Environmental Policy

Our approach to the Environment

Introduction

Forward conducted a materiality study at the end of 2020. As part of this study, the team used the UN’s SDGs as a framework to understand what is relevant and where we can have impact. This study highlighted that Sustainable Production and Consumption (Goal 12) was material for Forward.

As this is a new policy we are outlining our commitments based on our current knowledge and understanding. Our commitment to ESG however is fully embedded into the core of our business and has dedicated objectives and key results to ensure we continue to iterate and improve on this.

As part of this process, we will ensure this policy is reviewed each quarter by the ESG Committee to ensure we are accurately reporting and measuring what is relevant and where we can have an impact given the size of the business. Any actionable outcomes from the review will be reflected in departmental or company OKRs.

This policy outlines our commitments to:

  • Align ourselves with the Paris Protocol and track, measure and reduce our carbon emissions.
  • Minimise our waste through managing consumption, how we recycle and reusing items where possible. Enabling us to become single use plastic free by 2027.
  • Wherever possible, ensure our consumables, equipment and suppliers support our environmental goals.
  • Minimise the impact commuting and business travel has on our overall emissions without impacting our business performance.
  • Introduce an educational programme to enable the team to successfully deliver our commitments

Carbon Emissions

We will monitor, manage and measure the impact of our activities to ensure we are aligned with the Paris Protocol. We recognise that we are just starting out on our journey but we are confident in being able to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions to zero by 2025 through the use of reduction and offsetting techniques. Our current assumption is that we can be net-zero by 2030.

In order to confirm this, we will be conducting a programme of work to better map our emissions. We aim to have completed this research by the end of 2021 and start putting initiatives in place in early 2022.

We will achieve this by:

  • By tracking and measuring our direct emissions and office space such as purchased electricity, heating and air conditioning.
  • By tracking and measuring our indirect emissions - Not owned (employee commuting, business travel, waste, office supplies, purchased goods and services)

Carbon Offsetting

Our primary focus is on reducing our carbon emissions however we recognise that this might not be possible for all areas of our business. In order to achieve net-zero, we will need to offset what we cannot remove.

Where possible we will look to use appropriate tools to track and monitor our carbon emissions accurately and any offsetting scheme should be aligned with the Voluntary Carbon Standards as a minimum.

Waste

We aim to prevent pollution and reduce our consumption through waste management strategies that promote waste minimisation re-use, recovery and recycling. We will ensure the below in our activities and work towards being a single use plastic free business by 2027. With the exception of equipment required by disabled personel and health and safety equipment.

We will achieve this by:

  • Repairing and reusing equipment where possible
  • Continuing to offer recycling services around our office
  • Ensure we are recycling and disposing of any waste successfully and in line with the Hackney council guidelines

Consumables

We will take all possible measures to minimise the impact our consumables have on the environment in our offices, offsite and during our events.

We will achieve this by:

  • Ensuring the use of natural or sustainable resources where possible including energy, water, and products we buy.
  • Investing in technology that will support our commitments e.g sensored lights and password protected printers.
  • Audit and prioritise our current suppliers.
  • Inviting our existing suppliers to sign up to our policies where possible and ensuring any new suppliers are chosen in line with our environmental commitments.

Travel

We will aim to minimise business travel where possible and ensure to consider the below when booking business travel and commuting.

We will achieve this by:

  • Encouraging all team members to use public transport for commuting
  • Offering a cycle to work scheme to our team
  • If travel is business essential, we ask that the team travel by train where possible
  • If trains are not possible we ask that the team travel nonstop where possible
  • Offsetting any emissions from work and commuting travel through our chosen offsetting partner.

Education

To ensure our team can confidently follow this policy, we will offer resources, events, talks and workshops that will highlight their environmental impacts. This educational programme will include at least one 30 minute session each quarter that will focus on each of our commitments (carbon, waste, consumables and travel). We’ll also encourage them through regular updates on the policy and training to minimise those impacts.

Next Steps

To ensure this policy will be effective it has been prioritised alongside our wider strategic goals (OKRs) at Forward. This provides a framework for achieving and tracking our commitments. We will continue to update this policy as we complete the OKRs.

  • Baseline - where do we stand right now
  • Offsetting - how do we do this / why do we do this
  • Education - we need to close the knowledge gap to empower people to make better decisions