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Respecting the environment

We strive to prevent environmental damage and minimise our use of energy and resources.

We work with our stakeholders to continuously assess and reduce our environmental impact and improve our environmental performance.

You have a vital role in protecting the places where we work:

  • Report any violation of our environmental policies.
  • Report any risk or incident that could do harm to the environment.
  • Listen to the concerns of the people and communities we work among.
  • Let us know if you think we're failing, or you have an idea about how we might improve. We promise we will listen to you.
  • This way's cheaper. That way's better for the environment. Which way do we go?
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What you can expect from us:

Our vision is Zero Harm. So we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work.

We do this by measuring and understanding the environmental impact of what we do, and putting effective systems in place to manage, minimise and prevent it.

This is a process of continuous improvement. We look for best practices in sustainable development. And as we learn, adopt and improve, we set ourselves increasingly demanding targets to reduce our use of energy and resources, recycle and re-use, and re-think and re-model the way we do things. We also encourage and help our customers, contractors and suppliers to do the same.

This is an integral part of who we are and how we do our work.

We expect you to:

  • Work in an environmentally responsible manner. This involves:
    • Complying with our environmental policies.
    • Supporting initiatives that will help us meet our targets.
    • Looking out for irresponsible behaviour.
    • Staying aware of your own behaviour. For example, switching off lights or equipment, recycling, and thinking about how you can use fewer resources and create less waste.
    • Thinking about how you might improve the environmental performance where you work - there are simple steps we can all take to make a difference.
  • Understand the requirements and make sure we comply if environmental regulations, special legal controls or legislation apply where you work.

We work with our stakeholders to continuously assess and reduce our environmental impact and improve our environmental performance.

You are approached about some waster material on your site; a company is offering money for materials that would probably be destroyed.

As a team you decide to take the money and donate it to charity.

As the money is going to charity is this acceptable?

1. Yes, waste material is not a company asset, so the usual rules do not apply

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No. It would set the wrong kind of precedent

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Possibly but we'd need to be certain the company would properly dispose of it

Right answer because:

A very important part of our care for the environment is our responsibility to ensure that our waste material is being properly disposed of. Even if the money is being given to charity we cannot ignore our obligations in this area.

And though it may seem strange, waste is actually a company asset. Our Code says,

"Never sell, transfer or dispose of our assets without proper authorization and do

However, if the company in question had been properly vetted and was registered on our systems so we could be certain the waste was being disposed of safely in accordance with the relevant regulations, it might be acceptable to take the money and give it to charity.

But that decision would have to be made at local management level, and the transaction would need to be properly recorded.

We'd also need to consider if we were in breach of any existing waste disposal contract.

At Serco we all have an obligation to work in an environmentally responsible manner and we strive to prevent any environmental damage. This means making sure we comply with environmental regulations, special legal controls or legislation wherever it applies.

Two colleagues are disposing of waste oil down a drain. They explain that they have no place to store it and that it is not toxic.

What should you do in this situation?

1. Report the incident only if you suspect the oil is toxic

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No action required. Non-toxic waste oil has no effect on the environment

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Ask them to stop immediately, get a clean-up team involved, and report it

Right answer because:

Serco has clear rules about the disposal of waste and these must never be ignored. The fact that your colleagues "have no place to store it" is totally irrelevant. What they are doing is a violation of our environmental policies. And it's serious.

Our Code makes it clear what you need to do here:

You have a vital role in protecting the places where we work

"Report any violation of our environmental policies."

"Report any risk or incident that could do harm to the environment."

This is an example where it is the responsibility of every Serco employee to refuse to look the other way. You must Speak Up.

You would need to tell these men to stop at once, get a clean up team in straight away, and report the incident.

A clean-up team will know the correct procedure, and their involvement should be sought immediately. If not there could be serious consequences for the environment, and for us.

Additionally Serco could face investigation from the relevant environmental agency, leading to possible sanctions, fines and serious damage to our reputation. So we need to demonstrate that we have properly responded to and reported this incident.

We would also need to take action against these men for a violation of our environmental policies.

It's never easy to take such steps, but you must Speak Up when you become aware of a serious breach of our Code. Remember,

We will always support you and protect you for having the courage to live our Code.

We agree to undertake a new contract that will have a big impact on the local environment on the basis that we will implement an extensive environmental strategy.

The client tells us they are no longer prepared to pay for it.

How should we respond?

1. Bear the costs ourselves

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Walk away from the work at once

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Say we would not want to do the job without this strategy and we will work with the client to try to find a way to fund it

Right answer because:

We want to have a positive benefit on the environments and communities where we work.

That's why we establish environmental policies and continuously try to improve our environmental performance. And our Code tells everyone that we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work, adding

"We do this by measuring and understanding the environmental impact of what we do, and putting effective systems in place to manage, minimise and prevent it."

These are promises we must keep.

In this case we have agreed to a contract, subject to there being proper measure to protect the local environment. That is a condition of our work. Now the client is trying to avoid the expense.

This is a breach of contract. But it also goes directly against our Code and who we are. So without these measures in place, it would be wrong to continue with the contract, and we would be perfectly entitled to walk away, or even pursue the client for breach of contract.

However, when talking about how we try to continuously improve our environmental performance, our Code also says this:

"We also encourage and help our customers, contractors and suppliers to do the same."

So here we might try to persuade the customer that it is in everyone's interests to pursue a positive outcome, and work with them to try to find alternative sources of funding.

However, we must make it clear that we will not undertake any work that is environmentally irresponsible, and if a solution cannot be found, we must refuse to do the job.

