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Corporate social responsibility

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While our work aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and generally improve the environment, we are conscious that running a business creates its own impacts.

As an organisation, the Energy Saving Trust works hard to manage our impact in order to reduce our effect on the environment. This is pursued through maintaining ISO 14001 environmental certification which is supported by an environmental management system (EMS) and our ISO 50001 support by an energy management system (EnMS). The EMS and EnMS provides a systematic approach to keep current with relevant environmental legislation and provides a structure on which to base our internal environmental activities. It is our sustainability group which is the backbone for promoting environmental activities and sustainable behaviour throughout the organisation.

Jump to: Our sustainability group, Energy efficiency at the Trust, Responsible waste management, Low carbon travel, Sustainable procurement and services, Quality, environmental and energy policies, Our environmental impact, Anti-slavery and human trafficking policy.


Our sustainability group

How our group works

The sustainability group is composed of sub-groups in each of the offices (London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast) and is run by volunteers in the organisation. The group encourages all employees to be as resource-efficient as possible through sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm as well as promoting sustainable activities and behaviours.

The group monitors and reports the organisation's carbon footprint each year, identifying areas for improvement. Through understanding what we can do to improve our use of carbon, the group helps to influence staff and suppliers in a positive way. The group has accumulated practical knowledge and experience since it was formed in 2004, developing a variety of successful approaches to engage employees.

Recent events

In Edinburgh, the group arranged several volunteer days where we cut back invasive Himalayan Balsam from over taking natural areas, woodland management with the New Caledonian Woodlands and gardening at Greyfriars kirkyard; all to help broaden our environmental reach.

London organised a tour around their South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) plant to find out where the majority of domestic waste is sent in south east London, as well as a DIY solar panel workshop to learn how easy it is to create renewable energy on a small scale.

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Energy efficiency at the Trust

How we use energy

As all our offices are serviced, the sustainability group can work closely with building management in each of our offices to help minimise use of energy resources, monitor our energy consumption and promote energy efficiency behaviours.

What we do to reduce our energy consumption

Our procurement process ensures where possible only the most efficient appliances are bought in, from our A+++ fridge-freezer in the London office to the new low energy monitors being rolled out.

Through our intranet, posters and regular events we encourage all employees to switch off devices and appliances when not in use; we even leave chocolates out to those who remember to switch off their computers at the end of the day at a few times a year to keep everyone on their toes.

An appliance inventory is in place to find out which devices can be replaced with more energy efficient units, and for those we cannot we install automatic timers so they are never unknowingly left on overnight or over the weekends. 

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Responsible waste management

What happens to our waste

We recycle and compost the majority of our waste; the waste that can’t is either processed at an energy from waste facility or sent to landfill depending on the office location.

How we responsibly manage our waste

Our waste hierarchy is applied in each of the offices to minimise the amount of waste produced. To find out what impact we are having, we monitor our waste streams to work out more ways to reduce impact. All possible waste is recycled including paper, cardboard, plastic, organic waste, glass, aluminium cans, batteries, CDs, printer toner cartridges and electronic equipment. We review our waste suppliers regularly to ensure they can continue to offer a broad range of recycling services, otherwise we find a different supplier that can.

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Low carbon travel

How we minimise our need to travel

In the larger offices, we have video conferencing equipment that allow us to meet with colleagues without needing to travel. Skype’s instant messaging, calls and video calling services on our laptops gives us another way to keep in touch without travelling. 

How we keep our impact low when we do travel

Cycling is the one of the best ways to travel short distances to work and to meetings so the Energy Saving Trust actively encourages this. Our facilities for cyclists are provided in each of the larger offices, such as secure parking, changing rooms, showers and lockers. We also have a ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme to help make purchasing a bike more affordable for employees.

Use of public transport over taxis is actively encouraged, as low carbon transport such as buses and trains are cheaper and less polluting. For occasions where a rental car is necessary, employees are only allowed to hire economic, low emission vehicles; and any private cars used by employees for business purposes must meet a good standard of fuel efficiency as well.

