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Blog Post 13 July 2022

Taking bold steps internally to realise our goals

Roll-out of our net zero strategy against a backdrop of cultural transformation means our people and operations are increasingly aligned with, and focused on, our mission.

Drawing on expertise from across our organisation, Energy Saving Trust’s net zero plan delivers carbon savings in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), using the ambitious 1.5˚C benchmark established by the Paris Agreement.

Targets embraced by our strategy are subject to SBTi verification. We are also working to achieve the climate policy neutral ISO 14064 accreditation, the globally recognised standard for greenhouse gas emission inventories.

Although most of Energy Saving Trust’s emissions are Scope 3, centred on purchased goods and services, the recent switch to a fully renewable tariff at our Edinburgh office represents an early win for our plan in the area of Scope 2 emissions covering consumed energy.

A new net zero lead will be responsible for implementing our strategy. A sustainable procurement officer will help drive home our partnership message – now, more than ever, we want to use suppliers that have a clear pathway to net zero.

Meanwhile, staff are benefiting from new initiatives. Launched in January, our net zero staff loan invites employees to apply for up to £10,000 to invest in lower carbon appliances and home improvements. Our salary sacrifice Electric Vehicle lease scheme will offer staff tax efficient options for their personal vehicle.

Central to our net zero strategy is a timely consolidation of our IT server environment. In the past year we’ve moved our service desk in-house and migrated all our servers – down from 80 to just 38 today – to the public cloud using Microsoft’s secure Azure platform.

Alongside its energy saving benefits and Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability, Azure offers us maximum flexibility to grow our server estate in line with our business. These changes are proving popular with staff. Requests to our IT service desk are up from a typical 120 to 450 a month.

Group head of IT Bob Buckley said: “While our move to public cloud is leading edge, we’re using tried and tested technology that will bring significant benefits to our business long term.”

Recognising our people as our greatest asset

Organisational changes we’ve made in the past year are all about transforming our culture in order to respond better to the climate emergency. Like others, we’ve come through a challenging period. Yet we’ve continued to grow, and to grow our people.

With our diversity and inclusion lead now in post, we’re ready to implement a robust strategy for building a workforce that better reflects society, every part of which is impacted by climate change.

Driving our new culture is a move to hybrid working. Three-quarters of our current workforce blend home with office working. More people can now work for us in different parts of the UK. Less travel, meanwhile, helps shrink our carbon profile.

We know hybrid working can make a vital contribution to mental wellbeing. At Energy Saving Trust we want to go further. That’s why we offer employees a wellbeing allowance of up to £300 annually to spend on positive activities that refresh their perspective on life and working life.

How will we know we’re doing it right? We’re investing in a staff satisfaction survey with Best Companies, a leading engagement survey provider, to measure and improve workforce engagement.

The accreditation offered through Best Companies feeds directly into our employee value proposition. So too does our exciting target of offering 5-10 apprenticeships this year. We’re also talking to universities about graduate placements – a chance for students to engage with relevant topics while giving something worthwhile back to our mission.

At the heart of our cultural transformation is a new focus on empowerment through coaching, with employees now able to access a recognised coach to bring creative solutions to their role.

Group director of people and organisational development Russell Newham says: “Coaching helps us reach our goals faster. Our mission is urgent. Put simply, we’re speeding up our effectiveness.”

Last updated: 13 July 2022