Our sustainability strategy is focused on empowering our employees to make a meaningful difference through their daily work. By applying our Sustainability Principles, our employees, individually and collectively, help us achieve our ambitious and long-term sustainability goals.
Our business has always provided a significant societal benefit. By recycling scrap metal, we divert and reuse millions of tons of materials each year that might otherwise be destined for landfills. That scrap becomes new infrastructure, like roads, bridges, schools, and cars — all the things that make sustainable progress possible.
While this is the core of what we do, we know there’s an opportunity to do even more. That’s why we’re not only setting goals to continually improve upon our sustainability performance, but also changing how we think and talk about sustainability within Schnitzer.
First, our strategy is about more than just the environment. It is designed to positively impact three important dimensions — People, Planet, and Profit. Our strategy includes goals within each of these dimensions that Schnitzer aspires to achieve by 2025. Finally, our strategy includes a focus on increasing employee awareness and engagement. We’ve articulated four Sustainability Principles that will help our people put sustainability into action through their daily work.
Every Schnitzer employee has a meaningful impact on our sustainability performance, from ensuring we comply with applicable regulations to keeping themselves and others safe at work. We want to educate all employees about the important role they play, and empower them to help us reach our goals by the end of Fiscal Year 2025.
From the outset, we knew that the goals had to be aspirational, holistic, measurable, and attainable. A Fiscal Year 2025 endpoint allows for the opportunity to measure significant performance improvement. We also made sure that the goals we set were right for our business. They connect to the findings of our 2018 Sustainability Materiality Assessment, conducted by a third-party consultant and through in-depth interviews, which ranked the material issues that are most important to the longevity of our Company and success of our stakeholders.
We’re increasing transparency around our sustainable business practices. This year, we submitted our first Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Water Questionnaire, and our third CDP Climate Change Questionnaire. These global benchmarks help investors and others better understand how our impact compares to other major businesses.
And although we’ve only just announced our 2025 sustainability goals, we’re already making steady improvements in our environmental performance. In Fiscal Year 2019, we decreased our total absolute GHG emissions by 5 percent and total energy consumption by 4 percent from the previous year. Also, for the first time, our facilities are powered by 90 percent carbon-free electricity. With our goals and principles now in place, I’m excited about even greater positive impacts we will continue to make in the years ahead.