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In everything we do, APEM aims to act responsibly and demonstrate our commitment to the environment and wider society.

We are always looking for ways to reduce the impacts of our operations, bring benefits where we can and work in a responsible, ethical and accountable way, going beyond our legislative duties whenever possible. Working with other businesses and the public sector we aim to deliver innovation in sustainability.

We aim to nurture our staff and to engage with and support local communities and organisations. We are also committed to helping our clients achieve their own sustainability goals.

Our approach to corporate responsibility is built on five pillars: health and safety, environment and sustainability, equality and diversity, quality and community.

Health, safety and wellbeing

Hydrology testingOur greatest asset is our workforce, so the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees are of the utmost importance. Health and safety underpins everything we do.

APEM’s managing director, Dr Keith Hendry, takes overall responsibility for health and safety at the company, while a dedicated health and safety team provides advice and assistance on all relevant matters.

We have a target of zero accidents and incidents, with a focus on continually improving the safety culture through awareness raising, reporting and training. Our aim is to provide a working environment that is free of accidents, ill health and damage to property and equipment.

We ensure that all relevant statutes, regulations and codes of practice are complied with, although we will always seek to exceed these where there is a demonstrable benefit to the company and its employees.

Environment and sustainability

Butterfly resting on a thistleAs an environmental consultancy, our approach to sustainability is integral to our professional activities.

We aim not only to reduce our own impacts and those of our supply chain, but also to advise clients of improved environmental and sustainable approaches.

Our staff are encouraged to embrace our environmental and sustainability initiatives and our environmental policy identifies the steps we are taking to minimise our environmental impacts, prevent pollution and minimise waste.

In order to minimise our impacts as far as possible we strive to go beyond the current legislative requirements.

Quality

During 30 years in business APEM has developed a robust quality management system that assures the quality of our results, provides clients with reproducibility and traceability and drives continuous improvements in our systems and employees.

APEM’s quality management system has been ISO 9001:2008 accredited, while in addition our phytoplankton laboratories have been ISO 17025:2005 accredited.

Our laboratories administer and participate in the invertebrate component of the NE Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control (NMBAQC) scheme, including modules for bi-annual ring test exercises, own samples and laboratory reference.

Equality and diversity

Staff outside APEM's Manchester officeAPEM is committed to supporting the people who work for us, the people we work for and the communities we work in.

We prohibit discrimination on any grounds and our Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy sets out our vision of inclusion and fair treatment, helping to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to develop to their full potential regardless of race, gender, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or background.

As part of our due diligence processes, we have incorporated equality and diversity checks, including modern slavery and human trafficking, into our supplier approval process and will incorporate a review of the controls undertaken by our suppliers and subcontractors.

Community

Schoolchildren use a microscope during a visit by an APEM laboratory scientist

APEM works to make a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate and we look to our suppliers and subcontractors to support us in this.

A Supply Chain Management policy underpins our relationships with other organisations and we seek to safeguard the interests of those outside the organisation through a commitment to sustainable and ethical procurement, including transparent payment practices.

As a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) ourselves, we recognise the importance of SMEs and work to ensure that fellow SMEs have opportunities to bid for work with us.

Many of our staff take part in charity fund-raising events and the company is happy to match the amount raised, allowing staff to double their charitable contributions.

We are always looking for ways to reduce the impacts of our operations, bring benefits where we can and work in a responsible, ethical and accountable way.

- Gemma McLean, HSQE manager, APEM