ESG and Sustainability Strategy Archives - Simply Sustainable

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Scottish Sea Farms

In 2023, Simply Sustainable supported Scottish Sea Farms in the development of its first materiality assessment. Conducting a materiality assessment is crucial for determining the sustainability topics a company should prioritise. This process involves considering both stakeholder input and evaluating risks and opportunities that align with these topics. At Simply Sustainable, we encourage our clients to be transparent about the environmental and social impacts of their business activities, so they can confidently reassure key stakeholders of their commitment to sustainability.

Impacts and benefits

  • Gathered insights and opinions from over 200 internal and external stakeholders to understand their expectations and evolving demands.
  • Conducted a business impact assessment to identify the key sustainability risks and opportunities for Scottish Sea Farms to address.
  • Identified the most material sustainability topics to guide Scottish Sea Farms in shaping future strategic sustainability efforts and direction.
  • Demonstrate commitment to sustainability and build trust with stakeholders.

Getting the best result relies on doing the right groundwork, and collaborating with Simply Sustainable on our first materiality assessment has ensured exactly that.

Step by step, they expertly guided us through the process of exploring the themes that mattered most to our internal and external stakeholders alike, helping identify the shared priorities and, in turn, shaping the next steps of our sustainability journey.
Amanda Tresise Sustainability Data & Reporting Lead, Scottish Sea Farms

The story

Between February and July 2023, Simply Sustainable supported Scottish Sea Farms, a leader in sustainable aquaculture, as they pursued a more strategic and proactive approach to sustainability through a thorough materiality assessment. The mission was clear: to identify the sustainability topics most relevant to both internal and external stakeholders and develop a foundation to shape strategic decisions.

Our methodology involved several key stages, starting with the identification of sustainability topics specific to Scottish Sea Farms’ business operations. Using established ESG and sustainability standards and frameworks such as GRI, SASB, MSCI and UNSDG’s, while also studying industry peers we identified the sustainability topics most pertinent to the business.

A fundamental element of the materiality assessment approach is gathering stakeholder insights, offering key stakeholders the opportunity to express their needs and opinions. Through interviews and surveys, we gathered insights from over 200 stakeholders, encompassing Scottish Sea Farms’ key customers, suppliers, shareholders, media, and internal stakeholders from various levels within the organisation. This diverse group of participants ensured a holistic view of the company’s impact and expectations.

Simultaneously, we conducted a thorough business impact assessment aimed at identifying and rating the risks and opportunities associated with each of the sustainability topics under consideration.

Throughout our approach we ensured collaboration at every stage, including confirmation with the Scottish Sea Farms project team, ensuring that the findings accurately represented the company’s operational landscape.

By combining stakeholder feedback with the business impact assessment results, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment, resulting in a materiality matrix—a visual representation outlining the most material sustainability topics for Scottish Sea Farms. This matrix serves as a robust tool to guide the company’s future sustainability efforts.

Performing a materiality assessment presents significant benefits in defining a business’s strategic sustainability focus. By actively listening to stakeholders, identifying material issues, and aligning sustainability efforts accordingly, Scottish Sea Farms has embarked on a journey to enhance its sustainability initiatives. This commitment to sustainability underscores the company’s dedication to a brighter and more responsible future.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

In 2023, Simply Sustainable supported Saga in the development of its first ESG strategy. At Simply Sustainable we design strategies to guide our clients to achieve a step-change in their ESG and sustainability performance, creating long-term value and delivering positive impacts on people, society and the environment.

Impacts and benefits

  • Robust and ambitious ESG strategy aligned to key frameworks and industry standards appropriate to all, diverse, business units within the organisation.
  • Gathered insights through 23 discussions and over 1400 survey responses to address internal and external stakeholder increasing demands.
  • Double materiality assessment, identifying both the impact of ESG topics on the business, and the business’ impact on ESG topics, resulting in identification of Saga’s material topics to address.
  • Agreed comprehensive KPIs and targets aligned to best practice sustainability frameworks and industry standards.
  • Recommendations to strengthen Saga’s ESG governance to embed the new ESG strategy within business.

Simply Sustainable were an exceptional partner in developing our ESG strategy. The Simply team brought brilliant pragmatism and deep knowledge that were instrumental in shaping our future direction. Owen Balmont Head of ESG, Saga

The story

Simply Sustainable has played a pivotal role in assisting Saga in developing a comprehensive Group ESG strategy that aligns with stakeholder expectations and embraces the diverse scope of its various business areas. Our approach to developing each ESG and sustainability strategy is highly individualised, ensuring a deep understanding of the business’s heritage, culture, core operations, external influences, and overarching aspirations.

