“Three quarters of a century since global warming was first recognised as a problem, we have made no meaningful adjustment to our production or consumption of energy to account for it and protect ourselves.” David Wallace-Wells.
VICTVS is a future-focussed, globally conscious company.
As an organisation working internationally to support the education industry, we have a clear responsibility to account for and address the environmental impact of our work – both at a local and an international level. This is not easy to achieve. But as a company we do not expect easy answers to complex problems. We are committed to contributing to efforts to mitigate climate change and environmental destruction where possible. Wherever this is not possible, we will respond to any damaging effects on the world to the best of our ability.
We are a company formed in the north of England, resident in a Victorian mill constructed at the height of the Industrial Revolution with its accompanying increase in greenhouse gas emissions. We are driven by a desire to benefit from the social and economic gains to be had from effective 21st century global trade, whilst harnessing the pioneering spirit of our forefathers to address the most pressing issues facing our society today.
We have the benefit of technology, globally shared knowledge and expert advice, to help us create a working environment that benefit not only ourselves, but the next generation. We are driven to work with the same ingenuity and spirit of exploration that fuelled the Industrial Revolution, with the added advantages offered by modern technology and scientific data. This document sets out our approach to incorporating sustainability into our work.
Scope of this policy
This policy applies to all areas of work conducted by VICTVS, both in the UK and overseas.
Suppliers to VICTVS are assessed against the standards set out in this document. Preference will be given to suppliers demonstrating strong environmental and sustainability credentials.
This is a living document that is updated regularly to meet the demands of both legislation and the best academic understanding regarding environmental impact and employee wellbeing and best practice.
All employees are encouraged to follow best practice in their area, virtual offices and their homes, to ensure that the aims and objectives of the policy are met. We treat our social and environmental impact as a primary measure of success for our business and prioritize it even in cases where it may not drive profitability.
We will endeavour to:
- Comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements
- Continually improve and monitor environmental performance
- Continually improve and reduce environmental impacts
- Incorporate environmental factors into business decisions
- Increase employee awareness and training on relevant issues
Ensuring compliance with legislation
VICTVS operates active risk registers for all of our operational work. Legal considerations as they relate to the work being done, form a part of the creation and maintenance of these documents.
Our executive board hold ultimate responsibility for ensuring that legislation relating to sustainability is correctly identified and complied with. Our executive board meet on a fortnightly basis and sustainability is reviewed at each meeting.
Where areas of legislation are identified that require compliance, operational staff are provided with training and instruction as required to ensure that we meet the standard(s).
Reducing our Environmental Impact
- We will minimise the use of paper in the office (minimising photocopying, single-side copies and use of scrap paper whenever possible and appropriate, emails are only printed when necessary)
- We will reduce packaging as much as possible.
- We will seek to buy recycled and recyclable, unbleached/recycled, paper products.
- We will reuse and recycle paper where possible.
Energy and water
- We will seek to reduce the amount of energy and water used as much as possible.
- Where possible we will use low-impact energy from renewable sources.
- Lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use.
- Heating will be adjusted with energy consumption in mind.
- The energy consumption and efficiency of new products will be taken into account when purchasing.
Office supplies and waste
- We will evaluate the environmental impact of any new products we intend to purchase.
- We will favour more environmentally friendly and efficient products wherever possible.
- We will endeavour to reuse and recycle all materials that we are able to.
Disposal of hazardous waste
- We will ensure that any hazardous waste is properly and safely managed, from its generation through handling, storage, and preparation for transportation.
- Staff are encouraged to recycle the following waste by disposing them the clearly identified and labelled containers; printer cartridges, batteries and low energy bulbs, plastics, metals, paper and glass. Electrical waste will be also carried to local licensed plants (Kirkstall Road, Leeds) for disposal.
- We will endeavour to reduce the need to travel for work purposes.
- We will promote the use of travel alternatives such as e-mail or video / phone conferencing.
- We encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking as means to travel to work.
- The company will operate a Cycle to Work bicycle purchase scheme that will be made available to all employees. From 01 June 2020, this scheme will be extended to include e-bikes.
Maintenance and cleaning
- Cleaning materials used in the office will be as environmentally friendly as possible.
- Materials used in office refurbishment will be as environmentally friendly as possible.
- We will only use licensed and appropriate organisations to dispose of waste.
Monitoring and improvement
- We will endeavour to comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements.
- We will endeavour to continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
- We will endeavour to continually improve and reduce environmental impacts.
- We will endeavour to incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
- We will endeavour to increase employee awareness through training.
- We will review this policy on an annual basis.
- We will involve staff in the implementation of this policy, for greater commitment and improved performance.
- We will provide staff with relevant environmental training.
- We will work with suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors to improve their environmental performance.
- We will use local project managers, labour and materials where available to reduce CO2 and help the community.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, or more regularly if appropriate to ensure that it reflects any relevant changes.
VICTVS operates a company Sustainability Measure document that records our key sustainability KPIs for each year and our performance against these KPIs on a monthly basis. This reporting is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of our operational approach on meeting targets for reducing negative environmental and social impacts. Our annual review of our performance against these KPIs is used to set targets for the forthcoming period.
Our Sustainability Measure is reviewed by senior management on a regular basis as part of our continual improvement process.
We share data from our Sustainability Measure with clients and staff to encourage awareness of sustainability issues as they pertain to our work and to demonstrate the value add of our work.
Our sustainability policy is included in staff on-boarding training. All employees and subcontractors of VICTVS are required to read, understand and agree to the terms of this policy.
Our commitment to sustainability is a key theme in our communications / marketing strategy.
This policy forms part of our Staff Handbook.
If you have any questions or comments about this policy, please contact us here.