At OnSite Support, we believe that we can all work together to provide a better future for generations to come. But we cannot do it alone. Our goal is to work in collaboration with our customers and suppliers, forming partnerships and encouraging sustainable practice throughout our businesses, so that we can all satisfy our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
To us, sustainability is more than just reducing carbon footprint. It is about managing and coordinating environmental, social and economic demands to ensure responsible, ethical and continued success.
Hence, our efforts to grow sustainably are focused around three key areas: Planet, Procurement, and People.
Our vision is to make a real difference to the UK construction industry and promote efficiency and good practice. In 2019 we launched our PLUS programme to our key customers, which offers them unique operational insights through managed data analysis and reporting, allowing them to make informed sustainable business decisions.
PLUS stands for Purchase & Price, Logistics & Access, Use, Risk & Productivity and Sustainability & end-of-life. The PLUS programme aims to increase our customers operational efficiency; reduce costs and carbon emissions by optimising logistics, reduce waste, minimise the use of plastics and encourage recycling initiatives. PLUS is the DNA of our environmental sustainability initiatives.
We believe that sustainability is not an end destination, it is a continuous journey. Hence, we have partnered with Supply Chain Sustainability School in 2020 to fulfil our ambition of building a better future together. We are now a ‘Gold Member’ and ‘Partner’ of the school.
Our aim is to learn from the school, share our learning with our customers and suppliers, and work in collaboration with them to build a better future together. To us ‘everybody matters’.
As part of our fuel emissions strategy and FORS accreditation, we are working with clients to consolidate deliveries wherever possible. Through PLUS, we encourage our customers to optimise delivery schedules, which will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also reduce their order processing costs and overall operational efficiency.
To help our customers optimise their order value, we have initiated a process for both online and offline orders that notifies our customers if an order falls below the client benchmark, and then either the web ordering system or customer service operator will suggest that the basket is saved until the order value increases. This action also helps reduce the number of deliveries, further reducing cost and carbon emissions. In 2020, we have helped to save ~600 metric tonnes of CO2 for our customers by helping them to optimize their orders and deliveries.
In 2017 we installed LED lighting throughout our premises including the offices and warehouse. This type of lighting uses 90% less energy than standard halogen lighting, further reducing our carbon footprint.
This has reduced our emissions by ~28.8 tonnes over the last two years. We are also trialling the use of electric vehicles and other sustainable solutions with a view to rolling these out across our logistics fleet.
We believe that real value lies in measuring success and communicating winning stories across the value chain. As a silver member and partner of ‘Supply Chain Sustainability School’, we are committed to continuously engage with the school to learn and share our stories.
Using the PLUS programme, we are presenting data to our customers on their usage of PPE and consumables across sites to identify opportunities for minimising waste. Customers who have already adopted PLUS now have greater visibility on their usage of PPE and consumables at site level. It helps them compare usage of PPE and consumables site by site and in relation to established benchmarks. We believe this will not only optimise our customers spending on PPE and consumables, but will also help to minimise overall waste transfer to landfill.
Within our own operations, we have invested in a cardboard shredder and now the shredded material is used for packing boxes that we ship to our customers reducing our cost to purchase bubble wraps, card packing, etc. as well as reducing our plastic usage. We are also working with our clients on plastic tote delivery, eliminating the need for any outer packing for parcels. In addition, as part of our ISO 14001 accreditation, we have implemented numerous paperless systems including e-PODs (digital delivery note) and digital invoices that can be downloaded from the bespoke client portal on our website.
Green Range (product and packaging)
We are actively seeking and finding ways to deliver our range from materials which are both sustainably produced and can be recycled. We are also working to reduce the plastic content of our packaging. For example, for one customer we produced a compostable bag to replace the single use plastic packaging that typically comes with jackets, hi-vis clothing and other garments, and with minimal extra cost. Notably, from December 2019 to December 2020, we have removed ~100kg of plastic 4 from our clothing range and replaced them with biodegradable compostable bags.
