Thanks to progress we are making with our environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda, we’ve moved from a bronze to a silver rating under the prestigious EcoVadis sustainability benchmarking scheme.

Although we’ve made great progress on sustainability under our own steam, we see third-party endorsements as immensely important in providing a transparent assessment of our performance to assure our stakeholder base, including customers, suppliers, our employees, and wider society.

EcoVadis is a highly respected system of ESG verification providing an assessment platform that rates some 65,000 organisations on how they manage sustainability covering four main areas – environment, labour and human rights, business ethics and procurement.

By achieving silver, we are now in the top 15% of companies in our sector and in the top 25% of all organisations benchmarked under the EcoVadis scheme.

Reaching this level was down to the progress we’ve made in several important areas through policies and processes we put in place in 2023. They include:

  • A new procedure for donations and community giving announced in November
  • Our new Code of Ethics and a new policy on Competition and an Enterprise Risk Management policy all launched in July
  • A Conflicts of Interest and an Information Security policy implemented in May and,
  • New policies on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and on non-audit services both launched in March.

In addition, actions we’ve taken on mentoring women and on health and safety were recognised, as well as the steps we’ve taken to ensure we report robustly on our ESG data and our decision to join the Sustainable Procurement Pledge initiative.

Although accreditation under the EcoVadis scheme is voluntary, customers can and do ask their suppliers to complete the questionnaire to check on sustainability within their supply chains – a trend which continues to grow as ESG issues rise up the corporate agenda.

That makes the methodology used in the scheme extremely important to us and our teams rigorously update our ESG data in line with international sustainability standards.