As a professional services firm our environmental impact is small compared with many other industries. But our clients, our people and other stakeholders still expect us to minimise our impact, and as a responsible business whose operations ultimately rely on natural resources, we want to do everything we can.
So, minimising the environmental impact from our operations is one of our main sustainability objectives and our strong relationships with our clients, employees, and suppliers leave us well placed to achieve this.
Our operational impact comes mostly from carbon emissions generated by business travel and by energy in our buildings. So, our carbon mitigation programme is central to our efforts, and we’ve offset our operational carbon emissions, as reported in each financial year, since 2007. We also work to reduce the waste we generate and the resources that we consume, such as paper and water.
Our environmental policy outlines our approach to managing and reducing our impacts and provides the framework for our targets and objectives. These targets are set to 2017, from a 2007 baseline, and relate to our key environmental impacts.
We have an environmental management system which has been certified to the international standard ISO 14001 since 2008, for all of our UK buildings that we manage.
And we’re proud to have achieved a number of recognised standards in environmental management – particularly from the Carbon Trust and BREEAM. You can find out more about these in our credentials section.
We also engage our people to raise awareness of our internal sustainability issues and encourage them to take action to reduce their environmental impacts, with a particular focus on reducing carbon emissions from flights.
We measure our progress against our environmental targets throughout the year and report externally at the end of each financial year in our Annual Report. Full results are in our operational scorecard.
Sustainability awareness and education
We launched a large scale sustainability programme in May 2011, 'Building our blueprint for better business'.
Our blueprint programme has two key objectives:
1. To ensure our staff are well informed about sustainability issues
2. To support and encourage our staff to take action to reduce our impact on the environment.
Current campaigns focus on the use of online meetings as an alternative to avoidable travel to help reduce our carbon emissions, how to improve our waste and recycling performance, together with promoting social enterprises and social impact measurement as a key part of our Community Affairs programme.
We’ve rolled the programme out across all our regional offices, reaching more than 8,000 employees in total.
We’ve also developed an online training module to build a sustainability mind-set across the firm. Called ‘Think Sustainability’, the course was voted the best internal engagement project by the sustainability network 2degrees at their 2014 awards. Over 90% of our people have completed the course, and every new joiner is asked to complete the training course. We plan to develop a second ‘Think Sustainability’ training course in the near future to further influence our people’s sustainability approach to their work.
Valuing our impact
We’re also shaping the debate on important environmental issues and collaborating with our clients on their environmental impacts.
For instance, building on our support to Puma’s ground-breaking environmental profit and loss account in 2011, we launched our Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) framework in 2013 which goes a step further, helping clients to give a financial value to their total economic, tax, environmental and social contribution to society. In 2015 we’ve continued to help several clients to better understand their impacts, and reported on our own Total Impact for the third time, including expanding the scope of the Social Impact indicators we cover.