Northern Trust recognizes that the long-term viability of our business and that of our clients is tied to the health and well-being of our planet. We therefore commit to protecting and preserving the environment through the services we provide and to eliminating or mitigating any negative environmental impacts from our operations. We align our business with the fundamental principle of sustainability meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We do this by integrating environmental considerations into our decision-making process throughout our business, by committing to continually improving our business practices and by delivering tangible, positive results related to the environment.
We use energy to power our data centers and facilities, the majority of which are located in North America. As a result, the bulk of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from our North American operations.
We first started tracking our carbon footprint, or the carbon dioxide equivalent of all GHGs produced in our operations, in 2006. Since then, we have steadily improved data collection processes and calculation methodologies to align with best practice standards.
During 2013, we established a process for setting multi-year goals to reduce emissions. In 2014 a decision was made to not set a carbon reduction goal until 2015 after a comprehensive study is complete to identify projects in our facilities which matched our quality and return on investment (ROI) thresholds. We will publish a carbon reduction plan in our 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report.
In addition to energy reduction efforts, we invest in low-carbon power purchasing to further reduce our carbon footprint. Energy from renewable sources such as water, wind and solar powers a total of 47.9% of our EMEA operations. Although we strive to continuously reduce our carbon footprint, business and weather conditions vary yearly and affect our emissions.
In 2014 our overall emissions decreased by 10.7% per full time employee when compared to base year 2011.