MPI has come a long way since 2018, when we began to develop our environmental management system. What began three years ago as a focus on being kinder to the environment has moved away from being an ideology towards that of being standard business practice. From energy consumption, carbon emissions management, water use, waste minimisation, pollution prevention and emergency planning; we have established best practices to reduce our environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.
After attaining the environmental management certification ISO 14001 last year, it became clear that more businesses were not only asking for our environmental policies and achievements as part of their procurement activities, but also seeking evidence on how we approached sustainability. So, at the beginning of the year a new sustainability policy was implemented as a first step to clearly define our approach, built around three interdependent pillars these being: profits, planet and people.
We have continued to evolve our focus from one of environmentalism to one of sustainability and over the past few months have tapped into the resources provided by the Supply Chain Sustainability School, undertaking a number of assessments and activities to reach silver level member status.
The environmental objectives and targets that were set last year were evaluated last month at the management review meeting. Some of the achievements made were significant, for example, in 2019, the total carbon emissions for head office was 62.48 tonnes of CO2e, however this fell to only 36.5 tonnes CO2e in 2020, due mainly to the reduction in business and commuter travel as a result of the COVID pandemic.
Paper consumption reduced again year-on-year from 435 reams of A4 paper in 2019, equivalent to 26 trees, to 320 reams or 19 trees. All purchased paper comes from sustainable sources being Rainforest Alliance, FSC and EU Ecolabel certified.
A total of 5.3 tonnes of paper and mixed recycling was diverted from landfill last year too.
New environmental objectives and targets have been approved for 2021/2022, these being:
OBJECTIVE 1 NATURAL RESOURCES
Limit our consumption of natural resources.
Reduce purchased paper consumption by 5% in 2021.
Purchase all paper from sustainable sources.
OBJECTIVE 2 ENERGY
Reduce consumption of non-renewable energy.
Change purchased energy contract to 100% renewable by September 2021.
OBJECTIVE 3 WASTE
Minimise waste using reduce, re-use and recycle before disposal to landfill.
Achieve a recycling rate of 90% in 2021 where robust waste data is available.
OBJECTIVE 4 WATER
Reduce consumption of water
Monitor water consumption and aim to reduce by 1% in 2021.
OBJECTIVE 5 EMISSIONS
Minimise emissions to water or land through accidental spillages.
Nil accidental spillages of contaminants to water or land in 2021.
Reduce CO2e emissions associated with company fleet and business travel.
Replace car fleet with a more ecological one by reducing the CO2e cap by 10% from 150g/km to 135g/km for any new cars purchased in 2021/2022.
Minimise noise emissions to air.
Nil complaints from neighbours about noise, waste or any other environmental issues in 2021.
Become Carbon Neutral.
Offset the CO2e created in 2020 through a recognised carbon offsetting project.
OBJECTIVE 6 BIODIVERSITY
Increase biodiversity within the local area.
Identify and implement 3 biodiversity ideas in 2021 to help local biodiversity.
OBJECTIVE 7 PEOPLE
We will encourage the sharing of good environmental practices across MPI.
Provide employees with educational and training resources to support the achievement of the environmental and sustainability objectives.
Identify engagement measures to work with our employees to encourage knowledge sharing.
OBJECTIVE 8 SUPPLY CHAIN
Check environmental and ethical practices when selecting new/ reviewing existing core suppliers.
Check core suppliers are ISO 14001 certified/have an EMS system.
Assess ethical practices of suppliers annually.
Other sustainability objectives and targets are being developed that will complement the ones set out above and we will be encouraging all employees to help to achieve these too. Later this year a sustainability training programme will be rolled out and new Environmental Champions will be selected and trained to be the local key contacts for environment-related issues and advocates to promote more sustainable practices in MPI.
This year we have agreed that we will be offsetting the carbon that was produced in 2020 through a tree planting and management programme. Each native broad-leaved tree planted will help to offset last year’s environmental impact by "breathing" in CO2 emissions as it grows, also provide sustainable habitat for wildlife and will enhance the natural landscape.
MPI are excited about the future plans and look forward to updating you all again in the coming months