At the initial stage, when identifying the foundational ESG topics that serve as the basis for subsequent steps in the ESG strategy development process, we meticulously incorporate a range of ESG frameworks and industry-specific standards. A fundamental element in building a robust ESG strategy is stakeholder engagement, where we integrate their insights and listen to their needs. We conducted surveys and interviews and discovered insights from more than 1,400 stakeholders, encompassing Saga’s key suppliers, customers, and internal stakeholders at various levels within the organisation. This comprehensive approach yielded a well-rounded perspective on opinions, insights, business priorities, and impacts of the business on the environment and society. Using stakeholder feedback in combination with an in-depth business impact assessment, we performed a comprehensive double materiality assessment, identifying Saga’s most critical issues.

The results from the stakeholder insights and double materiality findings, were complemented with a thorough strategic analysis which guided the identification of priority ESG topics and pillars that underpin the strategic ESG framework. Throughout our process, we ensured Saga’s feedback played a central role, leading to a collaborative session with the Simply Sustainable project team and Saga’s key stakeholders to co-create the ESG strategic framework. This collaborative approach combined our sustainability expertise with Saga’s business perspective.

With the strategic framework firmly in place, we proceeded to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets, aligned to best practice standards, and established frameworks. Through interactive workshops involving key stakeholders from Saga, we arrived at a comprehensive set of KPIs and targets that were perfectly aligned with the organisation’s aspirations. This was complemented by focused action plans aimed at seamlessly integrating the strategy across the business. Furthermore, we provided recommendations for enhancing Saga’s ESG governance, ensuring alignment with the existing structure and Saga’s inherent capabilities.

The final strategy represents a robust approach to enhancing Saga’s social and environmental performance across its businesses and its ambition to strengthen its ESG credentials within its industries.

Since completion of the ESG strategy, our support for Saga has been ongoing. This has included supporting the strategy’s launch in their 2022 Annual Report and Accounts (ARA). Additionally, we continue to assist Saga in implementing its strategy and fulfilling the actions outlined in the action plans. This support has extended to aiding in the development of Saga’s first standalone ESG report, in line with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

This highly successful partnership has led Saga to request continued support from Simply Sustainable through a multi-year Climate and Carbon service, encompassing a suite of carbon activities aimed at decarbonising its business. This includes calculating Saga’s first full carbon footprint to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the company’s environmental impact. Additionally, the partnership involves examining Saga’s financial risks and opportunities related to climate change in alignment with the TCFD framework for disclosure and assisting Saga in preparing for the Science-Based Targets initiative commitment, emphasising alignment with global climate goals. The partnership also aims to set ambitious net-zero and carbon reduction targets, guiding Saga’s journey toward decarbonisation. This strategic approach underscores Saga’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

Speedy services logo

Impacts and benefits

  • Helped Speedy Services obtain in-depth and comprehensive insights into Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) developments in the UK market for equipment hire and services for construction and infrastructure.
  •  Identified and evaluated the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal (PESTEL) trends that could impact Speedy Services.
  • Assessed current and upcoming sustainability-related legislation and the implications for Speedy Services.
  • Created a robust foundation for a materiality assessment.

If you are looking for a good company to help with horizon scanning, materiality assessment and the disclosure landscape I highly recommend Simply Sustainable. Amelia Woodley Executive Board ESG Director, Speedy Services

The story

Simply Sustainable has been working with Speedy Services since February 2023. As a leading provider of tools, equipment hire and services to the construction industry, infrastructure and industrial markets in the UK, Speedy Services is committed to being at the forefront of sustainability and innovation and is dedicated ‘to inspire and innovate the future of hire’. With this in mind, Speedy Services approached Simply Sustainable to carry out an in-depth ESG horizon scan to identify and assess the potential legislative changes that may affect its operations.

Working closely with the Speedy Services team, Simply Sustainable first identified sector-specific ESG topics relevant to Speedy Services. Zooming in on the most important topics, Simply Sustainable analysed the sustainability trends that could affect Speedy Services, including an in-depth evaluation of existing and forthcoming legislation. By applying our deep expertise, we provided robust recommendations for managing emerging issues and incoming regulatory requirements.

