Sustainability at SMS ♻️ Our progress in 2021 so far…
2021 has been a landmark year for sustainability at SMS. In February, we publicly announced our organisational Net Zero 2030 target, which will see us become a carbon neutral business by the end of the decade.
That was followed by the release of our first ever ‘Sustainability Report ♻️’ in April, which published in detail our various Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) commitments and responsibilities.
And so, as we enter the month of August and with half of the year now well behind us, we reflect on the first six months of 2021 and how these milestones for our business have translated into continuous improvements to our overall sustainable development.
First and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our people is integral to our organisation and over the last 18 months amid the global pandemic this has never been more critical. We are incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment shown by our colleagues – supported by our employee wellbeing programme and inspired by our core values – to uphold our overall mission of delivering the future of smart energy.
Thanks to this, we’ve continued to make strong progress in each aspect of ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ this year.
Our Net Zero 2030 target has driven forward substantial environmental sustainability progress across our business in 2021 so far. Including:
- Between 1st January and 31st June 2021, our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions (which refer to emissions from our own buildings and vehicles) fell by 31% when compared with the first half of 2019. Whilst there was a 17% increase compared to last year, this comparison is distorted by the impact of Covid-19.
- Carbon emissions avoided through the use of our products and services increased 74% in H1 2021, compared to H1 2020, resulting in our carbon handprint being 11x larger than our carbon footprint (compared to 8x larger last year).
- More than 90% of company cars have already been transitioned to plug-in hybrid, ahead of a full fleet transition to electric vehicles (EV) by 2030 as part of our net-zero roadmap.
- Office upgrades commenced, focused on installing renewable generation assets and energy efficiency improvements, including air source heat pumps for water heating and solar PV for electricity supply.
We’ve continued to build on our established social and community initiatives, whilst launching a series of new initiatives. Including:
- Becoming a signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter. This sets in motion practical steps to ensure that UK workplaces tackle barriers that ethnic minority people face in recruitment and progression.
- Becoming a Level 3 Disability Confident Leader, the highest level possible. There are six million people of working age in the UK with a disability and achieving Disability Confident Leader Status will assist SMS in supporting that talent pool.
- The launch of several initiatives to support our communities and local biodiversity efforts whilst constructing our new grid-scale battery projects. For instance, on the Barnsley site, we’ve commenced community engagement and are also planting new hedgerows and trees. On the Burwell site, SMS is sponsoring a local junior football team.
- The continued implementation and improvement of our employee wellbeing programme, including a month-long Distance Challenge which saw colleagues collectively walk, run, cycle and swim the length of the Great Wall of China and raise money for mental health charity, Mind.
During 2021 so far, we have continued to invest substantial resources towards good governance and fulfil our obligations to all our stakeholders. This commitment was reflected in us receiving the highest scoring range from global ratings agency, MSCI, when compared with our global peers in 2020.
- With our completion of the annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) submission in July 2021, we’ve aligned with the key requirements under TCFD (Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure) of climate-related governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets.
- Earlier this year, we concluded the ISO50001 external audit process for our Energy Management System, which we successfully passed. We are currently undergoing our annual external audits for our Integrated Management System (IMS), covering ISO9001 Quality Management System (QMS), ISO14001 Environmental Management System (EMS), and ISO45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
- We were given with the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark 2021, a recognition we have received every year since it was introduced in 2019. The Mark identifies LSE-listed companies that generate more than 50% of total annual revenues from products and services that contribute to global environmental objectives.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our employees, customers and partners is of utmost importance us. We’ve continued this year to invested significantly in Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ), driving a culture of engagement, and bringing ideas for improvements across the organisation.
- So far this year, we have zero reportable injuries and the Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) per 100,000 hours worked is 0.05 which is close to our target of 0.04.
- Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) per 100,000 hours worked in H1 2021 is 0.14, which is ahead of target 0.15 target.
If you’d like to find out more about our ongoing commitments to ESG best practice, visit our Sustainability section.