The Portakabin Group has been awarded a Gold Award in the Business in the Community Environment Index 2014 in recognition of its commitment to sustainability. This is the second consecutive year Portakabin has achieved this prestigious accolade – putting the Group among the UK’s highest performing businesses for environmental management.
The BITC Index assesses participants’ integration of an environmental strategy into their operations and their performance in reducing impact on the environment. Over the past 15 years, the Index has enabled businesses and organisations to measure their environmental management and benchmark against competitors and other companies in their geographical region.
The Gold Award represents a score of 90 to 95 per cent, which compares to an average score among participants of 80 per cent. It follows the Group’s success as ‘Think Green Business of the Year’ for York and North and East Yorkshire, and two national awards for waste management in 2013.
Commenting on the award, Derek Carter, Chief Executive of the Portakabin Group, said, “This award is another opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to being even more environmentally responsible year on year. A second gold award is a tremendous achievement and we are also delighted to score higher than the average for the construction sector which is further recognition of our market-leading position in reducing impact on the environment in the provision of building solutions.”
The Portakabin Group’s sustainability initiatives over the past year have included:
- Adoption of the Smartwaste technology to provide full carbon reporting both in the UK and across the Group’s European divisions
- A programme to roll out the installation of Smart Meters at all Portakabin premises to provide real time data for detailed monitoring of energy consumption
- Energy consumption is now targeted against temperature and working hours at the Group’s manufacturing centre in York
- Use of an independent environmental auditor to review progress annually
- Auditing of suppliers to improve their environmental standards and provision of assistance to smaller businesses
- Maintaining zero waste to landfill and recycling over 16 different waste streams
- Work with component manufacturers to reduce or return packaging
- An employee induction programme that includes corporate social responsibility and environmental issues
- Accreditation to the Achilles Building Confidence scheme which is being rolled out to the Group’s top 30 suppliers
- Workshops for suppliers to explore further opportunities to improve the environmental performance of their products
- Local sourcing of products where possible to minimise carbon emissions
- Projects to investigate the use of renewable technologies, such as solar panels and wind power
- Employee initiatives to encourage cycling to work – discounts negotiated with national cycle retailers, affiliation of the Portakabin Cycle Club to British Cycling, a rewards scheme through which Cycle to Work purchases can be made, work with City of York Council to improve cycle lanes, and an annual ‘Bike to Work’ day.
The BITC survey looks at all aspects of an organisation’s environmental performance, including corporate strategy, the inclusion of environmental issues in strategic decision making, the provision of sustainable products and services, and the engagement of the supply chain to improve environmental performance. It also assesses established reporting criteria for sustainability and the sharing of information, and reductions in energy and water consumption.
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