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Environmental Responsibility

Enhancing Corporate Climate Action & Leadership

Abt aligns our climate commitments with the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5°C and reaching science-based net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. We are committed to reduce our absolute Scope 1+2 emissions and our material Scope 3 emissions 38.6 percent by 2027 over 2019 base levels. To do so, we pursue ambitious mitigation strategies across major sources of emissions – energy use, staff commuting, and business air travel.

Abt’s long-term operational strategies continue to enhance our Remote Work Policy to support staff well-being in a post-pandemic world. Abt continues to thoughtfully reimagine our cultural norms, implement technology investments, and expand its telecommuting program to give staff meaningful flexibility, while driving down emissions associated with employee commuting. By the end of 2023, 89 percent of Abt’s U.S. workforce was fully remote or hybrid. Abt has also right-sized our operations, cutting our physical office space by 16 percent and reducing global Scope 1+2 emissions by 18 percent from 2020-2023.

Abt received the 2023 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Commuter Connections’ Employer Recognition Award for its improved telework program. Since winning the Incentives Award in 2020, Abt responded to the pandemic and changes in work conditions with the development of a robust hybrid and remote work strategy for our over 500 employees in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Our strong business strategies are responsive to employee preferences and help to reduce emissions, leading to an estimated reduction of 1.7 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and saving nearly 78,200 gallons of gas annually in the DC region alone.

Abt is also a proud winner of the 2024 Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership. This award recognizes organizations that have a comprehensive GHG inventory and aggressive emissions reduction goals, and that exemplify extraordinary leadership in their response to climate change and engagement of stakeholders, peers, and partners. The 2024 award honors exemplary outcomes achieved between Jan 1, 2020 and December 31, 2023 in GHG reductions across Scope 1 and Scope 2 categories and our efforts to drive climate action in partnership with diverse internal and external stakeholders.

New Pathways to Meet our Targets 

Business air travel is Abt’s largest source of emissions and key to meeting our 2027 near-term science-based emissions reduction target—which requires a 38.6 percent reduction in Scope 3 emissions over 2019 levels. To meet our 2027 target, business air travel needs to drop 52 percent by 2027 over 2019 levels. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Abt’s business air travel activities shrunk 82 percent without effecting our ability to advance our mission around the world. Driven by the post-COVID rebound in travel, Abt’s air travel emissions in 2023 were 2980MTCO2e, just 11 percent lower than the 2019 levels. Abt is focused on institutionalizing actionable strategies to responsibly manage down these emissions without hindering our ability to generate impact around the world.

In 2022, we developed an air travel emissions annual ceiling and budget to manage this emissions source more rigorously. And in 2023, Abt expanded these efforts by developing business unit-specific action pathways to inform decision-making and influence change. Our air travel emission mitigation tactics include policy and procedure updates, decision trees, integration into financial planning, global talent localization and more to promote progress towards our goal. Abt is a member of the Sustainability Managers Round Table Business Travel Working Group, initiated by the World Resources Institute in 2019, and collaborates with peers to share knowledge and best practices towards common decarbonization goals. Abt’s commitment to implementing change within our own organization and sparking change in our industry and beyond is unwavering.

Abt’s commitment to transparency and action leads us to verify our GHG inventory biennially. Our last verification was completed in early 2024 for emission years 2021 and 2022 by SCS Global Services. In this process, we elected to enhance our verification of Scope 3 emissions to ensure accuracy in our tracking and categorization, and to better inform our mitigation actions going forward to meet our near-term and net-zero targets.

Climate Literacy for Enhanced Impact

Extreme heat waves, historic drought, severe flooding, and record-setting wildfires. 2023 showed us many aspects of the global climate crisis, and the consequences of our rapidly changing climate affect health, ecosystems, economies, communities, wellbeing, and more.

The challenge of climate change is cross-cutting and intersectional, and at Abt our work to address it is underpinned by our commitment to equity as a pillar of our work. We have a responsibility to shape and implement government policies and programs in ways that protect vulnerable groups from climate change and mitigate further harm. The interdisciplinary approaches needed to address climate change make it imperative that everyone at Abt, regardless of subject matter expertise, learn about climate and the environment.

That’s why we’re offering The Introduction to Climate Change and Climate Risk course, which establishes foundational climate literacy across all of Abt staff. The training results in a deepened understanding of how climate change affects our ability to deliver on our mission and will introduce a framework to help you begin to address climate risks affecting our programs and operations. Applying a climate lens to our work at Abt through a structured understanding of climate risk enables teams to apply risk mitigation strategies to protect outcomes and ultimately deepen our commitment to equity.

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