The Gloucestershire Live Sustainability Award was introduced as a new category for 2022 and the quality of entries didn’t disappoint, resulting in two worthy winners of the award after a debate by the judges.
Sanctus and Commercial (on the left hand side of photo above) are two very different businesses with one run by a team of geo-environmental scientists and the other determined to show that business can be a force for good in the world. Here we find out more about Commercial and what they did to win the sustainability award.
Who are Commercial Corporate Services Ltd?
- Commercial is the UK’s largest, independently owned business services provider with a team of around 300 in divisions that span Office Supplies, Managed IT, Managed Print, Smart Technologies, Interiors, Print Management and Facilities PPE and Workwear, Commercial are headquartered in Liddington Park in Cheltenham and have regional offices in Leeds and London.
- Sustainability is at the heart of Commercial, whose journey started back in 2006 when co-founder and Managing Director, Simone Hindmarch heard Al Gore present his film ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ Simone convinced her fellow directors that the company must do all they can to minimise their environmental impact.
- Since then, total Greenhouse Gas emissions have been cut by 62% in real terms. Factoring in the company’s growth from £17million revenue to £68million in 2021, its carbon intensity (total emissions per £1million) has reduced by 91%.
- Commercial were the first company in their sector to become zero-waste-to-landfill in 2013, they have been carbon neutral since 2006 and have the ambitious target of being a net-zero company by 2028, 22 years ahead of the UK government target.
Sustainability in their DNA
At Commercial, sustainability isn’t something that is merely spoken about, or thought of as an added extra. It is central to everything the company does. It is in the DNA.
The ambitious net zero target is shared by each and every employee, with everyone invested in doing their bit to ensure the goal is reached. Educating the wider team about why emissions need cutting and passing on simple, easy tips to ensure that can happen.
The award-winning employee engagement programme Change Champions has highlighted numerous ways to allow staff to come together to design and implement their own initiatives to inspire the whole workforce to embed sustainable thinking in their lives in and out of work.
Champions for Change
Highlighted within the award entry were two Change Champions initiatives which created a significant impact.
First, the creation of a Net-Zero Home Guide highlighting actions which their employees can take to reduce their personal carbon emissions. It had the dual benefit of helping their staff live more sustainably and supporting Commercial’s emissions reduction target.
The guide educated staff about greenhouse gases and the environmental impact of the meat industry. It outlined steps to reduce the consumption of utilities, gave guidance on switching to a renewable energy tariff, sustainable heating options and the grants available to assist with renewable energy production.
Second, a partnership with Ecologi which enabled employees to offset their personal carbon emissions. By opting into a salary sacrifice of £2.60 per month, with the company matching the donation to support UK and worldwide tree planting schemes. The Commercial Forest is growing by close to 1,000 trees each month.
This entry stood out to the judges because these schemes were initiated by the team at Commercial, showcasing their commitment to making sustainability something which engages all employees.
Both initiatives showed that Commercial are not just concerned with cutting the emissions associated with the business, but also the emissions associated with employees.
Through the Ecologi initiative their people can support world-class offsetting projects which are drastically improving environmental and social outcomes in developing countries too.