Executed in a 2-week sprint, the analysis gave Speedy Services a comprehensive understanding of the latest developments in relation to the most critical sustainability topics, as well as clear recommendations and next steps to address the identified impacts. We are delighted to continue the collaboration with Speedy Services, using the outcome of the horizon scan as robust basis for its materiality assessment.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

Amtico flooring logo

ESG and sustainability reporting is essential for building the credibility of a business. At Simply Sustainable, we encourage our clients to be transparent about the environmental and social impacts of their business activities, so they can confidently reassure key stakeholders of their serious commitment to sustainability.

Impacts and benefits

  • Demonstrated progress against a strategy that was developed in collaboration with Simply Sustainable
  • Communicated Amtico’s commitment to performing against its published KPIs and targets
  • Aligned Amtico’s report with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a best practice sustainability framework

Simply Sustainable really listened to what we said and got under the skin of the business to develop a sustainability report which reflected our own sustainability journey and progress to date. We are incredibly happy with the content, care and attention provided by Simply Sustainable in making a very smooth final product. Jason Shelley HR Director, Amtico

The story

In 2023, Simply Sustainable supported Amtico to develop its first ESG and sustainability report. This built upon our existing relationship, having previously worked together in 2019-20 to tailor a sustainability strategy that suited the unique luxury flooring manufacturer. Amtico’s first ESG and sustainability report, therefore, communicated the business’ progress against its ESG and sustainability strategy.

Through engaging with key stakeholders at Amtico, Simply Sustainable was able to get beyond the surface and develop a true understanding of the business’ character, sustainability aspirations and progress during 2022. Equipped with this knowledge, we segmented the report in accordance with the four pillars of Amtico’s ESG strategy and used KPIs and targets to clearly communicate Amtico’s current position in its sustainability journey.

Simply Sustainable applied the principles of the best practice framework, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), during the development of the report. This led to further information being offered surrounding the management of Amtico’s material sustainability topics, thus providing greater transparency. In subsequent years, Amtico aims to report with reference to and, over time, in accordance with the GRI.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

GKN Automotive Logo

Impacts and benefits

  • Developed a forward-looking and robust sustainability strategy, with ambitious and deliverable targets
  • Designed Learning and Development Programme for senior leadership and core group, delivering strategy
  • Delivered 24 training sessions to over 220 employees, with a focus on Exec-level, Commercial, Procurement and Legal teams
  • As a result of the training, 98% of employees said they feel more confident when discussing sustainability with their customers and suppliers
  • Created a new Responsible Sourcing Policy as part of Simply Sustainable’s ongoing support with integrating the strategy across the business.

The story

Simply Sustainable has worked with GKN Automotive since early 2021, providing expertise to help build sustainability into the core of its business. Whilst GKN Automotive has a long history of embedding sustainability into its business, we have been able to provide focus and create a strategy that accelerates the company’s purpose of driving a cleaner, more sustainable world.

GKN Automotive wanted to ensure its approach was future-proofed. Our highly experienced sustainability experts and qualified consultants began working on a robust, deep insight of the sector, customers, suppliers and employees, exploring GKN Automotive’s dynamic needs, now and in the future. We conducted a risks and opportunities assessment of sustainability topics as well as a materiality assessment to highlight the top priority focus areas.

Working closely with the team at GKN Automotive, we pride ourselves on building strong working relationships and always being a joy to work with, these priority topics were further evaluated in the context of the business, the automotive manufacturing industry, the global landscape of the company and further external drivers. This analysis informed the development of the strategy, with a framework of KPIs, targets and action plans to achieve the strategy. The strategy was mapped to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), demonstrating how GKN Automotive contributes to the goals by its delivering strategy.

With the strategy in place, it was important to ensure key employees are informed, engaged and inspired about what this means for them. We developed and delivered a series of training sessions to senior leaders in key roles responsible for communicating the strategy to stakeholders. This training equipped employees with a fundamental understanding of sustainability, knowledge about the Sustainability Strategy and the ability to effectively communicate the sustainability work GKN Automotive is delivering.

Simply Sustainable continues to support the successful implementation of the strategy. This has included support with governance processes (including attending Executive Committee meetings), developing a Responsible Sourcing Policy, reviewing internal policies and conducting in-depth research. To showcase the achievements of the strategy, we are delighted to be assisting GKN Automotive in producing its first standalone Sustainability Report.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

At Simply Sustainable we develop tailored, robust strategies that are designed to guide our clients to achieve a step-change in their ESG and sustainability performance, creating long-term value and delivering positive impacts on people and the environment.