In 2019-2020, we have launched number of initiatives to enhance our ‘Green range’. Key examples include FSC certification for timber products, reduced use of polypropylene in clothing, and increased use of longer-lasting EVA material in our footwear. We are also assessing all our products across the PPE range to seeking to replace single plastic or synthetic materials with environmentally friendly alternatives wherever possible. For example, we have recently introduced two new product lines in our ‘Clothing’ range (Softshell and Hi-Vis Polo) which are made from recycled materials, and we are currently working with key suppliers to add more eco-friendly PPE and Site welfare products in our portfolio.
We believe that gradually we can significantly impact the usage of single use plastic material in packaging with the support of both our customers and supply chain partners. In 2021, we have projected to remove over ~690kg of single plastic from the environment by offering more sustainable product and packaging solutions to our customers. In January 2021, we have launched a new recycled and reusable overshoe, which is a great example of eco-friendly product that has cost in use benefit.
Besides our existing PPE waste collection service to our customers, we have partnered with a new company in Q4, 2020 with an ambition to improve our recycling service value proposition. Our new partner ‘Recycling Lives’ guarantees 100% of products provided for recycling are diverted from landfill. Their reporting at ‘end-of-life’ is very comprehensive, which gives us the opportunity to report on the different waste streams through the PLUS tool in near future. Through ‘Recycling Lives’, we are helping our customers to recycle all types of PPE including, Hard hats, High-vis clothing, Boots & footwear, Gloves, Safety garments, Waterproof garments, Arc flash specific materials, Respiratory Protective Equipment, etc., and guaranteeing destruction of any company/project logos during recycling process. Recycling Service generated £11m+ social value in 2018-’19 by rehabilitating offenders, supporting homeless men and redistributing one million meals to local communities. To us, ‘Everybody Matters’, and we believe that by partnering with ‘Recycling Lives’, we are not only helping our customers to manage their waste, but also contributing to the society.
We believe that strong business values guide sustainable growth. We are committed to trading and working with our customers, employees, contractors, suppliers and any other individuals and organisations, in accordance with the best moral practices. We thrive to achieve excellence in compliance in terms of product and sourcing. We have policies in place to control bribery and ensure no involvement of modern slavery at origin. We encourage our suppliers to sign ‘ethical sourcing policy’, which is our internal document that covers modern slavery. 90% of our products are covered through this process, which is an acknowledgement from our suppliers and manufacturers on ethical sourcing. By end of 2021, we will cover 100% of our product through this process. In addition, we will publish a roadmap for ‘supplier audit’ by Q2, 2021. We believe in treating people fairly and place a high value on the relationships we have with our customers, employees and supply chain partners alike. We believe in putting people first!
We believe in playing our part to support the people we live and work amongst, so that both business and community can thrive.
We volunteer with and donate on a monthly basis to the Rapid Relief Team: supporting local communities in times of need and providing catering for the emergency services when responding to major incidents. Annually we hold fundraising events for a variety of charities such as British Heart Foundation, Macmillan, Breast Cancer Now, Shelter and Save The Children. We also support fundraising events that our clients, employees and suppliers are raising money for, such as sponsored bike rides and marathons.
To us ‘everybody matters’ and we believe that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. As such, in 2021, we will partner with a charity that works for women to improve their lives. In addition, as part of our gender diversity initiatives, we will work with a community school to help women to gain necessary skill-set to build their career in and around construction industry. We will launch our ‘Championing Women in Construction’ campaign on 8th March, 2021 to enhance women’s Clothing and PPE range, and to celebrate their success stories with the spirit of ‘International Women’s Day’.
As well as making a positive impact on our communities, we believe these activities also help bring our community together in a different context, building and strengthening the team that serves our customers, so that everyone benefits. For us, that is a perfect example of what sustainable business is all about.
We believe in continuous excellence. As such, in Q2 2021, we will launch OnSite Support’s sustainability strategic roadmap for next 20 years by outlining three key pillars (Plant, Procurement and People), key initiatives, and KPIs. We are currently working on benchmarking and setting scientific target for each of the activities, such as- reduction of carbon emission and single plastic (Planet), internal training on modern slavery and supplier audit (Procurement), social value creation through volunteering, offering apprenticeship and supporting women, etc. We are always looking for further opportunities to create more social value and we are open to new ideas.
 Recycling lives Social value report available at https://www.recyclinglives.com/social-value