RSK’s commitment to sustainability

Climate Change and Sustainability August 19, 2020

Sustainability reporting is a vital process that helps to identify and prioritise the significant economic, environmental and social impacts of a business’s everyday activities and enable better management of those impacts. RSK has been at the forefront of sustainability for more than 30 years. Even when we operated from a few rooms, our ambition has always been to help organisations to minimise their environmental impacts and to be a world leader in environmental science, research, engineering and technical services.

As a result of our continued commitment to sustainability and diligent work, we have been nominated for the 2020 IEMA Sustainability Impact Awards in the Sustainable Organisation category. Using government advice on arranging large events, IEMA will announce its event plans over the coming weeks. If it is practical and safe, the award ceremony will be held on 18 September 2020 at The Brewery, London, UK. Otherwise, we will participate digitally.

“RSK’s nomination is a testament to its prolonged commitment to sustainability and transition to a low-carbon economy. I am delighted that IEMA has recognised our contribution and I am excited to hear the results in September,” said Jack Lloyd, Sustainability Reporting Consultant.


Implementing policies and industry recognition

RSK’s sustainability route map lays out the company’s objectives to 2025. It is structured under five sustainability pillars: health, safety and quality; our people and ethics; environment and communities; clients and suppliers; and financial and governance. In 2019, we met every target in the environment and communities pillar, including

  • community engagement: 25 employees registered on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics ambassadors programme for engaging with students
  • carbon footprint: an in-vehicle management system fitted to all RSK-owned vehicles
  • environmental protection and enhancement: commercialisation of the underground services condition assessment research
  • carbon footprint and resource efficiency and waste: report water use for all offices and implement an action plan for reducing water use.

Last year, we also curated terabytes of sustainability data from across our organisation. The resulting report outlines our corporate responsibility and sustainability goals and what measures we used to reach our targets. The results are impressive. In 2019, we switched to a 100% renewable energy tariff covering the electricity supplies to our premises in the UK. By the end of 2019, about 85% of the company’s electricity consumption in the UK was from renewable sources. This reinforces our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and complements the 23% reduction in the energy intensity of our buildings that we achieved before the switch, far above the 5% target we set in 2014.


Continuing our progress and overcoming the pandemic

Over the past 12 months, we have developed action plans for improving the environmental impacts of business travel and water usage based on internal audits carried out by RSK experts. The implementation of our green travel plan is under way and involves optimising our fleet of vehicles (42% of which currently meet the highest emission standards), installing electric vehicle charging points at our biggest offices and using in-vehicle management systems in our owned vehicles to help improve driver behaviour and promote better fuel efficiency.

The global coronavirus pandemic has affected every country and organisation on the planet. The ways in which we used to work and live have altered. As an organisation, RSK is adapting, and every employee is working to mitigate the most adverse financial burdens of the pandemic. Moreover, we are significantly changing our organisational footprint. We are learning from this and retaining some of the practices that have reduced our environmental impacts, such as more homeworking and less travelling.