SEI is an international non-profit research organisation that tackles environment and development challenges. We connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all.

Our approach is highly collaborative: stakeholder involvement is at the heart of our efforts to build capacity, strengthen institutions, and equip partners for the long term. Through our eight centres in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we engage with policy processes, development action and business practice throughout the world.

Our environmental impact

As a research institute with a global presence engaging in international projects, it is impossible to avoid all negative environmental impacts such as air travel. Some travel is unavoidable in order to effectively fulfil our mission, to carry out data gathering field research, and to build capacity among partners in developing countries.

We strive to minimize our environmental footprint while successfully accomplishing our work. We monitor, report and take action to minimize our carbon footprint, reduce waste and overall resource use. The first step in reducing carbon emissions is to measure and publicly report those emissions.

Travel emissions

Travel and CO2 emissions are being monitored by all centres.

In 2015, SEI Foundation flight emissions totalled 480 tonnes, while in 2016 it was 517 tonnes. Over the same period, staff numbers grew about 5%, from 117 to 123.

Table: Travel and CO2 emissions for SEI Foundation centres (Oxford, Asia, Africa and Stockholm)
Year Emissions (CO2e) Distance (km)
2015 480* 3.2 million
2016 517 3.4 million
2017 561 3.7 million

* Recalculated since our 2015 Annual Report

The table above shows figures for SEI Foundation centres (Oxford, Asia, Africa and Stockholm). In 2017, SEI flights from all centres totalled just under 6.8 million km, with the release of ~1,015 tonnes CO2e.

We are tackling our travel emissions by:

  • Reducing our carbon emissions from travel by assessing the need for travel and switching to more sustainable modes of transport.
  • Virtual meeting equipment available in almost all meeting rooms and on personal computers.
  • Continuing to invest in virtual meeting technology.
  • Shifting meetings to virtual formats whenever possible.

Energy and water

The SEI HQ building in Stockholm has gold LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). In 2016, water consumption was 371 m3 and energy consumption 295 104 kWh. In 2017, water consumption was 429 m3 and energy consumption 265 666 kWh. All energy was supplied from renewable sources.