Group SHE Director
How we conduct ourselves is really important and we take our responsibilities very seriously. With that in mind, we’re committed to best practice in all our sustainability activities and we show leadership in delivering a sustainability programme which considers whole life impact, taking us beyond compliance and ensuring continuous improvements.
It is our intention to deliver more sustainable solutions for our people, our customers and the wider community and environment in which we work and live. All of these things really matter to us, and we know, to our clients too - so we stay on top of this by running our own Sustainability Committee. The committee is comprised of the Group SHE Director, the Group HR Director, the Group COO, the Group Finance Director, the Group Procurement Manager, and the Group Sustainability Manager, all of whom, barring the managers, sit on the plc executive board.
This Group’s purpose is to ensure we stick not only to the guidelines and regulations, but to the extremely high standards we set for ourselves. We regularly review and update our processes, taking into account any relevant changes or considerations relating to social, environmental, ethical and health and safety matters.
Fair and Safe Way of Working
Leadership, effective management systems, communication and engagement, alongside a robust training programme, will ensure that the safety culture within the business continues to evolve and improve, positively impacting the working environment and reducing the harm to our people.
We ensure our employees and sub-contractors are trained so they are skilled and qualified for their occupation and therefore can contribute to an improved health and safety performance.
We conduct regular internal audits on our processes and investigate non-conformances, including incidents and near misses, in order to drive the health and safety culture of our business forward, and continue to improve the facilities and working environment in all our factories in addition to engaging with our clients to improve site conditions and working areas.
Our Directors periodically complete Leadership Reviews to actively engage and support our teams in delivering our health, safety and environmental performance and are used as a positive and supportive method for influencing our culture.
We're not only committed to safety in our processes, but safety in design. Our designers and construction management teams focus on the design aspect of the structure with the objective of always being able to improve how our structures are built in regards to safety and efficiency.
When we talk about building a sustainable business, we have to make sure that the business is not only profitable, but that it has integrity running through every element of it. Good employee relations, welfare, engagement, diversity and inclusion are all equally important issues for Severfield. We’ve set up a focus group to look at how we can build our business so it’s in the best shape, whatever the future brings.
When it comes to business growth, there’s one sector that we're keen to explore - improving our technology, both in our design studios and in the factories. If we can improve technology, we can improve practices and productivity. It’s this focus on continually improving what we do for our customers, through developing innovative products and services, which will deliver a 'Smarter, Safer, more Sustainable' ('SSS') business. We need employees who are skilled in new and emerging digital technologies and are prepared to challenge conventional processes.
We have to look at every part of our workflow to ask: how can we do this better?
People and Communities
We start by looking at the very beginning of people’s careers. We always work to do more to attract graduates and apprentices, and build on the great strides we’ve taken already. Our ambition is to find smarter ways to cast our net: looking at different ways of recruiting and advertising, to recruit people from as wide a range of backgrounds and experiences as possible - this means we’re able to reflect and support the communities we work in. Having recruited, it’s then about finding ways to retain the brightest and the best. We want everybody to be the best they can be every day, so we can sustain high performance and achieve our business goals. We use coaching, so that continual development is part and parcel of what the business is about. If you have the ambition, Severfield is a place that motivates you to reach your full potential.
Severfield also has strong community connections through The Severfield Foundation and our employees are also given opportunities to support local and national charities through our localised social and charitable committees.
Environmental Protection and Management
Environmental performance is crucial and as such, we maintain our environmental management system accreditation to ISO 14001:2015. Information on our environmental impact is collated monthly and is reported to the senior leadership team on a quarterly basis. All our factories and sites operate in accordance with our sustainability policies.
We continue to report all of our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with UK regulations and the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard methodology. Our reporting boundary remains all material Scope 1 and 2 emission sources within the boundaries of our consolidated financial statements.
We also monitor Scope 3 emissions associated with raw materials, waste, water, business travel and product transportation.
In short, we’re incredibly passionate about doing our part and wherever we can, exceeding what is expected of us, so we can lead in our industry in as many ways as possible.
In 2016 we launched our strategic business improvement team to ensure that we are Smarter, Safer, and more Sustainable in every aspect of our business going forwards. Our strategic team focus on working sustainably, reducing our energy consumption, investing in new technologies and ensuring that we care for our environment while building our external reputation. By recognising climate related risks and opportunities we’ve been able to reduce our overall footprint, cost save through making our processes more efficient and our clients are more aware of our environmental focus. Our previous five-year target, set in 2015, was to reduce our carbon emissions by 20%. In 2020 we beat this target, reducing our emissions by 21.4% in the past five years.
Our next ambition is to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 25.2% by 2025 against a 2018/19 baseline year. Ambitious targets were created in line with efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Our 5 year strategy is in development, focussing on training and awareness, carbon reduction targets and sourcing responsibly.
Alongside our greenhouse gas reporting, we work with not-for-profit organisation The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which supports companies in making more sustainable business decisions. Our latest score of B sets us in the management category, ahead of our construction peers in D category. Constantly looking to improve, we aspire to move into the Leadership category of A. We’re focused on making sure that our supply chain is sustainable too, with CDP scoring us an A- for our supplier engagement rating – significantly better than the industry standard of C.
We continue to be accredited with the Gold Membership Standard of the Steel Construction Sustainability Charter, comply with ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) Gold members of the Supply Chain Sustainability School and maintain our BES 6001 accreditation with a rating of “Good”.
You can keep up to date with all of our sustainability and CSR activities on our social media channels or on our news page, where we’ll share updates of projects, activities and ways we’re working on boosting the positive impact we have on the people and environment around us.