Why this matters to NCC Group
While we are considered a low-carbon business, as a people-led, technology-enabled business, travel, our offices, and data centres make up a significant proportion of our overall emissions. While we’ve proven we can move swiftly to remote operations when pandemic restrictions necessitated that, it’s very important we can bring people together while selecting the most appropriate way of connection to achieve the best outcome for our clients and our colleagues. Therefore, we need to take action to minimise the impacts we have by decarbonising our energy use.
Over the past 12 months, we have focused our efforts on improving the quality of the data we collect so we understand the source of our emissions. Understanding the source and scope of our emissions enables us to take positive action to reduce consumption.
The following initiatives are already underway across the following areas:
Optimised office energy use
We lease our office spaces and data centres, many of which are legacy leases; however, coming out of the pandemic and supporting our new global delivery operating model, we have taken steps to optimise our office energy use:
- New leases must be sustainable spaces with renewable energy (either from the grid and/or self-generated), and energy-efficient spaces that consider water, biodiversity and waste reduction strategies. Offices must also be close to public transport links to encourage colleagues and visitors alike to use greener transportation methods to access our spaces. See our office of the future feature on page 19 as an example of how we are applying this in practice.
- Using information from formalised and informal self-audits we are seeking opportunities to implement energy-efficient measures to reduce our consumption from LED lighting, smart thermostats and energy-efficient appliances.
- Removal of printers for all but essential requirements in UK offices.
- Closing or reducing office space that isn’t utilised by colleagues or clients on a regular basis and continually reviewing our office footprint to ensure it is fit for purpose and, as above, applying our new climate positive standards to any new leases signed.
- We operate a hybrid working policy, with colleagues encouraged to use a combination of technology and in-person activity to engage effectively with their stakeholders. We empower people to apply conscious decision-making by considering their own welfare, and the needs of their clients or colleagues in how they operate wherever possible.
Taking a responsible approach to travel
Where we can deliver remotely, we will do so, but as a client-centric business, it’s equally as important that we build relationships and are adaptable to different working styles. That said, there are lots of things we can do to minimise the impact of business-related travel.
We encourage colleagues to select the most efficient mode of transport for their business-related trips – encouraging them to consider their personal well-being and safety, client needs, and the impact on their own productivity. Where appropriate and within reason, we would encourage colleagues to select train journeys over short-haul flights.
Adopt a hybrid-first approach to internal meetings – while we all love spending time together, we recognise it’s not always practical to do so for remote workers. We will create set times throughout the year where we encourage people to come together, as well as use technology, and create an effective and valuable virtual and in-person experience.
Colleagues who benefit from in-person experiences are supported to attend their nearest office or encouraged to come together with others in their locale where possible so they don’t feel isolated.
Where in-person travel is essential, we encourage colleagues to cluster meetings so they can reduce their trips and ensure they focus on personal well-being.