Corporate social responsibility is built into our culture and working practices, ensuring that everything we do is measured in terms of social, ethical and environmental impact. Whether it’s our Health & Safety policies, the reduction of accidents or the training of apprentices, we are determined to make a positive change.
Corporate social responsibility starts at the top, with an executive team that is driven to make a positive social, ethical and environmental impact. We live and breathe our guiding principles, which ensure sound policies and good working practices are adopted throughout the group.
Under our Safety First branding, our policies and procedures cement our commitment to protecting the health & safety of our employees, contractors and customers. Our regular training initiatives include training our operational managers in IOSH Managing Safely, and key members of our Health & Safety team have obtained their NEBOSH Diploma. We also work tirelessly to improve the way we capture accident information and raise awareness about near miss reporting. In this way, we promote safety now and work proactively to prevent incidents in the future.
Sustainability and the Environment
Our vehicles are a familiar sight on the roads and we are well aware of their impact – and that of the group as a whole – on the environment.
It is for this reason that we have signed a letter of commitment to pursue reductions in greenhouse gases in line with science-based targets set by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The SBTi is a partnership between the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement.
To deliver these reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we have invested in vehicles running on alternative fuels. We operate 35 bio-gas tractor units which use Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) with further vehicles on order including some which will operate on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Some of these vehicles will use bio-gas from a customer anaerobic digester whilst we have also installed a LNG storage facility at our Cullompton depot to support our gas powered fleet. The use of bio-gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80%.
We are investing in battery powered vehicles and run a 100% electric 19t refrigerated rigid vehicle making deliveries into central London on behalf of one of our customers. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this vehicle has zero tailpipe emissions and reduces noise pollution which is especially relevant for night-time deliveries.
We are embracing Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a renewable diesel substitute which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90%. We look forward to the opportunity to trial hydrogen-powered vehicle technology as this becomes available for HGVs.
Our investment in vehicle telematics and driver training ensures that our fleet is driven in the most environmentally friendly way.
We are one of the largest operators of long semi-trailers which carry 15% more volume than a standard trailer. This has a significant impact on carbon emissions as it means that for every 7 loads, one journey is not required.
Our transport depots and warehouses can also have an effect on the environment and we are focussed on reducing their impact through installing solar panels, low energy and motion sensitive lighting, waste reduction, recycling and using grey or recycled water to wash our vehicles. 98% of our electricity is sourced from renewables.
We are members of a number of accredited schemes, including the British Retail Consortium Global Standards, FIAS, Soil Association and the Dairy Transport Assurance Scheme (DTAS) – all of which help us to actively manage, and continuously strive to reduce, our impact on the environment.
We are acutely aware of the UK’s driver shortage. To this end, we are committed to training 80 driver apprentices every year, whilst also identifying opportunities to encourage logistics as a career choice for the next generation. We are passionate about developing our employees through operational and developmental training. In 2017, we signed the Armed Forces Covenant to demonstrate our commitment to supporting service leavers as they transition into civilian life and into companies like ours. In addition, we continue to look to increase gender diversity within our company by identifying ways of making our sector more attractive to women. We support the RHA She’s Campaign, which aims to encourage more women into the world of distribution.
We actively support our employee’s participation in charitable activities and publish stories of their involvement – and the sums raised – in our staff newsletter, NewsBrief. We often sponsor events in the local community, recognising our responsibility to the areas in which we operate.
We want our employees to be at the heart of the group – helping us to develop our offering and drive improvements. To this end, we engage with them in a variety of forums, including driver meetings, employee councils and Health & Safety committee meetings. We publish regular company-wide newsletters as well as weekly bulletins for the individual parts of the group. Needless to say, we also ensure that hard work and initiative are recognised, while the commitment and contribution of staff is rewarded with our long service awards.