Oakdene Hollins Environmental Policy

Oakdene Hollins can contribute to sustainable development not only through our advice and research, but also in the way we conduct our own business.

We are seeking substantial improvements in resource- and carbon-intensity that mean a long term transformation in the ways in which we work. This means collaborating with customers, partners and suppliers in a creative process of change for which we take responsibility in leading.

  • Be very efficient in our direct use of energy, materials and water, with objectives in line with or exceeding government targets
  • Be carbon neutral, offsetting residual carbon emissions in demonstrably sustainable ways
  • Be compliant with regulation, including that with environmental and social dimensions
  • Encourage sustainable products and services by buying them ourselves
  • Work with customers and partners to define more environmentally and socially sustainable ways of meeting their objectives
  • Enable our staff to live low environmental impact lifestyles
  • Encourage social involvement to help build more sustainable communities
  • Set targets, report, review and continuously try to improve our performance.

To operate good housekeeping measures to minimise energy, materials and water use within our offices, identifying key impacts by way of a baseline study:

  • Switching off screens and other office equipment when not in use, including switch timers
  • Operating power management settings on PCs to minimise energy consumption when idle
  • Maximising use of natural and zonal lighting whenever possible to minimise use of artificial lighting
  • Use of natural ventilation to avoid use of forced air cooling
  • Minimise printing requirements and use universal double sided printing (and two pages to one side printing where possible)
  • Recycle office paper, cardboard, plastic, batteries and metal containers and compostable waste.

To cascade company-owned products for reuse through other office applications, employees, friends or relatives, or through more formal reuse schemes.

To travel with minimal greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Use telephone- or video-conferencing to minimise travel requirements
  • Public transport will be used as the first choice. If this is not practicable, then a low emissions hire car from the approved company supplier will be used. This provides trip-specific data for vehicles that are highly maintained. This policy will be monitored through the staff costs claims system
  • Rail travel will be used in preference to air (e.g. Eurostar to Brussels).

We aim to reduce the carbon intensity per person by 3.5% per year without the use of offsetting, in line with the UK Government target to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

To promote carbon neutrality, we allocate the equivalent monetary value of our greenhouse gas emissions to bicycle maintenance, or energy efficiency measures such as energy monitoring equipment or solar chargers.

Critical purchasing areas are selected where we have significant expenditure and there is also high sustainability impact. These are measured by carbon emissions, waste arisings, impact on employees' wellbeing and potential for wider positive societal impacts. Where our ability to influence suppliers is high, we engage with them in securing improved impacts. Where influence is low, we apply minimum environmental standards, based wherever possible around reusable or remanufactured products, or around the EU Ecolabel. Key areas are:

  • Specifying lower emission hire cars
  • Specifying improved event management
  • Using fairly traded beverages
  • Office equipment and supplies purchasing: Energy Star Gold computers and monitors; remanufactured office equipment and furniture wherever possible, including printers and photocopiers, toner cartridges; 100% post-consumer recycled content or EU Ecolabel paper; rechargeable batteries.

We have flexible working hours in order to maximise working efficiency whilst allowing personal flexibility.

The company maintains bicycles for employees who can commute by bicycle.

A Green Travel Plan for the company is produced to facilitate low impact travel to office.

Our employees are encouraged to volunteer for socially- or environmentally-beneficial schemes, some of which can take place in company time. Examples include school governorship, young people's holiday camps, leading school projects on sustainability, or junior sport coaching.

We will report key performance indicators on our web site, updated annually with performance targets and comment.

In 2008/9 office-based carbon emissions were 719 kg CO2e per person (Scope 1+2); including transport, carbon emissions were 2.1 tonnes CO2e per person (Scope 1+2+3). Meanwhile the average residual waste generated annually per person was 12.5 kg, while 16.8 kg paper and 1.6 kg cardboard/plastics were recycled and 11.6 kg organic matter were composted per person.

In 2009/10, Scope 1+2 emissions rose to 722 kg per person: the purchase of a larger server to increase our computing capacity was almost offset by improvements in lighting efficiency. Scope 1+2+3 emissions rose to 2.3 tonnes per person, almost entirely due to one long-haul flight requested by a client. The annual residual waste figure fell to 5.5 kg per person, while paper and cardboard/plastics sent to recycling increased to 35.7 kg and 1.9 kg respectively. Only 5.8 kg of organic matter were composted per person per year. Our recycling rate has therefore improved from 70% to 89%.

Reporting, Review & Improvement

We will report key performance indicators on our web site, updated annually with performance targets and comment.