Environmental initiatives

The SES companies are committed to respecting the world’s natural environment, and to aligning, as much as feasible, the companies’ and the staff’s conduct to the principles of sustainable development. We apply the principle that all activities and services which we provide to third parties, or which are provided to us by third-party vendors, should comply with the highest standards of environmental protection.

Compliance is benchmarked against the legal rules and regulations applied in the countries in which the SES companies operate, as well as against industry-wide best practices. Our objective is to continuously improve our environmental performance and to further reduce the environmental impact of our activities.

The activities of SES and its companies are mainly office and technology-based. In our operations, we promote the most efficient use of energy and natural resources. We have successfully implemented a programme to rely on cogeneration power. We apply a waste recycling programme which aims to avoid, reduce and recycle waste material as efficiently as possible; this programme is subject to independent third-party audits and quality control. We also conduct environmental training on a regular basis and encourage our staff to adopt environmentally correct attitudes in their professional activities.

SES conducts a yearly group-wide carbon footprint assessment with the support of a third-party auditor. SES emitted approximately 44,700 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent emissions) in 2010, a reduction of more than 14% compared to 2009. These figures reflect the group’s operations, i.e. all activities related to operating and commercialising the company’s satellite fleet in orbit, including functions such as administration, marketing, finance, etc., and cover scopes 1, 2 and 3 in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Emissions from scope 2 electricity consumption represented the largest component of SES’s total emissions (approximately 67%) with scope 1 gas emissions (approximately 28%) and scope 3 business travel by air (5%) providing the remaining contribution. Teleport operations generated the largest part of the emissions from scope 1 and scope 2 sources.

SES has implemented a carbon reduction plan at its headquarter site in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. Modified heating burners operated on natural gas have replaced fuel oil as the main energy source, and the cold water chillers were replaced by more efficient installations. The company also operates a CHP unit which reduces the emissions load of the general grid. In addition, since January 2010, the Betzdorf campus uses electricity sourced from hydropower, which can be considered CO2-free. Details of the company’s carbon footprint are disclosed in the Carbon Disclosure Project (www.cdproject.net).

The operating entities of SES apply best practices in minimizing the environmental impact of the outsourced activities, such as the manufacturing and launching of spacecraft. The companies also ensure that the amount of radiation emitted from their earth stations respects or remains below the maximum levels defined by the countries of operation; compliance is checked through yearly internal and third-party audits by accredited organisations, which are specialised in the field of industrial safety.