Flights are restricted to necessary travel, with domestic flights within the UK requiring approval from our Chief Executive as low carbon alternatives, such as taking the train, are available and preferred. 

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Sustainable procurement and services

How we integrate sustainability with our operations

We are committed to incorporating sustainability across all business functions in order to manage and influence the positive environmental and social impacts of our business activity, as well as to exceed our high standard of environmental excellence. Therefore, sustainability principles are embedded within all procurement related activities including our relationship with ethical suppliers and in the communities where we operate.

Energy Saving Trust is committed to procuring products and services which minimise our environmental impact, taking into account the lifecycle of any product purchased, complying with all applicable legislative requirements, continuously improving knowledge of environmentally responsible supply chain management and assessing the sustainability credentials of our suppliers and encouraging activity among suppliers which minimise environmental impact.

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Quality, environmental and energy policies

How our policies help shape our work

Energy Saving Trust helps people save energy every day through providing independent and impartial advice. We deliver a variety of government programmes and provides consultancy services to UK and international businesses.

Energy Saving Trust is committed to providing high quality services and advice that is consistently meeting customers’ requirements and exceeding their expectations. We continually improve our activity including our management systems and procedures, ensuring we are meeting all legal requirements and those of BS EN ISO 9001:2008.

We are committed to implementing these policies throughout the organisation by maximising emission savings from our activities, minimising our energy use associated with building management and travel, reducing overall waste and improving levels of recycling, working with suppliers to mutually improve environmental performance and favour procurement from those that do and using ethical suppliers and sustainable sources wherever we can.

We have developed a quality, environmental and energy management system that provides a framework for establishing and reviewing relevant objectives which are accessible and understood by all staff.

Energy Saving Trust staff are committed to implementing this policy throughout the organisation in the following three areas:


  • We will provide high quality services and advice;
  • We will consistently meet customers’ requirements and exceed their expectations;
  • We will continually improve all areas of activity including our management systems and procedures;
  • We will meet all legal requirements and those of BS EN ISO 9001.


Energy Saving Trust’s environmental and energy management activities include procurement, office management, travel and waste across the organisation (England, Scotland and Wales offices). The policies, processes and other guidance issued by Energy Saving Trust create our Energy and Environmental Management Systems.

  • We ensure availability of information and resources to successfully achieve our annual objectives and targets. 
  • We are committed to the protection of the environment including prevention of pollution. 
  • We embed sustainability principles within all procurement related activities including our relationship with ethical suppliers and in the communities where we operate. 
  • We seek to encourage energy efficient activities throughout its supply chain and clients.
  • We endeavour to minimise energy consumption in all of its activities including its significant negative environmental aspects. 
  • We seek to comply with all relevant environmental and energy legislation, and other subscribed requirements; including all aspects of BS ISO 50001 and BS ISO 14001.

All staff are committed to the continuous improvement of the business in the three areas above. Energy Saving Trust’s leadership team are committed to supporting the development of these systems and providing the resources to ensure we continually improve what we do.

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Our environmental impact

Environmental aspects: our most significant impacts 

Environmental aspects are an inevitable result of any organisation’s operation. To address these aspects, they have been identified, assessed and rated in terms of their significance or impact upon the environment by the Sustainability Group. As part of the Environmental Management System (EMS), the organisation’s environmental aspects are regularly reviewed. Our top three are emissions from business travel, electricity consumption and gas consumption where we focus our efforts on. The full list is as follows:

  1. Business travel CO2 emissions
  2. Electricity CO2 emissions
  3. Gas CO2 emissions
  4. Suppliers and sub-contractors
  5. Consumption of resources
  6. Hazardous waste
  7. Accidents i.e. fire
  8. Non-hazardous waste
  9. Nuisance and noise
  10. Cleaning products


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Anti-slavery and human trafficking policy

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains.

We are also committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners, and as part of our contracting processes, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.

This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

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