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Protecting the Environment

What protecting the environment means to us

We are committed to limiting the impact our operations have on the environment through more sustainable business practice.





Our policy and commitment

Our commitment is defined within our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) strategy, HSE Policy Statement, supporting standards and related operating procedures, aligned to the ISO14001:2015 standard on Environmental Management.

In summary, we strive to:

  • identify, assess and actively manage the environmental hazards, impacts and risks that arise from our activities and services, investigating incidents and monitoring performance and systems;
  • minimise adverse environmental impact through the implementation of environmental management systems that are proportional to each contract, aligned to customer specification and contractual requirements, and underpinned by the Serco Management System;
  • actively encourage input from employees and others to build sustainable solutions, helping us make decisions based on a deep understanding of work conditions and constraints;
  • promote a commitment to the environment based on active and caring leadership and mutual trust, innovation and pride;
  • regularly review, learn and identify opportunities for continual improvement at all levels of governance.

Key components in our governance

  • Our Corporate Responsibility Committee (CRC) provides formal review and oversight of environmental strategy and performance against agreed objectives and targets. The CRC, Executive Committee and Divisional Executive Management Teams (EMTs) review operational and strategic HSE performance reports.
  • Our Group Business Compliance and Ethics Lead is responsible for developing and maintaining associated policy and governance and chairs the HSE Oversight Group (including Divisional HSE Leads), which meets regularly to discuss strategic and operational HSE performance and share best practice.
  • Divisional EMTs are responsible for appropriate Divisional adherence to policy and standards and managing associated risks, while Divisional HSE Leads are responsible for implementing policy and governance across the Division. In addition, we have c.150 operational HSE leads, supported by a small team of Environment, Energy and Sustainability experts, advising on HSE issues whilst ensuring company policy and management systems are properly applied and aligned to business requirements.
  • Our contract-level Planned General Inspections plus independent compliance assurance reviews and internal audit programmes provide comprehensive coverage of environmental issues.
  • We gain external independent review of performance via certification to the ISO14001:2015 standard on Environmental Management in pertinent areas of our operations. We are also audited globally to the ISO14064-3:2006 standard on validation and verification of Greenhouse Gas assertions, providing assurance on our annual carbon reporting.

Our progress and performance in 2018

We have:

  • refreshed our Group Health, Safety and Environment strategy in response to evolving risks and opportunities and the continuous improvement of our environmental governance, oversight and risk assessment capability. The new strategy reinforces our existing principles and priorities whilst introducing a more prominent focus on specific customer priorities concerning carbon and climate, resource efficiency and the protection of biodiversity and natural capital;
  • benchmarked our approach to climate change via the globally-recognised annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) climate change questionnaire, achieving a score of C. See our Corporate Responsibility KPIs for more information and performance commentary; 
  • shaped future environmental strategy and driven continuous improvement in our most energy and carbon intensive business units, including a programme of environmental and energy reviews in our UK Justice & Immigration business and a new Energy Management System for our UK Leisure business. We have also worked with our UK waste contractors to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, achieving zero waste to landfill at over 70 sites where we are responsible for waste management and recycling over 40% of waste generated at these locations;
  • worked with a leading independent energy performance and carbon compliance consultancy to explore the opportunity for science-based carbon reduction targets aligned to Government requirements. We have received their report and are considering our future approach in this area;
  • prepared to expand our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions reporting in line with the additional disclosure requirements of The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018; and
  • celebrated World Environment Day in June with the cross-Divisional theme of reducing plastic waste.

Key performance indicators

For additional data and performance commentary, see: Corporate Responsibility KPIs

  Key performance indicators:




Carbon dioxide equivalent (tonnes CO2e) Scope 1:
Combustion of fuels and operation of facilities




tCO2e Scope 2: Grid electricity purchased for own use




Scope 1+2 carbon emissions intensity
(Total Group tCO2e/FTE)





Our next steps

We will:

  • roll out our new environmental strategy across our Divisions to further embed a culture of environmental stewardship and to drive environmental improvements proportionate to the risks of specific operations;
  • commence reporting in line with The Companies (Directors' Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018;
  • act on the findings from our Greenhouse Gas verification report and continue to work with our supply chain partners to meet good practice on measuring, managing and reporting on the Scope 3 products and services category;
  • simplify our environmental management documentation for the benefit of user engagement and application;
  • monitor Divisional action planning and delivery to ensure that Business Units continue driving improvement in their most energy and carbon intensive contracts.