Sustainability is about the scarcity of the resources from which prosperity is generated, both now and in the future. The earth’s surface is finite, raw materials can run out, and the atmosphere and the natural environment can only take so much.
Sustainability, a concept originally from forestry and the fishing industry, is about the stewardship of the natural structures and processes without disturbing the balance and preventing natural recovery taking place. Respecting these limits to exploitation means that future generations can also make use of resources. Organising business processes so that they are entirely sustainable is, as yet, utopian but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive for a higher level: sustainable development where there is a balance between ecological, economic and social interests.
Within the Syndus Group, there is also consideration for the impact we have on the environment and for reducing the production of CO2. An annual audit of usage data has been conducted since 2012, and this data is translated into CO2 output. Measurement is the key to knowledge: the numbers tell the tale.
The Syndus Group is certified as level 3 of the CO2 performance ladder.
CO2 performance ladder
What is the CO2 performance ladder?
The aim of the ladder is firstly to encourage companies to know what their and their supplier’s CO2 output is and to continually look for new ways to reduce emission as a consequence of their business operations and projects. The ladder ultimately encourages companies to take real measures and also to be transparent and share the knowledge gained and to look for opportunities to reduce emissions with colleagues, institutions of expertise, civil society and the various levels of government.
The first step towards establishing a sustainability policy and reducing CO2 emissions is knowing the details of the company’s consumption. That is why a ‘carbon footprint’ report has been drawn up annually since 2012 and every six months since 2015. It provides insight into the energy flows within the Syndus Group as an organisation and the emission of CO2 for which the group is responsible.
After insight has been gained into consumption within the Syndus Group by means of a carbon footprint report, action can be taken to reduce that consumption and the emission of CO2 that goes with it. A baseline measurement was taken in 2014 on which a CO2 reduction target was based, which not only expressed the target in words but described the strategy. In the period 2014-2017, the reduction target was amply met by a 17% reduction per hour worked. We are now entering a new period of 3 years, 2017 being the base year.
The reduction target was then translated into quantitative targets. In order to do this, the Syndus Group drew up a reduction plan which was put into effect from 2014 to 2017 to improve sustainability and the environmental impact. The plan described in concrete terms the steps to be taken to reduce CO2.
The subject of sustainability and CO2 reduction is included in the management programme. The Syndus Group’s ‘energy management action plan' and ‘energy measurement plan’ provide more clarity about the way in which CO2 reduction has been included in the management programme.
Supply chain initiatives
The Syndus Group also seeks collaboration with other parties, to share expertise and subsequently to reduce CO2 emissions.