WSH logo

Impacts and benefits

  • Development of an ambitious and robust, group-wide Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy
  • Agreed comprehensive ESG ambitions, KPIs and targets aligned to best practice sustainability frameworks and industry standards
  • Placed internal and external stakeholder needs at the heart of WSH’s strategic approach to ESG
  • Recommended ESG governance frameworks to facilitate the delivery of the strategy.

The story

We were delighted to begin working with WSH, a hospitality business with a host of brands across the UK, Ireland and Europe. This was a fantastic opportunity to support WSH on their mission to develop the business’ first group-wide ESG and sustainability strategy.

From the outset of the project our strategic planning priorities were to acquire a thorough understanding of WSH’s heritage, company culture, external drivers, core operations and goals. Engagement with internal and external stakeholders was fundamental to developing a strategy which personified WSH’s rich heritage and culture. Over 300 stakeholders were surveyed or interviewed, including WSH and subsidiary brand senior leaders, customers and suppliers. This gave us broad-ranging, deep insights into the business priorities. Along with a business impact evaluation for each topic, we produced a comprehensive Double Materiality assessment.

The outcomes of the Double Materiality assessment were complemented with a review of the business’ external ESG drivers to determine the priority ESG topics and key objectives for the strategy.

In September 2021 we started working with the team at Simply Sustainable to create our group-wide ESG strategy. We really valued their expertise at each stage of the strategy development, as well as the professional and personable relationship we maintained throughout the project. We now feel confident that we have an ESG strategy that will put us in a strong position to negate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that the future holds. Andy Milner Procurement and Supply Chain Director, WSH

With the strategic framework in place and consideration of key external drivers and best practice we worked with the leadership team at WSH to co-create a comprehensive set of KPIs and targets with focused objectives. In order to successfully integrate the strategy, we produced a series of focused target action plans covering a period of 18-months. Since the conclusion of the project, we have continued to support WSH through a retained support agreement focused on the development and initiating of a new ESG governance and resourcing framework to ensure the effective allocation of resources and delivery of the strategy.

The final strategy builds upon WSH’s strong heritage of social and environmental performance across its subsidiary brands and the business’ commitment to become an ESG leader within their industry.

To find out how the Simply Sustainable team can help you on your ESG and sustainability journey request a call back here.

 

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ESG, TCFD, Sustainability Consultancy, Just Transition, Transformational Change, Reporting

Sustainable growth at Manchester Airports Group

We worked hand in hand with Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to develop its 2020 CSR strategy, an ambitious plan to deliver sustainable growth across its business over the next five years and beyond.

Impacts and benefits

  • Put stakeholder feedback and concerns at the heart of the approach
  • Agreed new, ambitious commitments as a core element of the new strategy
  • Delivered a strategic plan that addresses both local and global challenges

We’ve worked with the team at Simply Sustainable for many years and we value the close partnership we have developed. They have helped us through the challenges of strategy development, executing insightful materiality reviews, running engagement and leadership workshops, and continuing to help us communicate about our sustainability work both within and outside the business. Neil Robinson Group CSR & Future Airspace Director, Manchester Airports Group

The story

At Simply Sustainable, we pursue an evidence-based approach to developing strategy for our clients. This ultimately ensures time and resource is focused on the areas with the greatest potential to generate positive impact.

We’ve been working with the team at MAG for over five years providing independent support to help them translate myriad stakeholder views into strategic insight. So when talk turned to their new CSR strategy, we couldn’t wait to get started with a tailored approach that took MAG’s unique operating model into account.

Our work began with in-depth consultations with local residents and groups, customers and partners to explore their dynamic needs. Analysing these incredible insights informed a detailed materiality assessment that built on our previous work and broadly identified MAG’s priorities.

We then scrutinised each priority topic – a process which involved analysis in the context of MAG’s business and operations, the local landscape, the wider aviation sector and global challenges – before bringing experts from across the business together in a series of workshops to agree the overall direction and generate the ideas that will bring the approach to life.

The resulting strategy builds on MAG’s strong track record of operating for the benefit of the communities, regions and environment around its airports whilst recognising its role in tackling the significant sustainability challenges facing the aviation sector.

Bringing a new strategy to life at EE

We worked alongside EE to successfully integrate sustainability across the business as part of a long-term package of support.

