The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) have helped to shape our vision as a purpose-driven company. In preparing last year’s Sustainability Insight report, we analysed each goal and mapped out how we would work towards those most relevant to our business, selecting four that we knew we could make the biggest impact to.
To mark this year’s Earth Day, which is all about restoring our planet, we wanted to give you an update on how we have been working toward the UN SDG’s. Sustainability is an ongoing journey and we know that remaining accountable is an important part of it, which is why we want to share our progress so far.
How it started: We promised to strive to build a fair and respectful business for all of our stakeholders – aiming to create jobs, provide full and productive employment for everyone within our company and hold equal opportunities and pay as a priority. We also spoke about how training and development would be offered at all levels, including apprenticeships.
How it’s going: As of 2021 we are operating at a 52:48 female/male pay ratio and since setting the goal in 2020 we are thrilled to have introduced 27 new starters to the 100% team, as well as offering seven promotions and creating nine new roles.
Continuing our journey: We’ve established project strategies for personal development, skills and training and ensuring sustainability is built into every job description, which will continue to be rolled out this year.
How it started: We made a commitment to reduce POP waste generation through reduction, repair, reuse and recycling, promoting the repair and refresh of retail displays to prolong their life in-store. We aimed to reuse or repair display materials wherever achievable and maximise the recycling of materials that cannot be reused.
How it’s going: We are proud to have completed two reuse projects during 2020 with another three coming up the pipeline. You can read all about our work with ‘reuse’, including information on projects, benefits and processes in our Reuse Report. When it comes to maximising the recycling of any end-of-life display materials that can’t be repaired or reused, we made the decision to switch to a new waste management supplier that ensures 0% to landfill and is well-known for its strong social purpose, a move that will also help us to minimise our office and warehouse waste.
Continuing our journey: Work on our rethink strategy is underway as we’ve mapped out plans for sourcing sustainable goods and materials that we use within the business.
How it started: We promised to build climate change measures into strategic planning and reduce our carbon footprint, measuring our environmental impact and setting targets for ongoing improvement. Through careful selection methods and use of logistics, we planned to minimise carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. We also committed to monitor our energy usage and ensure we used renewable sources wherever possible.
How it’s going: So far, we’ve managed to reduce our carbon footprint by 29% from 2019 across the UK. We are also switching to renewable energy supply as contracts come up for renewal which meant that 68% of our energy last year was from renewable sources.
Continuing our journey: We know that the impact of Covid-19 has helped towards our carbon footprint savings with reductions in commuting miles and installer transport throughout lockdown, this has set a standard that we will work to maintain once the world begins to open back up. Our plan to minimise greenhouse gas emissions through the selection and use of logistics options will support this aim. While 68% of our energy is now renewable, we’ll be working to increase this to 100% by 2022.
How it started: We made the promise to develop partnerships, extending the reach and share of the benefits of our work. We aimed to kick-start the conversation within the POP industry and encourage collaboration with others. The company set out to advise partners and suppliers to embrace sustainability and work to continue to create and build relationships with charities, NPOs and local communities.
How it’s going: Our Strategy & Sustainability Director, Will Williams was recently appointed as a POPAI Sustainability Council member, where he helps to guide POPAI’s sustainability strategy and keep the network informed of industry developments. When it comes to our customers, we have introduced a sustainability agenda item to be covered in all client business reviews and centralised sustainability in all new business meetings. We’ve also stepped it up even further on our charity work, raising a total of £2,500 across four charities in 2020, part of which was raised through two large-scale fundraisers that over 60 of our staff were involved in while working remotely.
Continuing our journey: We want to make sure that all of our International partners have the best start in their sustainability journey, which is why we’ve begun rolling out training on carbon footprint calculations and sustainable ways of working which will continue through the rest of this year.
At 100%, we love a challenge and our commitment to sustainability is by far our biggest one yet. This is because there is always more work to do and we’re committed to seeing this as a journey, not a short-term destination. We’re aiming to be one of the industry leaders not as a strategic decision but as an overwhelming responsibility, because it’s on all of us to work towards a greener, safer and fairer future for our planet.