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Environment

We minimise our environmental footprint through responsible procurement and reduction of our direct and indirect impacts, and by raising awareness of environmental issues with colleagues and customers.


Carbon Footprint

Our environmental footprint includes energy, water and waste from our buildings.

It also includes the overall impacts we have on the communities we serve through areas such as colleague commuting and biodiversity.

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    We have progressively reduced our environmental impacts by investing in efficient resource use, improving waste management and engaging colleagues in supporting our efforts in becoming more sustainable.

    Independent assurance of our carbon footprint (2012-2016) and data related to our use of electricity, gas, business travel, water use and waste generation has demonstrated our significant progress – since 2012 we have reduced our carbon footprint by 8% and in 2016 we were certified as CarbonNeutral®.

 

Energy use

We know that most of our carbon footprint comes from the energy we use across our offices and branches - so we've been making some changes.

To reduce our environmental impact we have refurbished our head office in Bradford to make it more energy-efficient.

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    This includes:

    • LED lighting installation to replace inefficient fluorescent lighting
    • Retrofit of primary air-handling units with upgraded fans and motors
    • Replacement of central chiller plant
    • Reducing air leaks to improve thermal efficiency
    • Installation of voltage optimisation units
    • Installation of new high-efficiency gas boilers and calorifiers.

    A number of our branches have also benefited from a refurbishment and upgrade programme, including:

    • Installation of more efficient air conditioning systems
    • LED lighting to both improve energy and quality of lighting
    • Pilot installations of building management and remote energy management control systems.

 

 

Waste

The waste generated across our operations comes from a range of sources.

In 2015 we diverted slightly over 80% of our waste from landfill, and by working with our contractors we have increased this to almost 90% in 2016.

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    The waste generated across our operations includes confidential, mixed recyclable, general non-recyclable, non-hazardous electrical and electronic equipment, food, oil and grease (from catering), small quantities of hazardous and clinical, and other waste from building refurbishment such as furniture. All of our paper waste is destroyed confidentially and recycled. Other waste is segregated for recycling, re-use, bio-fuel or composting. Our aspiration is to send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

    Throughout 2017 we’ll also focus on reducing our use of materials and sourcing these from sustainable resources. In our recent projects we’ve fitted carpets made from recycled materials including recovered fishing nets and have used FSC-certified timber in our branch refurbishments.

 

Business travel & commuting

With more than 4,000 colleagues travelling to work every day it’s vital that we actively promote sustainable travel choices.

We want to reduce transport pressure, vehicle emissions and help colleagues reduce travel costs.

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    Specific measures include:

    • Discounted public transport including the Metro Card in West Yorkshire
    • ‘Liftshare’ car sharing at all office sites
    • Encouraging cycling through the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme
    • Business travel with low emission vehicles for the Group’s car fleet.
    • Reducing colleague air and rail travel by encouraging the use of tele- and video-conferencing solutions, and discouraging non-essential travel.