Sustainability and Environmental Policy
We believe that organisations are responsible for achieving good environmental practice and operating in a sustainable manner.
Our Sustainability and Environmental Policy builds upon our aim to develop a wholly sustainable organisation delivering services to our staff and customers while minimising environmental impact.
We recognise and accept responsibility for any harmful effects our operations may have on both the local and global environment and are committed to reducing the impact. We endeavour to measure our impact on the environment and set targets for ongoing improvement and management of:
(i) inputs e.g. products, services, energy and resources purchased
(ii) in-house processes
(iii) outputs e.g. our products and services, waste materials and emissions (heat, light, etc.)
that will allow us to control our impact on the environment.
Our policy goals are to:
- Minimise environmental impact and maximise savings
- Maintain health and safety standards
- Maintain an acceptable comfort level for staff and customers
Our policy goals will be achieved by adopting four commitments:
- We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and to continually improve our environmental performance.
- We seek to follow the requirements of the ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard and its Plan, Implement, Control & Review and continual improvement approach.
- We encourage all our team, customers and business associates to operate in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.
- We seek practical ways of improving our environmental performance and will work with our team, customers and business associates to come up with suggestions, development and adoption of improvements.
All our team are responsible for implementing this policy and for ensuring that all team members are encouraged to follow our environmental policies, although overall ownership and responsibility for implementing this policy lies with the Directors.
General Sustainability and Environmental Policies
We have adopted the following general Sustainability and Environmental Policies:
- We will wholly support and comply with or seek to exceed the requirements of current environmental legislation. We will regularly (annually or more frequently if needed) review new legislation and amendments to existing legislation in Wales, in the UK and internationally to ensure that we remain compliant and that we implement best practice.
- We will seek and adopt the practices required by established codes of environmental practice such as ISO 14001:2015 and intend to achieve formal accreditation under these standards.
- We will work to match or exceed Welsh national targets of being a high reuse/recycling nation by 2025 (70% of waste eliminated, reused or sent to be processed for reuse/recycling) and a zero-waste nation by 2050 (all waste eliminated, reused or sent to be processed for reuse/recycling).
- We will review examples of best practice among suppliers, business associates and competitors (including operators of similar organisations) and will adopt examples of best practice behaviour relevant to our organisation. We will collaborate where appropriate with suppliers and customers on their own sustainability objectives.
- We will encourage staff and visitors to our premises to:
(i) minimise waste
(ii) increase re-use
(iii) increase recycling of unavoidable waste
We will monitor waste outputs from our offices and aim to become a zero-waste (to landfill) organisation. To achieve these goals, we will ensure that we offer staff and visitors to our premises practical and usable options for reducing waste and for disposal of waste through reuse and recycling channels.
- We will implement and maintain systems that minimise energy, water, raw materials and other resource usage in our buildings, vehicles and business processes. These include smart AI applications to conserve supplies and minimise our consumption of natural resources, especially where they are non-renewable.
- We will source, operate and maintain vehicles in a sustainable manner as is practically achievable. As the use of vehicles is a necessary part of our work, at the end of their useful life, we will dispose of them in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.
- We will encourage the use of more sustainable means of transport, including electric vehicles, cycling, public transport and car sharing, as appropriate.
- We adopt sustainable procurement practices for the selection and purchase of products and services. These include getting smarter about how we source products and prioritising local procurement of products and services when economically feasible, such as using local tradespeople.
- We will assess the environmental impact of any new processes, products or services we intend to introduce. We will ensure that environmental impact is considered, assessed and included in the designs and plans for the further development of our processes and facilities, e.g. reducing on-premises carbon emissions by adopting digital and/or cloud applications and servers.
- We will regularly review, at least annually, our performance against our environmental objectives and policies and will benchmark performance against other similar organisations and projects to ensure we continue to develop our Sustainability and Environmental Policy through adoption of best practice. This Sustainability and Environmental Policy will be reviewed and re-adopted annually by the Directors and Senior Management.
- We will apply the principles of continuous improvement in the development of our Sustainability and Environmental Policies. Policies will be reviewed annually and will be considered when reviewing current and planned future activities. We will target reductions in any negative impacts from our operations on the environment and on the local community.
- We support the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and this Sustainability and Environmental Policy has been developed with this Act in mind.
- We support the Microsoft Partner Pledge, and this Sustainability and Environmental Policy has been developed with this Pledge in mind. As a long-term Microsoft Partner, we aim to sign the Microsoft Partner Pledge by the next review date for this Policy in 12 months.
Practical Actions in our Offices
- We will work to reduce waste generated by/in our offices, aiming to:
(i) minimise waste
(ii) increase re-use
(iii) increase recycling of unavoidable waste
Where materials are not suitable for re-use, we will work to ensure staff properly segregate items so that they can be recycled. We will work with waste services providers or with municipal waste collection services to ensure that we know the local rules for sorting and segregation of business waste and to ensure that we comply with local waste disposal best practice.
Only categories of waste identified by our waste services providers as “non-recyclable” will be disposed of in our waste-to-landfill bins. We will educate and inform staff and visitors to our premises as to how different types of waste should be segregated and on the importance of not contaminating waste streams with the wrong material types.
- Continuous review of energy use: Electricity and water meters will (where these are accessible) be read quarterly and be closely monitored against expected usage. Deviations from expected energy use patterns are investigated and corrective action taken to return the facility to expected usage levels. Abnormal consumption will be investigated, and corrective action taken. Realistic energy use reduction targets will be set, agreed and monitored. We will regularly review supply contracts for water and energy and will seek to balance the environmental performance of suppliers and the affordability of supply, with the aim to match 100 per cent of our annual electricity consumption with renewable energy.
- We will consider the sustainability features, and where economically viable and practical, will select equipment that reduces environmental impact and cost when purchasing replacement lighting, heating or other energy consuming equipment.
We will adopt a universal approach involving staff, visitors to our premises and customers. Regular awareness initiatives for our team will emphasise the cost and sustainability/environmental benefits of saving energy and water and how to avoid waste.
Practical Actions for the Pugh Team
We recognise our activities have an impact, however small, on our environment and our team can take steps to minimise unnecessary negative environmental impact resulting from our activities. The team should assist visitors to our premises in complying with our environmental policies.
Core Business Processes
We will consider environmental and sustainability measures in the design of products and business processes.
Adoption of Cloud Services
We have invested and will continue to invest in a range of cloud technology solutions, including the use of Teams/Zoom conferencing, a Teams meeting room, screen sharing and document co-authoring within Teams, internal and external PSTN Teams cloud telephony, SharePoint cloud file storage and document sharing, Adobe Sign e-signatures and cloud-based business management systems.
The implementation and use of these systems reduce environmental impact in many ways, including reduction in the need to travel, reduced paper waste, reduced on-site energy use, etc. We are currently implementing a new CRM system and intend to implement a new ERP system soon, both of which will further reduce paper use in the business.
ICT and Other Electrical Equipment Energy Usage
Equipment is selected that is energy efficient in use and that can be turned off when not in use. Our staff contribute to ensuring electrical equipment is energy efficient by ensuring:
- Devices are switched on only during use.
- All electrical equipment except for computer networking equipment and other items that need to operate continuously are switched off each night.
- The number of continuously operating devices is minimised.
- Computers are (in the main) laptops or other devices which have energy saving features.
Lighting and Heating
We will identify opportunities to implement lighting, heating and other systems that make sustainable use of resources, that take advantage of renewable energy sources, and which reduce energy costs. These will also be considered when selecting new equipment or refurbishing premises.
We intend to install smart meters and are upgrading the heating system to introduce zoned smart heating controls. These will enable the company to more closely monitor and control energy use.
Replacement of systems are justified as older systems break down, when efficiency savings outweigh costs or as legislation or our own policies require improvement. Due to already invested resources in their original manufacture, replacements will not usually be considered until necessary.
Possible investments include, for example, renewed energy efficient lighting. Any outdoor lighting systems will be selected that reduce unnecessary energy use whilst considering security needs.
Our team are asked to use systems in a way that ensures our environmental performance and sustainability goals in installing these systems are met.
Actions include ensuring:
- All lights in rooms are switched off when the building closes each night.
- Lights are switched off in any room that is not occupied.
- Other equipment is turned off when not in use. Computers, monitors, projectors, TVs, audio equipment and other electrical items should be turned off at the switch when they are not in use and when users leave the building each night.
- Room heating is managed so that rooms are not unnecessarily heated and so that energy use is reduced when the building is unoccupied. If rooms are too hot, then the heating should be turned down. The new smart heating control system will improve management of energy use for heating.
- Low energy consumption equipment is sourced when equipment (e.g. light bulbs) needs to be renewed.
- We will, in future developments and when undertaking necessary maintenance, consider installation of improved and more effective insulation or renewable energy systems where these are feasible, along with other energy saving measures.
- We will consider green energy options when sourcing electricity and, if economically and practically possible, will source electricity supplies from suppliers using renewable sources.
We recognise the need to reduce the impact of travel on the environment and the community. As stated above, our investment in technology solutions has reduced the need to travel to meet with customers. The use of conferencing technologies is encouraged where this delivers a satisfactory level of customer engagement. Judgement is made on a case-by-case basis as to whether a face-to-face meeting is needed to deliver value and service to customers.
- Our staff should consider whether there is a good reason for each trip and what is the most cost/time efficient way of travelling. They should also consider the environmental impact of travel arrangements.
- We support the use of public transport by staff and visitors to our premises where practical (considering our rural location).
- Staff that are attending the same meeting or visiting the same area on business are encouraged to do so together (not in separate cars) to cut down on fuel costs and environmental impact.
- We offer staff a blended working option, subject to our other policies, whenever this is practical and where it does not interfere with service provision. Blended working is considered a mixture of office and home working, e.g. two days in the office and three days at home, and these are considered for each member of staff on a case-by-case basis, depending on suitability and staff preference.
- The use of bicycles or e-bikes by staff for travelling to work is encouraged. We operate a Cycle to Work scheme for staff to lower the cost of purchase for bicycles. Staff are also encouraged to walk or run to work when practical to do so.
Technology Use and Waste Reduction
- Cloud technology presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate meaningful and positive environmental changes. Computerised document management, with the use of Microsoft SharePoint cloud file storage and document sharing and Microsoft Teams unified communication and screen sharing, have eliminated many instances where documents need to be printed. Our customer-facing cloud portal further minimises the need to print order documents, as will our new ERP system once it has been implemented. We discourage unnecessary printing of hard copies.
- Invoices, Statements and Remittance Advices are sent by email. Our use of electronic payments and investments in CRM, ERP, cloud storage, document sharing, online conferencing and the use of e-signatures all contribute to the reduction in paper use.
- We operate a policy of minimising waste, encouraging re-use and recycling, and reducing waste sent to landfill. We either use the municipal business waste management service or partner with organisations able to offer re-use and recycling services. Our staff and visitors should, if uncertain, ask management for advice on disposing of “waste”.
- Compostable waste will be collected separately in kitchen and refreshment areas and composted through waste partner or municipal composting schemes.
- We are compliant with our obligations under WEEE legislation for disposal of waste electrical items. We work with distributors who manage the take-back and refurbishment of old devices, as well as their redistribution. If devices need to be disposed of, this is carried out in compliance with WEEE legislation.
Environmental Considerations in Sourcing & Disposal
- We consider the energy performance of devices and equipment before purchase. We will prefer choices which have better energy ratings, and which are affordable.
- Where alternatives exist, we source items that require minimal energy use and have minimal environmental impact in manufacturing, in use and when they are disposed of.
- We use a ship direct and shared box shipping distributor to deliver physical products, which reduces road miles for products. We work with distributors who can package end user devices along with instructions and optional extras all within a single box for delivery. Delivery options include directly to end users, local education authorities, individual schools or home addresses.
- We will favour the purchasing of items with minimal packaging.
- When disposing equipment, we seek individuals (including staff) and not-for-profit organisations that can make use of that equipment in preference to recycling components and in preference to landfill or other environmentally damaging disposal options. Our preferred distributor can manage ‘take-back’ and refurbishment of machines and their redistribution.
- We take necessary steps to destroy confidential information before disposal of IT equipment.
In selecting and equipping our facilities, we will seek opportunities to save water by giving preference to equipment that offer water saving features.
- Our team should ensure that taps are turned off when not in use.
- We will consider installation of water conservation measures.
Staff Training & Communications
These policies are included in our staff induction training and are explained to our staff on the adoption of each revision by the management team.
Version 5.0 – 28/07/21