ESG and Sustainability Strategy Archives - Simply Sustainable

Simply Sustainable

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.

Developing a strategy for a brighter future

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

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.

Embedding responsibility at the heart of core business

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.

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

Creating the foundations for deep, positive impact

Co-op Central Logo

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.

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.

Gain insights from the ground up

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, Berkley 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.

Creating a clear roadmap for Campus Living Villages

Campus Living Villages wanted to make their responsible business efforts more streamlined and strategic. We helped them to achieve this, clarifying their economic, environmental and social priorities in our detailed risks, impacts and opportunities assessment.

A framework for the future

Impacts and benefits

  • An inspiring strategic framework for the future
  • Better engagement and accountability from the leadership team
  • Goals that make sense: a shift from competing priorities to cohesive, fully aligned commercial and responsible business objectives

Thank you for giving your all, engaging with our stakeholders and creating a report and presentation that caught the Leadership Team’s attention and has inspired people to be open to, and ready for, change. Alex Mayes Responsible Business Manager, Campus Living Villages

The story

Campus Living Villages is a leading provider of student accommodation across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders, in a sector under scrutiny, the business was looking for a logical structure for its responsible business efforts going forward.

The crucial first step was to engage the leadership through a series of interviews with the UK Board and other senior figures. The longlist of issues revealed, we then examined the significance of each through in-depth, expert analysis of the risks, impacts and opportunities.

Our final report and presentation to the Board pinpointed seven priority issues and offered strategic practical recommendations related to each, spanning strategy, governance, operational integration, and communications.

This offered the company a much better understanding of where to focus its attention, and a clear structure going forward.

Making a difference at Manchester Airports Group

We conducted a detailed mapping analysis of Manchester Airports Group’s strategy and operations against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Getting to grips with the SDGs

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

The story

As part of its ongoing sustainability commitment, Manchester Airports Group asked Simply Sustainable to map its business against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. Together they are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Starting with a selection of material topics, which we identified through an in-depth assessment, we conducted a mapping analysis to determine the most relevant SDGs. We then came up with a list of actions Manchester Airports Group could take to help achieve these, based on a detailed review of the targets and indicators that sit beneath the goals.

Our analysis took into account the position of the wider aviation sector in the context of the SDGs and compared MAG’s approach to that of its peers and competitors.

The output was a compelling report highlighting the most relevant SDGs to MAG, and a set of strategic recommendations about how MAG could contribute to each, through its business strategy and operations.


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