Social and environmental responsibility is not only a key part of what we look for in our research - it is something we strive to achieve ourselves. Since Ethical Screening assesses the business activities and policies of companies on behalf of its clients, we feel a duty to demonstrate that we are addressing our own impacts. The following is an outline of the measures that we take to deal with the environmental and social effects of our business, and to ensure the well-being of our employees.
As an office-based research organisation, our impacts relate mainly to energy and water consumption, the use and disposal of office materials, and staff travel. We recognise that our day-to-day practices and buying decisions allow us to minimise or mitigate some of these impacts - our efforts are currently focused on the efficient use of energy and resources, sustainable travel, and the reduction and recycling of office waste, as detailed below.
Energy & Resource Efficiency
Ethical Screening is based in rented premises which limits, to some extent, the scope of the measures that we can implement in order to reduce our energy use however, the following measures and initiatives are in place:
- Electricity Supply - Ethical Screening will obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources;
- 'A++' rated fridge;
- Energy efficient LED lighting;
- Lights in communal areas operate on movement sensors to ensure they are only on when required;
- Ensuring equipment purchasing policies consider energy consumption for the purchase of all items of equipment and are fully compliant with current best practice;
- Raising the awareness of employees on energy conservation matters; for example, when a room is not occupied, all lighting and other electrical equipment should be switched off where possible. Computer monitors should be switched off when staff are away from their desk for any extended time (breaks/lunch/meetings etc.) and not left on or in standby mode.
Our other resource efficiency measures include the following:
- Printing documents only when necessary and double-side printing wherever possible. All clients are given the option to receive documentation in electronic format.
- Reducing water and energy use through simple practices such as not leaving electrical equipment on standby;or leaving taps dripping.
Our office is located in the centre of Cheltenham, close to public transport hubs which facilitates maximum use of public transport, cycling and walking to work for both staff and visitors. We acknowledge that not all staff, in all circumstances, can use public transport but the use of cars should be minimised as far as is practical. Ethical Screening has signed up to the government’s cycle to work scheme (Cyclescheme) which enables employees to buy a bike tax-free and to pay via deductions from their monthly salary. At present, all our employees walk, cycle, or use public transport to get to and from work.
When travelling for business purposes, maximum use should be made of public transport (trains and buses) at all times. Employees with meetings in London typically travel by train using the underground and buses for onward travel. However, we accept that some of our clients live in remote areas, or that sometimes a series of meetings on the same day with clients in different locations will only be possible by travelling by car.
It should be an extremely rare occasion for any member of staff to fly for the purpose of transacting business for Ethical Screening. If it is essential then carbon offsetting must be used via an accredited scheme.
The main type of waste generated by Ethical Screening is general office waste. The company operates a comprehensive recycling scheme to include, but not limited to:
- Paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, and cans;
- Computers and other electronic equipment;
- Toner cartridges from laser printers.
The principle of “minimum in – minimum out” should apply to any materials which are brought into, used and consumed on company premises.
We value our staff and the work that they do; their research knowledge, experience and skills represent an integral part of our business. In recognition of this, Ethical Screening’s efforts to ensure employee well-being focus on the following:
- Fair pay, profit share and benefits; Ethical Screening is committed to its employees and offers a competitive pay and benefits package alongside generous sick-pay provisions.
- Health & Safety; even in an office environment, health and safety is an important issue particularly when employees spend several hours a day working at a computer. The company offers free eye care checks and equipment such as foot and wrist rests to ensure that staff can work as comfortably as possible. Electrical equipment is checked regularly to ensure a safe working environment. Employees have received first-aid training.
As an office-based organisation, we do not have an extensive requirement for raw materials in order to operate. Our most common purchasing decisions involve:
- Paper - all paper used by the business is 100% recycled, and non-chlorine bleached. The majority of our day-to-day paper consumables are currently purchased from the Green Stationery Company, which offers a facility to offset the carbon emissions associated with delivery.
- Printer Toner - remanufactured & recyclable ‘Perfect Green’ toner cartridges for our laser printers.
- Cleaning Products & Hand Soap - Environmentally friendly products must be purchased; brands such as Ecoleaf and Bio-D are preferred given their broader corporate philosophy; these also carry the "Leaping Bunny" logo certifying them as non-animal tested and genuinely cruelty-free under the internationally-recognised Humane Household Products Standard.
- Tea, Coffee and Sugar - this is always Fair Trade and organic where possible.
- Local Sourcing - we support local businesses where possible - IT, web design and printing services are all sourced from local companies.