We are proud that our Environmental Management System (EMS) has passed Stage 1 of the ISO 14001 certification audit, and are ready for the second audit stage, which will look at our in-office, field and surveying activities, as well as the associated policies and procedures. The real target is not just gaining certification, however, but ongoing monitoring, improvement and accountability. The EMS will be audited regularly, to ensure that all areas remain aligned with the certification requirements.

APEM have switched to green energy (100% renewable energy) suppliers for the Stockport head office and stores, and we are working on our nationwide office contracts. All new project subcontractors complete a supplier questionnaire to ensure they operate to APEM standards as a minimum before they are added to our Approved Supply Chain database. We encourage our suppliers to identify which of their activities have the most impact on the environment and consider monitoring their own carbon footprint.

We’ve made maximum use of the space in the APEM offices to reduce the need for lighting and excess energy consumption. Our home workers are encouraged to reduce their energy and water consumption by considering their heating, lighting and water usage as well as recycling and paper consumption in their own homes.

It’s not just our in-work activities that are important, though. We’re proud that the whole APEM team have embraced environmental initiatives such as Unblocktober and Be Plant Wise in offices, in the field and at home. Although 2020 and 2021 have seen many charity events halted, we’re looking forward to picking them up again in 2022 and hearing about how our people have contributed.

Led by Peter Dennis, Director of Field Operations, APEM created our Cash for Trash campaign, collecting litter while conducting field surveys and recycling any material possible to reduce microplastics and ocean litter loads. Thanks to APEM’s field scientists going the extra mile, and our generous clients donating money for each bag of litter collected, Cash for Trash raised £400 in 2019 for charity Afonydd Cymru – caring for Welsh rivers. We’re now planning Cash for Trash initiatives for 2022.

APEM’s Environmental Committee includes representatives from all offices in the UK and Ireland, and from all divisions across the company at all levels of seniority. The Environmental Committee act as sustainability champions to promote environmental best practice, gathering suggestions from their divisions and teams and presenting initiatives to be taken up.

“The Environmental Committee is full of fresh ideas and innovative suggestions due to the passion and enthusiasm of the members and teams they represent. We have a lot to deliver but we are making steady progress and I am very grateful for their support and engagement.”

Andreea Botea, Chair of the APEM Group Environmental Committee

As a famous frog once said: it’s not easy being green. In the course of our operations at APEM, we have an unavoidable effect on the environment. Manned aerial surveys play a large part in our operations, so we’ve invested in cameras with wider ranges, to reduce the number of passes required and therefore the amount of fuel used. Similarly, some of our vehicles need to carry and tow heavy equipment, so it’s not yet possible to completely avoid the use of fossil fuels. We’re working towards carbon neutral certification for the whole of the APEM Group by reducing as much as possible, and offsetting where we can’t.

It’s our job to know environmental rules and regulations inside out, so that we can provide our clients the best advice and support. APEM strive to go beyond the current legislative requirements as much as possible and have built accountability targets into our high-level strategic plan for 2022.

ESG, or environmental, social, (and corporate) governance is becoming a requirement for all businesses. ESG is woven into company operational strategy, building upon the idea that financial success should be of equal importance to a business as making a positive effect on society. We will be publishing an annual ESG Report that outlines our key metrics, actions and future plans, in a commitment to deliver positive results.

People are our most powerful asset. APEM are committed to integrating sustainable development and good carbon management into the company’s operations, and we can’t do this without the engagement of our team. We are proud that our team have embraced good environmental practice and are working towards a greener future for all.

Photo by v2osk on Unsplash