Striving towards compliance with all environmental and climate change legislation, guidance, and best practice, at STH Westco we are on a journey towards carbon neutrality.
At STH Westco, we have always been conscious of our environmental impact. We recognise that all of our functions and operations have an influence on the world we live in, and in response, we have sought to reduce the consequences of our own activities.
This is demonstrated by adding PIR controlled lighting in our warehouse and non-concussive taps (Francis of course!) in our washrooms to help reduce water and energy usage. We also have free to use Electric Vehicle charging units at our offices to help our employees make the transition. In addition, as well as looking at our own environmental impact, we have been developing products that contribute to better environmental performance for many years now.
More recently, things have really gained traction, and we have made a significant investment by recruiting a Head of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) and creating a group level environment team that involves all our business units. Below, Steve Forbes describes our current position, and outlines where our business hopes to go next.
“To make sure STH Westco’s journey to carbon neutrality is a success, it is vital to gain a complete understanding of the impact we have on the environment and all the transactions we do that affect this. This involves collating all the available data within the business. This is, of course, a challenge. Like most businesses we have data that is not defined or implemented in a way that makes it easy to use. But we are committed to accessing this information and structuring it in ways that make it simple to extract and analyse in the future. This process is also helping us to build improvement trackers so that we can monitor our performance and improvement going forward.
“The first step is sometimes the most challenging, so to ensure a sustainability program that delivers what we need, we have acquired the services of Athesis Lavola, a global leader in helping companies transition to net zero. Our objectives going forward will be defined by results we gain from this process. And, like any business, we must be agile to respond to the changing landscape.
“It’s a journey, and we are investing heavily in resource and time to help create a culture where reductions in carbon emissions become business as usual (BAU), and not simply a project. Crucially, while in most businesses the push towards carbon neutrality requires buy-in from the leadership team, at STH Westco the drive and ambition has been flipped. The commitment has come from the leadership team, which makes the transition a lot easier as it becomes part of our long-range planning and culture.
Of course, it helps that there are real business benefits to becoming carbon neutral. Today, more and more companies are on the same path, and they expect other companies within their supply chain to be the same. Having a plan and the determination to become carbon neutral lets other businesses know what our ethos and culture are. This makes them want to do business with us.
Despite the inroads we have made to-date, there is still lots of work to be done. But we are more than up for the challenge. We are already seeing results from the work we are doing at group level and with Athesis Lavola, and we will continue to push a continuous improvement culture with all our employees, as we educate people on why change is good for all of us.