This policy applies to all Growth Company (GC) colleagues, associates, secondees, agency staff and third parties who undertake activity for and on behalf of GC. It applies to the goods and services we procure, our direct operations and the services we provide to our customers. GC is committed to creating a sustainable society actively managing our operations in a way that balances our social, environmental and economic objectives. To do this, sustainability considerations are woven throughout a suite of interdependent policies and their procedures, which are implemented collectively in order to deliver the objectives of the Sustainability Policy.
To provide an effective framework for realising GC’s commitment to creating a sustainable society by protecting and where possible enhancing the Group's social, environmental and economic impacts, preventing pollution, reducing social inequality and driving sustainable economic development as part of a transition to a low carbon future.
All colleagues including associates, secondees, agency staff and third parties are responsible for ensuring that this Policy is adhered to. In addition, those colleagues who procure goods and services should follow GC’s Procurement Policy including the requirement to include social value considerations which mirror our sustainability objectives. As referenced some activities within the scope of this Policy are covered by additional dedicated policies and procedures to ensure that the objectives of this Policy are delivered.
GC is not for profit group of responsible companies that work in partnership with others to enable growth, create jobs and improve the lives of residents and local communities. The group delivers activities across six service areas: Strategy & Research, Business Support & Finance, Education and Skills, Employment, Marketing and Organisation Development Services. With over 1,800 colleagues across 45 sites, the Group recognises that its activities have wide ranging and interconnected impacts on the economy, environment and society.
In recognising this, GC is committed to contributing to a more sustainable society and to continually improve the positive impacts we make by:
- ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and standards, and the expectations of our customers and other key stakeholders
- ensuring our systems and procedures prevent pollution, and minimise resource consumption
- ensuring our colleagues and suppliers are able and are encouraged to support our sustainability commitments
- ensuring we continue to develop services which meet the needs of those customers who are often less able to participate in mainstream services
- ensuring we continually review how we can make improvements to our sustainability performance
In order for GC to realise these commitments, sustainability performance is driven by the Chief Executive and group’s Senior Management Team, through our:
- Agreed shared values, namely: make a positive difference; stronger together; empower people; do the right thing and build on success
- Investors in People standard, health and wellbeing initiatives and our reward and recognition programmes we support, encourage and enable all colleagues to meaningfully contribute
- Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy and both internal and external network engagement, we are committed to action on equal opportunities
- Commitment to paying all Growth Company colleagues the real living wage.
- Service offer, ensuring it targets and supports those customers who are least able to access mainstream service provision
- Travel and Expenses Policy which encourages journey planning, use of alternative modes of transport, and operates a Bike to Work and EV leasing scheme
- Electronic and Confidential Waste Disposal Policy which covers reuse, recycling and the associated data security issues
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management System which manages and reduces GCs impact on the environment in line with our commitment to be Net Zero by 2035.
- Monitoring and reporting of our CO2 emissions
- Inclusion of Social Value requirements into our procurement policy
To realise our sustainability objectives GC both recognises the need for and is committed to communicating these objectives to our suppliers, colleagues, customers and wider stakeholders. This is achieved via our procurement processes, and our existing communication channels to colleagues including the business plan, intranet, newsletters, team briefings and the colleague induction processes.
This policy and the actions arising from it will be annually reviewed as part of the business planning process which involves GCs senior leadership and management teams, with final approval via the GC Board.
Version 5, June 2023