If it wasn’t already, having the recent 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) hosted in Scotland where Orion Group is headquartered, has put the climate crisis and the need to drastically reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions front and centre for UK businesses. As an organisation with a global footprint and a host of clients engaged in the green energy transition, we have long been aware of our responsibility to limit our GHG emissions. It is for this reason that we are committed to a core environmental strategy that will see Orion Group significantly and directly reduce our carbon footprint to contribute to a sustainable future for the planet and its people.
Aiming for science-based net zero by 2045
Integral to our strategy is the introduction of sweeping carbon reduction initiatives as we target carbon neutrality by 2023 and science-based net zero by 2045, five years ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 requirement. To develop our Carbon Management Plan, our environmental management team are currently undertaking a thorough analysis of the carbon footprint of our UK business - which will then be extended to our global network.
Orion Group’s approach.
Using 2019 as a baseline, Orion Group is assessing precisely where our business is at in terms of direct and indirect emissions and will use the data to further develop our evolving Carbon Management Plan. Subject to regular review, the plan details our strategy for reaching net zero, and contains our sustainable development objectives, carbon emissions baseline data, ongoing carbon reduction targets, implementation plan, and methods for suitable monitoring and reporting of progress. To ensure we adequately implement our strategy and maintain progress towards our targets, we have integrated our Carbon Management Plan into our existing ISO 14001 independently certified Environmental Management System as we work towards PAS 2060 accreditation. “It’s great to be part of this journey and have the responsibility to implement Orion Group’s environmental strategy and make a real difference,” says Andy Christie, who is heading up Orion’s Environmental Management team. “Many of our international client base are prioritising their own environmental improvements - and we are right there alongside them.
“It has changed how we do things as a company. For several years, we have been monitoring energy efficiency and waste to landfill and recycling volumes. We empower our people to ensure that environmental factors are part of our decision-making process and deliver environmental awareness training. And we encourage the development of an environmentally responsible attitude by contractors, subcontractors, temporary staff, remote workers, suppliers, and customers. “A recent staff-wide survey asked how our people travel to and from the workplace. Capturing this information lets us immediately understand how we as a business can reduce emissions significantly by adopting more environmentally friendly modes of transport. In this transitionary period Orion Group plans to sign up to voluntary carbon offsetting schemes which can see our funding help finance renewable energy or forestry projects.”
As a company that has always had a strong social and environmental conscience, we believe we must all act now if we are to avert a climate catastrophe that will wreak havoc on some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet.