A focus on climate change

Climate change is a key risk to every business and presents both a challenge to, and an opportunity for, John Laing in ensuring we are developing and managing projects that support a more sustainable future. With our capability in developing greenfield infrastructure, we are keenly aware of the role that we play in supporting the development of a sustainable asset class. Equally, through our growing Core-plus investment business we are responding to digital transformation and the energy transition in recognising that the greater electrification of our economy brings opportunity for responsible investment.

In 2020, we participated in the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) Climate Change Programme and received a ‘B’ score for our performance in 2020 (2019: B).

Looking to the future and how climate change could impact our business model, we continue to support the work of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) and are actively developing our roadmap to support its recommendations.

Sustainability in direct operations

We are committed to improving the sustainability of all our direct operations. This is predominantly relating to resources we consume in our offices, air travel and procurement activity. We are considering sustained reductions through changes in ways of working, project delivery, stakeholder collaboration and business travel in the future.

Our physical footprint from core operations was reduced during 2020, from ten to eight offices as a result of the closure of the Spanish and Israel offices in line with our new strategic plan.

Greenhouse gas emissions

As a listed company, we have a regulatory obligation to report greenhouse gas emissions (‘GHG’) pursuant to the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 which implement the government’s policy on Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (‘SECR’).


We quantify and report our organisational GHG emissions in alignment with the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and in alignment with the Scope 2 Guidance. We consolidate our organisational boundary according to the operational control approach, which includes all our sources of environmental impact over which we have operational control.

We have adopted a materiality threshold of 5-10% for GHG reporting purposes.

The GHG sources that constituted our operational boundary for the year are:

  • Scope 1: Natural gas and any liquid fuels
  • Scope 2: Electricity
  • Scope 3: Business travel (air, land and hotel stay), water consumption (supply and treatment) and all Fuel and Energy Related Activities (‘FERA’)

Between 2019 and 2020 reporting years, our Scope 1 and 2 emissions (location-based) have decreased by 48%. Renewable energy consumption and reduced fuel consumption at our Amsterdam office further contributed to the overall year-on-year reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions. More generally, across the business we undertake energy and carbon efficiency projects at our offices to drive energy savings and engage the business in contributing to more sustainable operations.

Within our reporting boundary, we have included our Scope 3 emissions resulting from business travel (air, land and hotel stay), water consumption (supply and treatment) and all FERA. Our measured Scope 3 emissions totalled 197.4tCO2e which represents a decrease of 89% against 2019, largely owing to the implications of COVID-19 (reduced business travel).


During 2020, our measured Scope 1 and 2 emissions (location-based) totalled 58.3tCO2e. This comprised:


Rest of World
Natural gas02.52.5
Other fuels (liquid fuels - petrol and diesel)07.057.05
2 - location based10.1738.5848.75
Total Scope 1 & 2 - location based10.1748.1358.3
Scope 1 & 2 intensity per FTE - location based0.360.720.45
Scope 3165.7131.73197.44


Rest of World
Natural gas00.10.1
Other fuels (liquid fuels - petrol and diesel)032.132.1
2 - location based25.653.378.9
Total Scope 1 & 2 - location based25.685.5111.1
Scope 1 & 2 intensity per FTE - location based0.411.340.72
Scope 3703.31,022.81,726.1

In total our UK operations accounted for 68.8.% of all Scope 1 and 2 (location-based) and Scope 3 emissions in 2020, largely becasue of the Scope 3 emissions from UK operations. In addtion to the above, a breakdown of our global emissions between 2018, 2019 and 2020 is displayed below.

Scope (tCO2e)FY2020
2 - location based48.878.9110.9
2 - market based24.658.880.2
Total Scope 1 & 2 - location based58.3111.1143.6
Total Scope 1 & 2 - market based34.291.0112.9
Scope 1 & 2 intensity per FTE - location based0.450.720.85
Scope 3197.41,726.11,831.9

During 2020, our total fuel and electricity consumption totalled 147.62kWh, of which 30% was consumed in the UK. The split between fuel and electricity consumption is displayed below.


Energy consumption (kWh)UKRest of WorldTotal
Fuels - natural gas and liquid fuels (petrol and diesel)016,71816,718


Energy consumption (kWh)UKRest of WorldTotal
Fuels - natural gas and liquid fuels (petrol and diesel)014,93014,930

Our emissions have been verified to a reasonable level of assurance by an external third party according to the ISO 14064-3 standard.

Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’)

As an investor, developer and manager of infrastructure projects, the impact of climate change is strategically important to our business. We are proud to be amongst the 1,500+ organisations that support the TCFD.

Alongside our TCFD work we also provide further disclosures and detail of climate and carbon impacts in our 2020 CDP response: https://www.cdp.net/en/responses