FCDO Services »About us »Environment and sustainability

Environment and sustainability

We’re committed to environmental compliance, increased efficiency and sustainability, and making greener products and services

Our organisation is working hard to improve our sustainability and to achieve our Greening Government Commitment targets. This includes being on track for Net Zero by 2050.

We have:

  • an interim goal to reduce emissions by 56% by 2025, from a 2017/18 baseline
  • aligned with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System
  • a director-level Chief Sustainability Officer and a dedicated Sustainability team
  • a board-level approved Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan 2022-25 to drive improvement across FCDO Services and make us ‘Net Zero capable’

For more detail, read our Environmental Policy Statement and our Carbon Reduction Plan. This follows the UK Government sustainable procurement guidelines.

Each year, we publish our sustainability performance in the FCDO Services Annual Report and Accounts. View our Sustainability Report for 2022/23.

Secure, safe and sustainable

FCDO Services aims to be ‘secure, safe and sustainable’ in everything we do.

Sustainability aligns with our business objectives to be more efficient and streamlined. This includes cutting our energy costs and using resources more effectively.

Our Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan is leading this change and covers:

  • People
    • Driving higher sustainability standards through learning and development
    • Embedding a culture of sustainable working practices
  • Processes
    • Strengthening our Environmental Management System, including data collection and management
    • Adding sustainability checkpoints to corporate processes
    • Greening our supply chain and category management partnerships
    • Building collaborative green frameworks with our customers
  • Technology
    • Aligning to greener standards
    • Driving internal innovation and partnerships

In partnership with the FCDO

Our carbon footprint is inextricably linked with the FCDO. We share the same premises, facilities and IT services. We also share Greening Government Commitment targets and work together on sustainability improvement.

In the UK, we’re working to increase the energy efficiency of our facilities, enabling us to reduce our energy bills and carbon emissions.

FCDO Services regional and technical experts are supporting diplomatic posts overseas to become greener. We’re helping the FCDO to identify priority building and facility improvements across the global network, to reduce their global energy use by 20% by 2025.

New technologies

We are finding opportunities to exploit new technologies that can deliver enhanced security in more sustainable ways. For example, through the use of remote technologies, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Our use of green and smart building technologies greatly benefits our missions overseas. It also allows us to partner with and showcase UK expertise abroad.

Transportation and logistics

FCDO Services is focussed on reducing its diplomatic freight and personnel travel footprint.

We are doing this by:

  • using ‘virtual delivery’ where possible
  • consolidating our freight for more efficient deliveries
  • using eco-packaging and lighter, bespoke shipping crates to reduce the impact on the environment
  • using the most efficient land, air and sea freight routes to minimise CO2 emissions
  • moving to a low carbon vehicle fleet to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels

Reducing waste

We have already achieved our zero waste to landfill target.

In 2021/22, we exceeded our 70% recycling target by re-using, re-purposing and recycling more. We also reduced our freight packaging footprint.

FCDO Services continues to increase its use of reusable containers, recycled and paper-based packaging. We are also phasing out single use plastic packaging.

Information technology

We aim to align with the Greening Government: ICT and Digital Services Strategy 2020-25 and Technology Code of Practice.

This plays a key role in helping our IT be more sustainable, and ensures our data centres are as energy efficient as possible.

Supply chain

We apply a sustainability criteria to our innovation and product improvement process. Our organisation is building up our green supply chain, and collaborating through innovation and supply partnerships.

We keep up to date with our customers’ sustainability requirements, while also looking for ways to meet the evolving demand for green products and services.

Our commitment to sustainability

We are committed to improving and increasing the environmental and social sustainability of our organisation and its operations.

Read how FCDO Services is working to meet our targets, and discover more about our plan to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.