(incorporating Sustainability and Environmental Policy)
For ekosgen, sustainability and social issues are central to our business strategy and activity. They colour and influence our activities as we strive to become an organisation that people wish to interact with, whether they are clients, employees or suppliers.
Responsibility therefore sits at the heart of everything we do. We aim to achieve best practice in employee relations, workplace standards, training and development, diversity and disability as well as environmental policies for both staff and students alike. Our Corporate Responsibility is about ensuring that we take into account the social, community and environmental consequences of all of our activities.
In its provision of economic development consultancy services, the Company seeks to protect and enhance in particular, the environment and the well being of its staff, clients and members of the public with which it engages during the conduct of its business. It requires all its offices and staff to comply with this policy.
2 Environmental Policy
We are committed to good environmental practice as part of our overall approach to corporate and social responsibility. We recognise that we have a responsibility to minimise our impacts on the environment as much as possible, and to conduct our business in a way which contributes to the sustainability of the environment in which we work and deliver our services, whilst continuing to deliver a high quality service to our clients. Our policy is to take the environment into account in all appropriate decision making, not only in compliance with UK and EC legislative and statutory environmental requirements (which we view as a minimum standard), but in recognition that a quality environment should be available to all, not just to those who can afford it. Our commitment, therefore, is a proactive and anticipatory approach, which embraces:-
- sustainable development in all our activities;
- conservation of energy, both in the office and whilst site based;
- use of renewable resources and the sustainable management of resources;
- recycling of resources wherever possible to a higher standard than that required by UK law;
- compliance with UK and EC legislation as a minimum, relating to the protection and preservation of the environment, transfer of waste, prevention of pollution to the environment, preservation of trees, plants and wildlife;
- prevention and removal of nuisances which affect the quality of life of the end users and the public in general;
- and assessment of the environmental impact of our proposed actions upon the end users and society as a whole.
Whilst we are a private company, we do not seek to make a profit at the cost of environmental quality. We therefore incorporate environmental concerns into our business planning process.
As ekosgen has grown, we have sought to absorb relevant elements of environmental accreditations/standards such as ISO14001 and the Carbon Standard into our internal policies and day-to-day operations.
Staff members are made aware of the company’s environmental policy as part of the induction process and regular updates are provided via inclusion in the company staff handbook and internal staff newsletters. All employees are aware of the role they are required to play in implementing the policy and are encouraged to identify opportunities to continue to minimise negative environmental impacts.
Office and Project Directors are also required to alert sub-contractors, suppliers and clients to the scope of our environmental policy.
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2.1 Environmental Issues
Environmental issues for our direct business operations currently include:
- The use of power for our offices, including electricity for lighting, computers and printers;
- The production of waste products, including waste paper and toner cartridges;
- Travel to client meetings and to consult with stakeholders and beneficiaries across a broad geographical area;
- Supporting staff to minimise private car use for commuting;
- Compliance with environmental regulations in relation to all areas of our business operations.
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2.2 Environmental Action
Some of the specific ways in which we support environmental action, reflecting the issues outlined above, include: -
- Energy efficiency – e.g. keeping electrical equipment and lights switched off when not in use, ensuring our premises are well insulated and using other heat saving devices;
- Operating flexible equipment depreciation policies which take into account environmental impact when making an investment decision on the purchase of new equipment Recycling of waste wherever possible e.g., toner cartridges, paper and office consumables;
- Liaison with the waste collection and disposal authorities especially where it is anticipated that waste generated by the Company’s operations will be subject to special control;
- Keeping up to date with latest developments and legislation relating to environmental protection including waste transfer and disposal, water and air pollution, conservation and preservation;
- Maintaining staff awareness and where necessary, implementing training in relation to energy efficiency and the impact of our projects and services upon the environment together with the encouragement of a positive and proactive approach towards energy conservation and environmental protection;
- Undertaking internal meetings and client meetings by Skype or telephone where appropriate to reduce the need for travel;
- The use of local suppliers for office products where required, minimising the environmental impacts of transporting goods;
- and Offering support to staff to travel to work by sustainable modes of transport including season ticket loans and a Cycle to Work scheme. Car mileage allowance has also been reduce to provide a disincentive to unnecessary car travel.
We shall continue to work in partnership with our clients towards the promotion of the minimisation of environmental damage, environmental protection and improvement. We are committed to minimising the environmental impacts of our business activities wherever possible.
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3 Monitoring Environmental Performance
We measure our environmental practices using the following key performance indicators:
- Energy and water usage;
- Material usage;
We have set targets where possible to minimise our impacts on the environment. Examples including:
- Monitoring the proportion of internal meetings and external consultations undertaken by telephone of video conferencing to minimise the need to travel;
- Monitoring staff travel to work modes and promoting walking, cycling or use of public transport as viable alternatives to car use;
- Setting year on year targets for the proportion of office waste that is recycled;
- Sourcing 100% of office supplies from local suppliers as part of our ‘buy local’ policy;
- Setting minimum standards for office supplies, for example only using paper with a minimum 75% recycled material content.
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4 Employee Commitment
We are committed to providing the best standards of staff welfare within the constraints of our business size and scale. Our staff’s well being is of paramount importance to us as a people oriented business.
Our policy includes:
- A comprehensive Performance and Career Management System which aims to promote the professional and personal development of each member of staff, provide a conduit for staff feedback and ensure excellent employee relations and workplace standards;
- The provision of a Health and Well Being Programme for each staff member; and
- The consideration of flexible working arrangements to support staff fitness, health and childcare commitments.
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