information services. While delivering these valued and trusted products, it is important to us that we and our suppliers do business responsibly, ethically and lawfully and in accordance with our code of conduct.

Third Party Code of Conduct
Any third parties involved in the provision of goods and services to Ascential underpin our ability to serve our customers through market-leading exhibitions, festivals and information services. While delivering these valued and trusted products, it is important to us that we and our suppliers do business responsibly, ethically and lawfully. To specify the minimum standards that Ascential expects and requires of third parties, we have created a Code of Conduct which we expect our third parties to adhere to at all times.

Ascential Third Party Code of Conduct