The Task

Szerelmey was established as a restoration company in 1855 and has been in the same private ownership since 1971. They are one of the oldest and most experienced companies specialising in the restoration, conservation, and refurbishment of heritage buildings and structures.

Szerelmey has specialised in new build projects since the 1970s and delivers buildings throughout London and across the UK. They design, supply, and install new stonework and other hard bodied materials and have their own inhouse design team of architects, engineers and designers. They deliver external work such as cladding, internal work such as flooring, wall cladding and ceilings, along with hard landscaping.

The Company works with stone, faience, terracotta, glazed brick, pyrolave, terrazzo, agglomerate and mosaics. They wanted to understand what their biggest sustainability impacts are and how to mitigate them. There was a need to understand where Szerelmey already stood on sustainability and where they wanted to get to, drawing all aspects together in an overall sustainability strategy.

The Action

The first phase of work was to discover Szerelmey’s context, ambition and direction for sustainability, aligned to their vision and mission. Action Sustainability undertook a desktop review of documents and benchmarked Szerelmey against their competitors and clients, using publicly available information, producing a report on the findings and recommendations for improvement.

For the next phase of work, Action Sustainability facilitated a workshop with Szerelmey’s senior internal stakeholders, to understand what the drivers for sustainability within the organisation currently are. Action Sustainability facilitated a workshop with Szerelmey’s key clients, to understand what their priorities for sustainability are for their supply chains. This was then followed up with a facilitated workshop with a wide range of internal colleagues from Szerelmey, to discuss the priorities and ambition for their sustainability strategy.

The final phase of work was the development of Szerelmey’s sustainability strategy, which includes their holistic sustainability vision and mission, alongside commitments and targets for key sustainability issues. Alongside the strategy, a sustainability policy statement and an action plan were developed, which included tailored recommended steps for delivering their sustainability strategy, including: developing competence in key staff members; collecting data and measuring performance; and continually developing action plans to achieve targets.

The Outcome, Benefits, and Lessons Learnt

The project produced a strategy that is tailored to Szerelmey’s activities and processes. Commitments, targets, and objectives provide Szerelmey with strategic direction and the ability to see how they are performing against their strategy. By having a clear sustainability strategy, Szerelmey are demonstrating to their clients and supply chain that they are serious about improving their sustainability performance. The actions taken to deliver the strategy will support to upskill staff competence in the realm of sustainability, will integrate sustainability into their organisational goals and will save costs through improved efficiencies, such as reducing carbon emissions and waste.

Looking forwards, Szerelmey will now be using the Sustainability Tool to measure and manage their sustainability performance, aligning the commitments and targets within their strategy to KPIs that they can track within the Tool.