In our first year of disclosing under the TCFD recommendations, we have continued to build upon our comprehensive understanding of our climate impact across our operations and value chain through calculating our Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprint as reported for the first-time in FY21 and again calculated in FY22. This incorporates water, waste, emissions intensity and energy use.

In subsequent years we will ensure that we disclose wider metrics in line with our business strategy and risk management processes, however, further work is needed to identify appropriate metrics. We are also in the process of determining climate related KPIs and targets, and have publicly committed to an SBT in FY23.

Please refer to our latest Annual Report to view our full SECR report.


greenhouse gas emissions (tCO2e)
carbon intensity (tCO2e per £m revenue)

Our current year carbon footprint

In the current financial year, 15% of emissions fall into Scope 1 and 2, whereas 85% of emissions fall into Scope 3. Scope 3 emissions, which are under a reporting organisation’s influence but not control, typically make up the largest proportion of a company’s carbon emissions, particularly when Scope 3 emissions are comprehensively covered.

This year, the Group’s largest emission source continues to be from purchased goods and services (40% of total footprint), which predominantly arise from the hosting of our online platforms in data centres operated by others. Other significant Scope 3 categories include the use of our products (11%), employee commuting and remote working (9%) and business travel (9%).

Within our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, purchased electricity (10%) is the largest contributor to our overall footprint, followed by purchased heat (3%). Stationary combustion, i.e., fuel combusted within stationary equipment such as a boiler, accounts for 1% of the footprint and fugitive emissions (refrigerants) and mobile combustion account for less than 1% of overall emissions. In line with the GHG Protocol and to ensure consistency with our previous year’s reporting, we are reporting location-based emissions from purchased electricity in place of market-based emissions, to ensure we fully account for the emissions from the electricity we consume. The electricity in our London headquarters however continues to be sourced from a renewable energy provider.

Our 2022 impact

The Group accepts that our overall emissions have and may continue to rise as a growing and acquisitive company. We are however working to minimise increases in absolute emissions to ensure that our growth is sustainable. Our absolute emissions across all scopes have grown by 31%, predominantly due to the acquisition of LiveAuctioneers coupled with the organic growth of the Group and a return to our offices as Covid-19 restrictions have lifted. Despite this, our carbon intensity i.e. our measure of carbon emissions as a proportion of our overall activity, has decreased by 23%, indicating that we are becoming more carbon efficient as we expand.

Our absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions have increased by 48%, the majority of which is a result of an increase in purchased heat through the acquisition of Live Auctioneers and a general increase in the demand for electricity since slowly moving back to working from our offices.

Our Scope 3 emissions have also increased by 29%. This rise is attributable to an increase in purchased hosting services and the use of our sold products resulting from the growth of our online auction platforms, and an increase in business travel and commuting which is more representative of our activities prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year we have also built upon our understanding of our emissions by improving our calculations for a number of categories, including but not limited to Scope 3. Fuel and other energy not included in Scope 1 or 2, by including well-to-tank emissions associated with mobile combustion and business travel. We have also reduced assumptions across the footprint, such as by gathering primary commuting data, data associated with the Antiques Trade Gazette, and allocating hosting services to specific brands.

Reducing our impact

As this is our first year of actively addressing our emission levels, one of our main priorities this year has been investigating carbon reduction strategies and modelling targets in line with the SBTi and the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Due to the nature of our business, which spans multiple geographies, we felt it was vital that all our offices and brands were aware of their GHG emissions and that reduction strategies were discussed directly with representatives from each office. We also wanted to ensure that we had for a significant portion of our carbon footprint; with this relocation we are expecting to see a significant decline in our Scope 2 emissions. thoroughly investigated what reductions could realistically be made before committing to a target. We met virtually with each location to discuss their emissions and possible strategies for reduction. Overall, we confirmed that our operations are already efficient, however, some areas for future focus have been identified, including:

  • Consolidating our hosting providers: As our data centre providers account for 32% of our GHG emissions, we have consolidated our data centres to two key suppliers. We continue to look at ways in which we can rationalise our use of data centres and associated GHG emissions. We have further long-term plans to improve the efficiency of our marketplaces through powering all platforms from one set of shared services, which will lead to a reduction in our emissions from hosting services.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of our physical offices: In future years, we will look closely at our offices to identify where emission reductions could be made. We will improve the monitoring of energy consumption in our offices to identify when usage is usually high. We recognise that working practices have changed and some of our employees now work remotely or combine home working with some office days. As the heating and electricity needs of our offices contribute 92% to our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, we will carefully look at how we can minimise emissions from our offices whilst continuing to provide working spaces to suit the needs of our business and employees. One of the primary steps we will take in FY23 to reduce our electricity consumption will be through the relocation and strategic downsizing of our Omaha office. Currently, electricity use in the Omaha office accounts Auction Technology Group plc Annual Report 2022
  • Continuing to involve staff across our brands and geographies in the monitoring and management of our GHG emissions: We will continue to involve staff in our GHG management, to identify reduction strategies suitable for each site. This may involve carbon/ energy efficiency training; the introduction of e-bikes; switching to green electricity suppliers where available; adopting low carbon procurement policies; and the reduction in the items we purchase as a Group. Following our review of our ability to reduce emissions, we have decided to set a near-term Science Based Target in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We have committed to reducing our absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 42% by 2030 (from a FY22 baseline year), and we will continue to monitor and report our Scope 3 emissions.

Our future commitment

We will continue to take a rigorous approach to calculating our overall climate impact by improving our approach to emission calculations annually and working to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions to achieve our SBT. We will also investigate widening our internal targets to cover some of our Scope 3 emissions. We will continue to monitor developments in carbon reporting and management to ensure we are aligned with sector best-practice, ensuring we are making real reductions to our impact on the climate