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Environmental, Social, And Governance (ESG) – An Evolution Of Credentials

Reduce Our Emissions

What does ESG mean to you?

Net Zero, plastic, deforestation, polluted waterways, hunger and malnutrition, modern slavery, fair pay, opportunity for all. The list goes on, it really is never ending and it can be all encompassing, and extremely overwhelming. There are so many aspects, a plethora of sustainability tools, and a differing priority list for the many customers and stakeholders of any organisation.

Our approach has always been about making continuous progress, using building blocks to enable the next leap to be achievable, and working as closely as we can with our wide range of interested parties. As a critical part of our customers multi-tier supply chain, understanding their strategies, objectives and approach is something we would suggest as a beginning point to anyone who is looking at a ‘where to start’ position.

Save Time By Covering Off As Many Areas In As Few Tools Possible

Time is precious and there is always so much to do. The danger of ESG from a workload perspective is duplication, especially as terms can be used interchangeably, and priorities differ from one customer to the other. We therefore suggest that research on different accreditations and assessments is conducted, and finding the best matches to a pre-created list of what the organisation wants to work on and develop.

We took the approach of the benefits of a ‘catch all’ platform, which is why we discovered and started using EcoVadis. We are a Gold medal holder, awarded to the top 5% of its many thousands of clients. This platform covers off areas which include Environment, Labour & Human Rights, Sustainable Procurement, Business Ethics, and General.

Net Zero is another huge area in its own right. Initially unsure where even to begin, we worked with social enterprises and our wider networks to get our knowledge base enhanced, we committed to the SME Climate Hub, and completed our first carbon calculator through Normative. This now contains our baseline data from 2018, and each year since, covering the actions we have been taking over this timeframe.

SME Supplier Of The Year For 2023 – Being Recognised For Our Approach, And Delivering Meaningful Results

It may sound like a cliché, but we have always tried to put ourselves in our customers shoes, be it the product solutions they are looking to source, delivering personalised service which is meaningful to them, or supporting their goals on the vast area of sustainability & social value.

As a key partner supplier to Sodexo for over 20 years, we were therefore delighted to have been recognised as their SME Supplier of the Year for 2023, which was awarded for both of our service levels and our work on Net Zero and EcoVadis. The full Sodexo press release from the wider Partners with Purpose event can be
found here

There Are Many Ways You Can Show True Commitment

In addition to EcoVadis as a wide ranging assessment tool, and Net Zero, the topic on every organisations agendas right now and for many years to come, we are accredited with several other bodies, where we are able to evidence our commitments made, and explain clearly what they deliver. Below covers a one sentence introduction on each, but we would be happy to discuss any of these in greater detail if of interest to any of our stakeholders. We can also talk through our own decision making and activities.

  • Living Wage Foundation – Paying an independently set hourly rate to all employees, allowing them to afford a standard of living we believe everyone should be able to enjoy.
  • Living Hours – The newer Living Wage Foundation drive to guarantee a minimum number of hours an employee is going to work.
  • Modern Slavery Audit – Government led audit, evidence based, providing a percentage score and an action list of where actions can be improved.
  • Re-use Network – Recycling is better than landfill, but still has a big impact when compared to reuse of goods through donating to local charities.
  • Equality Register – A whole host of tools and providing a commitment to equality in all forms.
  • ISO 14001 – Focus on the processes and procedures to show commitment and advancement of activities in the area of Environment.

Finally, not everything has to be done through an official certification or accreditation. We carry out a wide range of social/society based activities which include volunteering during working time at causes in the community, donations of bedding items to homeless charities and others in need, through to volunteering and mentoring in local schools and higher education institutions.

We feel it is the right thing to shout about and promote this kind of activity to stakeholders, because we should all be encouraging each other to get involved, and learning from those around us of the vast range of community-based projects there are that we may be able to get involved with.

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Thomas Kneale becomes Employee Owned!

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As a Living Wage Foundation employer and an active member of the Equality Register Thomas Kneale can fairly claim that our people are indeed our greatest asset. The TK team is well-resourced, seasoned and experienced, averaging a decade of service each, even more for most. We work with Aspire Recruitment, a not-for-profit enterprise who truly […]

Inaugural King’s Award Winner

Such an honour for us and a reward for our sustainability journey In the Summer of 2022, we decided to apply for the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. We felt we had a very persuasive and evidence-based case to justify our submissions in the Sustainable Development Category. In early 2023, the Award was renamed the […]

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