Developing a sustainability policy

sustainability policy

Hiya! I’m Becky Jackson, the Procurement Manager for Thermatic Technical FM. Part of my role here includes implementing and managing new sustainable goals and practices and implementing our sustainability policy.

Each month I will be sharing some tips and knowledge on how I manage this part of my job, giving advice on what worked, and what didn’t!

March was my first month at the company, so just like the beginning of all procurement cycles, I started to identify the need for sustainable practices and began to draft a sustainable procurement policy.

Creating a sustainability policy for the business is a great way to help us keep to our promises, set realistic goals, and shows our customers what our future plans are.

Here are some things I learnt while developing our sustainability policy:

Don’t copy other businesses!

It was good research to go online and take a look at what other companies are doing, but ultimately, I ended up writing a policy that didn’t ‘sound’ like Thermatic, and if it doesn’t sound like us then it doesn’t represent us.

Make it realistic

There is no point in committing to be carbon neutral by 2022 if you are only just starting out on your journey. Be honest with your policy and don’t be tempted to make promises you can’t keep.

Do not follow trends!

I started adding commitments in our policies that ultimately were no better for the planet than if it left things as they were.

Promising to replace equipment with sustainable alternatives seems like a good thing on paper (if you are still using paper!), but disposal of current equipment can create more harm than good.

We needed to go further and consider our disposal methods which helped to develop a policy that considers the life cycle of our carbon footprint.

Consider your local area

I started looking at companies such as ‘Computers 4 Africa’ to recycle our IT equipment but then I found a charity that does the same thing for children in the Manchester area.

Instead of increasing our carbon footprint by shipping a small amount of equipment across the globe, this charity also supports our local community which feeds into our policy mission statement.

Go beyond accreditations

ISO certifications are a recognised standard to work towards, but we began looking at ideas that are specific to our industry. We recently established ‘Thermatic Energy’ as an entity within the Thermatic family.

This entity provides businesses with energy analysis software that will encourage our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

By committing to energy efficiency and investing in Thermatic Energy Services, we can go beyond box-ticking exercises and really push to put sustainability at the heart of our company.