Cultivating Environmental Responsibility
As responsible investors, we scrutinize the environmental effects and behavior of companies we analyze. As a responsible corporation, we turn the same lens on ourselves—working to reduce our environmental impact.
Doing More for the Environment…by Using Less
At AB, being good stewards of the environment means redesigning our business operations to use less of the Earth’s precious resources. We’re focused on the following initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint:
- Removing plastic water bottles from offices
- Implementing paper-free meetings by employing technology
- Tracking down the use of printing to the user
Reduction of Energy Consumption
in our major global office buildings between 2013 and 2018
Major office locations: 1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY; White Plains, NY; 50 Berkeley Street, London, England.
Managing Greenhouse Gasses and Energy Usage
AB’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are audited and regularly reported by an independent third party. Since 2013, we’ve reduced our GHG emissions by 30% globally. We’ve seen large declines in energy consumption from our conservation initiatives, which have been partially offset by increased emissions from airline travel.
As we move forward, we’ll explore ways to reduce our airline travel. We’re also looking at the possibility of purchasing carbon offsets to counterbalance GHG emissions from business flights globally, a practice we’ve already adopted in Australia through an agreement with Qantas Airways.
Columbia Earth Institute Collaboration
AB and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, home of the world-renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, have collaborated to create a first-of-its-kind climate change and impact investment curriculum, “Climate Science and Portfolio Risk.” Designed by AB investment professionals and top Lamont-Doherty research professors, it fills a major industry need for asset managers to dig deeper into the complex issues around climate change and its impact on economic and financial outcomes.
The program addresses the risks of global climate change, including rising sea levels, and predictive modeling for extreme weather, wildfires and other threats from a warming planet. The goal is to increase the understanding—both within and outside the asset-management industry—of the impacts of climate change. We’re thrilled to partner with the Earth Institute, another leading institution, in applying research to pursue better outcomes.
Climate Commitment AB Memberships
Our memberships as an example of our involvement in climate-change efforts.
Using Fewer Plastics—With Water Packaging in the Crosshairs
Over the past three years, we’ve taken a number of key actions to transform our office water supplies and the amount of plastic used. Overall, this effort has removed roughly 60,000 pounds of plastic from AB’s waste stream.
In July 2016, we eliminated plastic water bottles in most offices, including cafeterias and pantries.
We distribute reusable steel water bottles to all employees.
Glass carafes filled with filtered still water and sparkling water are now used for catering.
Bring Your Own Device: Working to Leave Printers Behind
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, started in 2017, is designed to enable AB staff to securely access corporate email, calendars and contact information on their personal phones, tablets and other supported devices. The goal is to reduce paper usage by providing a stipend to employees who purchase an iPad.
At the end of 2018, a total of 2,513 iPads had been purchased under the BYOD program, representing 69% of our workforce. These purchases have resulted in a 9% reduction in the volume of documents printed by employees. AB continues to expand the number of devices supported as we move toward an increasingly paperless world.
Greening Our Workplaces
Emphasizing Greener Buildings
AB doesn’t own its physical workspaces, but we work closely with property managers to pursue the highest possible local environmental standards. We favor green office buildings and building standards, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in the United States. Today, 9% of AB’s employees globally work in sustainable buildings, as defined by LEED standards or other applicable local accreditations. As we transition to our Nashville headquarters and other green buildings, our goal is to raise that share to 42% by 2021 and 65% by 2025.
AB Boston, Massachusetts, USA
AB Hong Kong, China
AB Tokyo, Japan
Making Our Workplace More Efficient
We adopted a 100% open-plan workplace strategy in 2016. The goal was to provide collaborative environments, while reducing the space we take up. Our new offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo helped drive the improvement, and our move to Nashville from New York will sustain the momentum.
Going Green in the Music City
We’ve invested nearly $70 million in our new Nashville, Tennessee, headquarters. It’s expected to have a workplace density of less than 150 square feet per person—a judicious use of space that minimizes our physical footprint while enhancing employees’ interactions.
Engaging AB Employees on Sustainability
The Sustainable Employee Wellness Group (EWG) is dedicated to sustaining the environment both as a firm and as individuals. The group hosts regular events to engage and educate employees on topics including solar energy, recycling, safe water and eating sustainably.
AB and the Qantas Future Planet Program
In May 2018, AllianceBernstein Australia Limited (ABAL) joined the Qantas Future Planet program to offset GHG emissions from business-related flights by purchasing carbon offsets and investing in projects including the revegetation and protection of native forest and woodland through the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef.