Environment Policy

Environment Policy For Financial Year 2021/22

Environment Practice

SSGC holds as a core value the importance of fostering and maintaining a sustainable, ethical business practice. We are acutely aware of the role all businesses, neighbours, and individuals play in the shared stewardship of our environment. No modern business can claim ethical integrity without a rigorous, active, and sympathetic environmental policy. That is why SSGC is wholly committed to implementing and demonstrating best environmental practice. 

We know that service delivery and procurement decisions have a direct impact on how well we meet the objectives of our corporate environmental policy. We also recognise that dealing with suppliers and contractors who are committed to sound environmental performance and improvement will help ensure these objectives are met.

We work with our customers and suppliers to ensure that the services delivered support this environmental policy and, in turn, that all suppliers and contractors actively improve their own environmental performance.


In order to ensure that service delivery remains consistent with the requirements of our environmental objectives, all key purchases are subject to an environmental assessment. These assessments:

  • assess the environmental impacts of the goods, works and services required,
  • assess the environmental performance of the suppliers and contractors involved,
  • assist in determining the type of goods, works and services to be purchased,
  • assess the choice of suppliers and contractors.

SSGC recognises that the supply of goods or services with low environmental impact, as opposed to those with a potentially higher degree of risk, require different levels of scrutiny. We have therefore developed a process of assessing environmental risk that takes into account the impact of resources across their life-cycle, including:

  • Total Waste
  • Water Use
  • Resource Use
  • Resource Intensity
  • Air and Global Warming
  • Ozone Depletion
  • Hazardous Substances

This has enabled us to prioritise our purchases and develop three different levels of environmental assessment.

 

Environmental Assessments

Level One

Suppliers such as ourselves with low risk goods and services consisting mainly of service hours, reports, and advice, do not necessarily undergo formal assessment. They are, however, expected to comply with basic principles of using recycled, double sided paper in reports; recycling where possible; taking steps to minimise energy and water use; and having a suitable environmental policy of their own.

 Level Two

Suppliers of goods, works, and services which include other materials, transport or sub- contracting, are required to participate in an assessment of the goods, works and services they supply and provide details of their own environmental performance.

Level Three

Suppliers of works or construction projects and other high risk goods are, in addition to meeting the level two specifications, required to provide a detailed statement of the impact of their activity on the land and its surroundings.

Environmental Performance

When the company is assessing the environmental performance of itself and its suppliers, it looks for:

  • Compliance with environmental legislation.
  • An understanding of the business’ impact on the environment.
  • A philosophy that strives for continued environmental improvement.

SSGC encourages the use of suppliers and contractors with high risk goods and services that adopt environmental management systems such as ISO14001, EMAS or equivalent.

These systems include:

  • An environmental policy
  • A Director responsible for the policy
  • Environmental goals
  • An action plan for achieving the goals
  • An internal environmental training program
  • An environmental review process
  • Published environmental performance reports

 SSGC requires suppliers and contractors to complete environmental declarations, and we increasingly include environmental demands in our tenders. We are determined to work with companies that align with our environmental policy, and may reject companies that fail to do so.

The Benefits of Good Environmental Performance 

1.   Legislation

Attending to environmental issues is more important than ever for individuals, companies and governments. This is reflected more broadly in a growing regulatory focus on environmental impact. Tighter legislation is being introduced both by Europe and within the UK - take, for example, the Landfill Tax {link}. Companies that fail to keep pace now will have to make substantial investments (and possibly face costly reprisals) further down the line. So staying up to code - better, staying ahead of code - stands to put forward-thinking companies at a real competitive advantage. That is why SSGC is committed to dealing with these issues in advance through the incremental introduction of rigorous environmental practices.


2.   Efficiency

Waste and inefficiencies in business are the cause of significant environmental damage. They are a similarly significant problem for a company’s bottom line. So maximising efficiency and minimising waste is not just a strong environmental policy - it is likely to  yield substantial business results. Companies that have undergone environmental impact assessment have found that environmental improvements often lead to reduced costs (for example, more efficient machinery and better building insulation leads to reduced energy bills).

 

3.   Influencing Customer Demands

A third reason for adopting robust environmental business practices relates to the discussion amongst purchasers in companies and local authorities about how their purchasing decisions can help ease increasing environmental stressors. This follows the Rio Conference of 1992, which produced a policy document called 'Agenda 21' - the UK government subsequently committed to this. The document requires local authorities to work towards a sustainable society, and in doing so many are realising that they must consider the environmental impact of their purchases. Many are resolved to use their purchasing power to influence the market into adopting better environmental practices. 

There are also public relations benefits to be had from developing an environmentally friendly public image. This has been demonstrated already by several major companies.

 

4.   Investor Demands

An increasing number of investors are taking environmental issues into account when making investment decisions. This has inspired a number of financial institutions to look at environmental performance as an important business indicator. Research is underway into the use of environmental reports alongside more traditional financial statistics as a guide for investors. A compelling and clear track record of strong environmental practices may prove a significant investment magnet. 


Commitment

In support of our environmental policy SSGC is committed to: 

  • Developing a thorough understanding of the goods, works and services supplied in terms of their environmental impact. 
  • Maintaining an environmental policy that prioritises areas of biggest concern. 
  • Leading by example and ensuring that our own direct environmental impacts are addressed. 
  • Making the environment a business issue, and nominating a Director of the company to take responsibility for it.
  • Ensuring that your own suppliers and contractors comply with environmental legislation. 
  • Working closely with you to establish which goods, works and services are causing the biggest impact. 
  • Prioritising and making efforts to minimise the most significant risks, or where necessary switching to alternatives that have a less adverse environmental impact

Approval For this Statement


This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 27/10/2020 signed by Frano Lubura, Quality Manager/General Manager.

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