In previous years the judges have been disappointed that few entries emphasised the environmental, sustainability or wider Corporate Social Responsibility aspects of their submissions. According to the judges: “Few have used environmental improvement to develop a competitive advantage.” However, this year it is different, “now we are seeing the emergence of this starting to take shape.”
Ekol is one of the largest logistics service providers in Turkey. The company has started on the journey to becoming green and is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by moving more goods by rail. Although the judges see this initiative as a good first step, it is still early days.
On a corporate level Vodafone is doing an enormous amount on green. The company has committed to reducing its global CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2020, against its 2006-7 performance and has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project’s supply chain leadership collaboration initiative, which enables Vodafone to use CDP methodology for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in a consistent format across its suppliers. Over the last eight months the company has expanded its catalogues to incorporate environmental performance of products and services based on the greenhouse gas footprint reported by the supplier using the CDP format. This has helped buyers to make environmentally sound decisions where possible.
The initiative has gone a long way to encouraging field engineers to take a balanced decision on selecting a green or greener product. The judges were particularly impressed by Vodafone’s commitment to translating the company’s CSR policy into practice within the procurement process and with the team’s engagement with this project. So much so, that the judges considered them a strong contender for the Team of the Year Award. But for the Environmental Improvement Award there was one clear winner.
CitySprint is a UK-based courier company offering same-day, next-day and international courier services through its network of 30 service centres across the UK. It operates a fleet of 1,500 vehicles and manages millions of deliveries each year for its clients. The company has been passionate about its commitment to green issues since 2002 when it launched an environmental programme aimed at reducing wastage, energy consumption and emissions. In March this year CitySprint appointed a full-time CSR manager who reports directly to the executive team.
Each service centre has an environmental guardian tasked with reviewing the centre’s environmental impact and every staff member has been provided with an environmental training manual which details CitySprint’s environmental policy.
The judges viewed CitySprint as a company that differentiates itself on green issues. It has looked at different transport modes, including walking and using bicycles – the company has the largest bicycle fleet in London, travelling 21,000 miles per week, recommending it to clients whenever appropriate. It also has the human-powered Citytrike for bulky packages and in 2007 CitySprint was the first courier company in the UK to add an electric motorbike to its fleet. The company is expanding its fleet of electric vehicles, uses Smart cars, which offer a 20 per cent reduction in emissions compared to diesel vans, and is currently researching the possibility of introducing electric Smart cars. Dual fuel vehicles are also used.
The judges were impressed: “The company’s spread on applying green has been across the whole board – it’s pretty comprehensive. One dimension of this is their carbon-offset programme; they give clients the choice to have a retrospective charge applied to jobs that use a carbon producing vehicle. Choices are: clients can select monies generated from the environmental support fund for CitySprint to invest with an approved carbon-offset company, they can select monies generated for sustainable development projects – such as energy efficiency programmes – they can even go back to CitySprint and they will refund the carbon cost and the client can invest it into new green vehicles or other green projects.”
The Environmental Improvement Award had to go to CitySprint.