Our Sustainability Strategy & Policies 2021

1. To inspire organisations to reduce their impacts by being the leading authority in sustainable supply chains

How we will achieve this:

  • To be the foremost sustainable procurement and ISO 20400 experts recognised by our clients and wider industry.
  • The ongoing implementation of an Environmental Management System that complies with the requirements of ISO14001.
  • By attracting, developing and retaining the best professionally qualified staff to deliver the very best service to clients.

2. To be a net zero business by 2030, achieving a year-on-year reduction in our carbon emissions

How we are already on track to achieve this:

  • Made a Pledge to Net Zero, which is part of the United Nations Race to Zero Campaign, and aligned to Science Based Targets to tackle greenhouse gas emissions within our organisation and our value chain.
  • Committed to the SBTi companies taking action and agreed to reduce our carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 against our 2019 baseline year.
  • Increased the delivery of all of our services to remote/virtual sessions – School, Consultancy and Tool.

How we will continue to achieve this:

  • Encourage continued use of virtual platforms to deliver our services, blended with face-to-face engagements.
  • Measure our annual carbon footprint, using our performance tool for our key aspects: office energy use, employee travel, business travel, delegate and courier transport for training and events.
  • Engage staff, clients and stakeholders on our objectives, targets and progress.

3. To be a fair and inclusive employer

How we will achieve this:

  • Publish our executive pay gap data on our website annually
  • Publish gender pay gap data on our website annually
  • Publish our diversity profile
  • Conduct regular staff EDI training
  • Continue to develop sector leading EDI resources to improve and raise the EDI bar with clients and require our own people to use those resources

4. To uphold the highest standards of business ethics

How we will achieve this:

  • A fully signed up member of the Living Wage Foundation
  • A commitment to paying suppliers in 30 days, and not “paid when we’re paid”
  • A commitment of transparency to clients which includes:
    • Being transparent about time and costs from the outset of a project
    • Be transparent about our skills, competence and capacity to deliver projects to client satisfaction

5. To organise all of our training and events to the ISO 20121 standard

How we will achieve this:

  • Wherever possible, run training and events virtually
  • Use a balanced scorecard approach to select the most sustainable venue available with suitable facilities to host the events we offer
  • Continue to host events throughout the UK to minimise delegate travel
  • Undertake due diligence checks on venues and operators for sustainability risks and opportunities
  • Specify sustainable options for catering and associated services

6. To add value to the communities we work in

How we will achieve this:

Local Outlook 

  • An ongoing commitment to employ an apprentice. Identify opportunities to work with local colleges to encourage young people into the sector and provide opportunities for work placements to young people.
  • Where possible supporting SME and social enterprises
    • Measuring and increasing the number of SME and social enterprises we engage with, through procuring services (such as events) or pro-bono work.
    • Ensuring sustainability built into procurement decisions
      • Demonstrated by our pension provider, event venue choices and office space provider.
  • Investigate the potential for the business to be registered as a social enterprise.
  • Investigate a mentoring programme with local colleges

Global Outreach

  • Dedicate 2.5% of our revenue to our not-for-profit social enterprise sister company to spread knowledge on sustainable procurement
  • Dedicate pro-bono time and support to our not-for-profit social enterprise sister company to spread knowledge on sustainable procurement
  • Inspire businesses to become more sustainable by developing knowledge and providing businesses with free sustainability learning resources
  • To continue to develop knowledge and provide free sustainability resources (such as the www.ISO20400.org website) to wider industry, primarily through our community interest company


Implementation Plan

The table below provides an outline of the responsibilities for implementing our Sustainability Strategy. An overarching part of the implementation will be to publicise an annual Sustainability Update which includes the following key performance indicators:

  • Our Scope 1,2 and 3 carbon emissions;
  • % change of carbon emissions in the last 12 months;
  • Executive pay gap data (%);
  • Gender pay gap data (%);
  • % of suppliers paid within 30 days;
  • % of staff who are apprentices; and
  • Spend on CIC (£).

We will provide a short summary of the years performance versus the year before, with some explanatory text explaining how things have gone in the last 12 months and if targets have been met.

These reports are available below:

Action Sustainability Sustainability Policy – Implementation Plan

Our latest Gender Pay Gap Report- June 2023

Our latest Diversity Profile Report – May 2023

Our latest Carbon Footprint – 2022

Modern Slavery Policy 2023

Action Sustainability became accredited in 2019 to the international standards ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management, and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management. We have maintained our certification to these standards annually, including in 2022. 

Action Sustainability are an accredited Living Wage employer.

Ian Heptonstall