Impacts and benefits

  • Rated sector leader in leading responsible business benchmark
  • Carbon footprint reduced by 41% over 5 years
  • Ranked 7th best big company to work for in Sunday Times
  • 1 million people supported to develop their digital skills
  • ‘Activated’ nearly 400 employees across the UK

Amazing work – thank you to you all for the many, many hours you’ve put into building our strategy, implementing it and then reporting on it in the Index. Dan Perlet Former Director of Corporate and Financial Affairs, EE

The story

Simply Sustainable is known for being a practical and inspiring consultancy so helping our clients to integrate sustainability into what they do and how they think is a great fit for us. That’s why, having developed EE’s new responsibility strategy, we were ideally placed to support its integration across the business as part of this long-term partnership.

We know that this requires a holistic approach, working at every level of the organisation. Here we started at the top, guiding leadership to advocate for sustainability and creating a strong governance and management structure which included feedback loops between the Board and core functions and established an external board of experts to advise and challenge the business.

Next, working across core functions in the business, we turned to identifying and developing the policies and processes needed to embed sustainability priorities into EE’s ways of working, before establishing the KPIs and systems that would drive accountability via monthly performance reporting.

EE’s workforce is diverse and varied so naturally, engagement and ownership of this agenda is a key priority. To address this, we worked with in-house teams to co-create and deliver a series of engagement events across the UK designed to ‘activate’ their interest in the social and environmental issues core to EE’s approach and their role in supporting company ambitions.

Elsewhere, we supported EE in partnership and programme development, reporting and benchmarking – a whole package tailored and delivered over time to bring sustainability to life in the business.

Co-op Central Logo

Refocusing ethical business at CEC

We developed Central England Co-operative’s new sustainability plan, covering all parts of its business operations and prioritising relationships with key stakeholders

Impacts and benefits

  • More focused, inspiring ethical business strategic framework
  • Aligned sustainability with commercial objectives and Co-operative Values and Principles
  • Improved leadership engagement and oversight of responsible business issues

No matter what the scale of the project Nicola and the team give their very best. Their knowledge and experience is wide and varied and has proved invaluable to growing our CR competency. Hannah Gallimore Corporate Responsibility Manager, Central England Co-operative

The story

At Simply Sustainable, working with our clients to create sustainability strategies that will have a deep positive environmental and social impact while adding tangible business value is at the very core of what we do.

So when we started talking to the team at Central England Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent co-operative societies, about their hopes for a new ethical business plan, we knew it was a great fit. They wanted an approach that would enhance their values, create deep positive impact and support the business’ commercial goals.

We began with a detailed analysis of various internal and external factors which helped to draw out CEC’s strengths and weaknesses, major sector and national trends, and local social issues. During the next stage we gathered crucial insights from employees, customers, partners and local communities through surveys, workshops and leadership interviews.

The resulting plan identified CEC’s priority sustainability issues, based around three areas with the greatest potential to achieve positive impact, complete with objectives, targets and recommendations on the course of action to achieve them.

Berkeley Group Holdings logo

Shaping big commitments at Berkeley Group

We helped Berkeley Group to set commitments for their new business strategy, by providing specialist support on an extensive materiality assessment.

Impacts and benefits

  • Access to a wide range of data and insights to aid astute decision-making
  • A business strategy built around strong commitments about the most relevant topics
  • Enhanced stakeholder engagement

The hard work and support of the Simply Sustainable team throughout the Materiality Assessment project was invaluable, with the outputs being a key component to identifying headline themes for commitments under “Our Vision.” Helen Wickham Head of Sustainable Business and Reporting, Berkeley Group

The story

Materiality is the process which supports a business to determine the relative importance of Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues. It is an evidence-based approach that enables a business to focus time and resource on what really matters, rather than everything all at once. The principle is a vital one in corporate sustainability because it recognises that efforts are more successful when they focus on tackling a smaller number of priority (or material) issues really well, rather than diluting attention and resources by trying to focus on too many things.

Working closely high-profile property developer Berkeley Group at every stage, we supported the company to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders to compete their materiality assessment.

Being careful to match the company’s culture and ethos, we crafted and managed an internal and external survey reaching 1,200 people and conducted a series of in-depth external interviews with key stakeholders and opinion leaders, capturing extensive data and valuable insights.

Using our special methodology, developed to best practice standards, we analysed the results and mapped them against significant risks and opportunities. Our findings of the priority issues were accompanied by a series of strategic recommendations, and enabled Berkeley Group to achieve their ambition of a business vision built around solid, well-reasoned commitments.

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