Environmental Sustainability

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Our Environmental Sustainability Policy

The East of England Co-operative Society Ltd believes being sustainable means looking at every part of our business and culture. It's about being accountable for our impact on the planet and supporting our colleagues and communities to thrive. We are committed to achieving efficiencies, reducing our energy consumption and environmental impact. Nick Denny, Joint Chief Executive, is responsible for championing energy efficiency, carbon saving and environmental policy at Leadership team level. 

In 2010 we committed to reducing our direct carbon emissions by 3% each year for 10 years. We exceeded our target, achieving a 50% reduction between 2010 and 2020. 

We reset our 'base' year to 2019/20 with a previous commitment to reduce our CO2e emissions by 14% by 2025. 2020/21 was an exceptional year, delivering some significant emissions savings. Our commitment has been revised a to a 33% reduction by 2025 compared to the reset base year. 

We commit to: 

By end of the financial year 21/22: 

  • Further develop our sustainability approach by establishing goals and integrating positive action against our identified priorities into all areas of our business, fully embedding into 'Our Co-op' plan
  • Measure and publish 'baseline' data against our defined priorities
  • Publish information of our sustainability approach annually against baseline measurement
  • Continue to reduce our combined Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources e.g. natural gas use) and Scope 2 (from purchased electricity) CO2e emissions by at least 3%
  • Increase the provision of electric vehicle charging points across our estate by 14. 

By 2025:

  • Our direct operations (impacting on Scopes 1 & 2) will be carbon neutral, achieved by a combination of robust emissions reduction and carbon offset strategies
  • All company cars will be Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) or Electric Vehicles (EV)
  • We will increase annual on-site renewable energy generation to at least 370,000kWh (1% of our current electricity need)
  • Scope 3 emissions (all other indirect emissions occurring in our value chain) will be included within our reporting and carbon reduction strategies. Ensuring emissions arising from all our activities are accounted for
  • We will have undertaken a full review of our sustainability approach to ensure our priorities and goals remain current
  • We will have increased the provision of EV charging points across our estate to at least 40 sites. 

By 2030 we commit to: 

  • Becoming a fully carbon neutral business achieved by a combination of robust emissions reduction and carbon offset strategies
  • All commercial fleet vehicles to be Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) or Electric Vehicles (EV)
  • Increasing annual on-site renewable energy generation to at least 5% of our current electricity need. 

In order to achieve these goals we will: 

  • Commit to appropriate financial and personnel resources to carbon reduction, energy efficiency, and carbon offset strategies
  • Develop and thoroughly integrate our sustainability approach, goals and action into departmental and Society procedures, through consultation with stakeholders
  • Use energy from sustainable sources and make ethical decisions when purchasing energy. Continue to source renewable energy through a green tariff and phase out natural gas supplies
  • Working closely with our partners we will identify and make use of suitable sites for the generation of renewable energy
  • Undertake supply chain carbon management by influencing and supporting our direct suppliers to undertake Suffolk Carbon Charter
  • Develop reporting mechanisms to account for all indirect emissions (Scope 3) that occur in our value chain in line with recognised methods and standards
  • Commit appropriate Society resources to environmental sustainability matters and work with partners to serve as critical friends. Invest time to ensure we continue to comply with all relevant legislative changes affecting Energy and Environmental Performance
  • Increase the profile and understanding of energy management and sustainable practice at all levels of the Society increasing colleagues' awareness through bespoke education, training, and internal/external publicity
  • Develop a 'Travel Policy' aiming for a reduction of carbon emissions associated with all transport and travel. Enabling and encouraging colleagues to work remotely and by ensuring all Society vehicles are either Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) or Electric Vehicles (EV) by 2030
  • Working with our partners we will identify suitable sites for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Consider life cycle costs and environmental impacts when assessing new build, refurbishment, and maintenance projects and when purchasing new equipment
  • Installation of remote monitoring equipment and systems to reduce energy consumption, maintenance visits and refrigerant gas losses
  • Maintain a register of Energy Performance Certificates for commercial and residential properties available to let. We will identify all properties with a non-compliant EPC rating and when practicable implement the necessary actions to raise the rating in line with statutory requirements
  • Continue the replacement of lighting units with LED throughout all our properties
  • Ensure that sustainability is considered and is forefront in all investment property development. Specify energy efficient design of all new buildings, plant and equipment including minimum standards of efficiency built into design standards
  • Consider life cycle costs when assessing new build, refurbishment, and maintenance projects and when purchasing new equipment.

This policy will be reviewed annually. 

Environmental Sustainability Policy May 2021
First review due May 2022