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Our Environmental Policy

Sustain’s purpose is to deliver efficiency improvements to organisations, focusing on energy and carbon reductions, which improves our clients’ economic, social and environmental performances.

Established in 1997, we have built an enviable track record by working with clients across utilities, public sector, the built environment and commercial sectors.

Much of the work we do lies in improving the built environment, which accounts for a significant proportion of the UK’s environmental impact, particularly concerned with energy and carbon. Our business offering is designed to work with clients as they undertake a journey towards a resource and carbon constrained future; from understanding the issues, designing practical solutions, planning for change, and implementing the solutions. This involves working with new and existing technologies, utilising information to drive knowledge and decision-making, using funding and financing to invest in the future, and importantly working with people and organisations to unlock newfound value.

We do this through a range of research, advisory services, engineering design, and project and programme management. Our staff are highly qualified in their respective fields, and we invest considerably to ensure that we provide a high quality service.

We also focus on our clients and their needs. We have been working with many of them for years, which gives us a greater empathy and understanding towards their issues, dilemmas and opportunities. This in turn drives our development.

Environmental Policy

1. Introduction

Sustain recognises that our operations have an effect on the environment and we will strive to minimise the potentially harmful effects of such activity wherever and whenever possible. We also recognise that good environmental management must be an integral and fundamental part of our future business policy decisions and corporate business strategy.

We have operated a formal environmental management system since 2009 and a plan of environmental improvements is integrated into our strategic and annual planning cycles each year.

2. Policy Statement

Our policy is to meet or exceed all environmental and other applicable regulations, laws and codes of practice. We are committed to the prevention of pollution and minimising the impact of our operations on the environment.

This environmental policy is the company’s statement of environmental goals which outlines our commitment to continual environmental improvement. We will achieve and maintain registration to ISO standards 14001 and 9001 and develop systems, documentation and procedures to implement, maintain and review this policy. We will ensure that our activities are safe for our employees, associates, clients and others who come into contact with our work.

We will identify and assess all significant environmental aspects that may arise as a direct consequence of our activities, products and services. We will maintain a register of current environmental legislation, by regularly monitoring for regulatory changes.

3. Training & Skills

We will ensure that at each level of the company the necessary personnel, skills, expertise and knowledge are available to enable the requirements of this policy to be carried out. We will provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training to all employees to enable them to perform their job functions in an environmentally aware manner and to achieve the stated environmental objectives and targets.

4. Roles, Responsibilities & Communication

The Chief Executive Officer is accountable to the Board of Directors for internal and external environmental issues, and will report performance on a monthly basis.

Responsibility for applying this policy company-wide will be delegated to a working group, overseen by a senior member of staff. However, all employees will be responsible for implementing relevant aspects of this policy in their specific roles. Line managers will play an active role in helping employees to understand and implement the environmental policy by incorporating it into procedures, inductions, staff objectives, and training plans.

Our environmental performance will be regularly communicated to all staff via the intranet, with additional awareness-raising and training sessions as appropriate.

This environmental policy will be communicated to contractors, clients, and other interested parties and made available on the company’s website.

5. Goals, Objectives & Targets

5.1. Energy Use & Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We will use sustainable energy sources to meet our needs wherever practically possible. We will seek to reduce our per capita CO2e emissions by 4% year on year from a baseline set in the 2008-09 financial year. We will report on our Scope 1, 2 and selected scope 3 emissions to the Board, staff and other key stakeholders.

5.2. Resources

We will improve our environmental performance by conserving energy, water, wood, paper and other resources, particularly those which are scarce or non-renewable, through efficient use and careful planning, while still providing a safe and comfortable working environment.

5.3 Products and services

We will plan, organise and control all our activities, products and services in order to avoid or minimise their environmental impacts by adherence to documented procedures, work instructions and other management systems, e.g. ISO 9001.

When designing new products and services we will consider the potential environmental impacts at all stages of their life cycle; both up and down the supply chain.

5.4        Recycling

We will promote recycling and the use of recycled and refurbished products and materials where such alternatives are economical and suitable, while reducing consumption of materials wherever possible.

5.5        Waste Disposal

We will minimise waste, especially hazardous waste, in all our operations and product development and will dispose of all waste through safe and responsible methods and in accordance with regulations.

In 2013-14 we carried out waste monitoring to characterise the waste arising from our office-based activity. In 2014-15 we aim to produce fewer bags of waste, and achieve the same or higher recycling rate as the previous year.

5.6        Natural Habitats

We will ensure that any products used or derived from natural habitats are from sustainable sources, and comply with EU and international trading rules.

5.7        Suppliers, Associates and Contractors

This EMS policy will be made available to all our suppliers, associates and contractors.

Our procurement policy sets minimum environmental standards for the products and services that we purchase. Where practical, we will work with our suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their products and services.

As a minimum, anyone carrying out work on behalf of Sustain will be required to:

  • Meet or exceed all environmental and other applicable regulations, laws and codes of practice
  • Provide a summary of the actual and potential impacts of their operations on the environment
  • Work with Sustain to avoid or minimise any environmental aspects that we consider to be significant
  • Ensure that any tasks with the potential to cause significant environmental impacts are carried out by competent persons.

For this purpose a competent person is someone who is appropriately trained or experienced for the task, and aware of: the actual and potential environmental impacts of the work; their environmental responsibilities under relevant procedures; and the consequences of under or over-performing.

We will encourage our regular contractors to adopt their own environmental management systems, objectives and targets if they do not already have them.

5.8        Transportation

Through coordinating route planning and delivery schedules, and employees’ travel to work, we will seek to realise the dual benefits of reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.

5.9        Pollution

We will monitor relevant discharges and emissions to air, land and water and assess what action is necessary to reduce pollution or the risk of pollution. We will phase out, where practical, ozone depleting substances and minimise the release of greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, vehicle emissions and other substances which are damaging to health and the environment.

5.10      Buildings

We will ensure, where practicable, that buildings occupied by us are designed, constructed and operated to optimise their environmental performance.

5.11      Local Community

We will endeavour in all our activities and operations not to cause nuisance to neighbours or the local community.

6. Policy Review

This environmental policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and, if necessary, revised to reflect the latest developments and changes in the nature of Sustain’s operations. Following each annual review the environmental policy will be subjected to approval by Sustain’s Directors.

We will conduct an annual self-evaluation of our performance in implementing this policy and in complying with all applicable laws and regulations. Our performance against the requirements of ISO14001:2004 will be independently verified by external auditors on an annual basis.

Download Our Environmental Policy