 

You have an idea on how to reduce energy costs where you work.

You have told your colleagues who have just laughed it off as a silly suggestion, but you are sure it will work.

What should you do?

1. Go to someone in management and ask to be heard

Right answer because:

Our Code asks all of us to think about how we might improve the environmental performance where we work:

You have a vital role in protecting the places where we work

"Let us know if you think we're failing, or you have an idea about how we might improve. We promise we will listen to you."

So whether or not your colleagues find your idea silly, we definitely want to hear about it - even if it proves unworkable.

Our vision is zero harm. So we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work. But we can only do this by learning how to get better. And a key part of doing that is to look for best practices in sustainable development.

We welcome ideas, and want people to come forward with suggestions on how we can improve across the whole range of our activities. Without help from you, we won't get there.

So don't be put off by others. If you have an idea, no matter how small, take it to your manager or senior manager. We will thank you for it.

 

2. Give up

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Report your colleagues for their lack of commitment to environmental issues

Wrong. Please try again.

Dilemma 1

You are approached about some waster material on your site; a company is offering money for materials that would probably be destroyed.

As a team you decide to take the money and donate it to charity.

As the money is going to charity is this acceptable?

1. Yes, waste material is not a company asset, so the usual rules do not apply

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No. It would set the wrong kind of precedent

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Possibly but we'd need to be certain the company would properly dispose of it

Right answer because:

A very important part of our care for the environment is our responsibility to ensure that our waste material is being properly disposed of. Even if the money is being given to charity we cannot ignore our obligations in this area.

And though it may seem strange, waste is actually a company asset. Our Code says,

"Never sell, transfer or dispose of our assets without proper authorization and do

However, if the company in question had been properly vetted and was registered on our systems so we could be certain the waste was being disposed of safely in accordance with the relevant regulations, it might be acceptable to take the money and give it to charity.

But that decision would have to be made at local management level, and the transaction would need to be properly recorded.

We'd also need to consider if we were in breach of any existing waste disposal contract.

At Serco we all have an obligation to work in an environmentally responsible manner and we strive to prevent any environmental damage. This means making sure we comply with environmental regulations, special legal controls or legislation wherever it applies.

Dilemma 2

Two colleagues are disposing of waste oil down a drain. They explain that they have no place to store it and that it is not toxic.

What should you do in this situation?

1. Report the incident only if you suspect the oil is toxic

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No action required. Non-toxic waste oil has no effect on the environment

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Ask them to stop immediately, get a clean-up team involved, and report it

Right answer because:

Serco has clear rules about the disposal of waste and these must never be ignored. The fact that your colleagues "have no place to store it" is totally irrelevant. What they are doing is a violation of our environmental policies. And it's serious.

Our Code makes it clear what you need to do here:

You have a vital role in protecting the places where we work

"Report any violation of our environmental policies."

"Report any risk or incident that could do harm to the environment."

This is an example where it is the responsibility of every Serco employee to refuse to look the other way. You must Speak Up.

You would need to tell these men to stop at once, get a clean up team in straight away, and report the incident.

A clean-up team will know the correct procedure, and their involvement should be sought immediately. If not there could be serious consequences for the environment, and for us.

Additionally Serco could face investigation from the relevant environmental agency, leading to possible sanctions, fines and serious damage to our reputation. So we need to demonstrate that we have properly responded to and reported this incident.

We would also need to take action against these men for a violation of our environmental policies.

It's never easy to take such steps, but you must Speak Up when you become aware of a serious breach of our Code. Remember,

We will always support you and protect you for having the courage to live our Code.

Dilemma 3

We agree to undertake a new contract that will have a big impact on the local environment on the basis that we will implement an extensive environmental strategy.

The client tells us they are no longer prepared to pay for it.

How should we respond?

1. Bear the costs ourselves

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Walk away from the work at once

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Say we would not want to do the job without this strategy and we will work with the client to try to find a way to fund it

Right answer because:

We want to have a positive benefit on the environments and communities where we work.

That's why we establish environmental policies and continuously try to improve our environmental performance. And our Code tells everyone that we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work, adding

"We do this by measuring and understanding the environmental impact of what we do, and putting effective systems in place to manage, minimise and prevent it."

These are promises we must keep.

In this case we have agreed to a contract, subject to there being proper measure to protect the local environment. That is a condition of our work. Now the client is trying to avoid the expense.

This is a breach of contract. But it also goes directly against our Code and who we are. So without these measures in place, it would be wrong to continue with the contract, and we would be perfectly entitled to walk away, or even pursue the client for breach of contract.

However, when talking about how we try to continuously improve our environmental performance, our Code also says this:

"We also encourage and help our customers, contractors and suppliers to do the same."

So here we might try to persuade the customer that it is in everyone's interests to pursue a positive outcome, and work with them to try to find alternative sources of funding.

However, we must make it clear that we will not undertake any work that is environmentally irresponsible, and if a solution cannot be found, we must refuse to do the job.

 

Dilemma 4

You have an idea on how to reduce energy costs where you work.

You have told your colleagues who have just laughed it off as a silly suggestion, but you are sure it will work.

What should you do?

1. Go to someone in management and ask to be heard

Right answer because:

Our Code asks all of us to think about how we might improve the environmental performance where we work:

You have a vital role in protecting the places where we work

"Let us know if you think we're failing, or you have an idea about how we might improve. We promise we will listen to you."

So whether or not your colleagues find your idea silly, we definitely want to hear about it - even if it proves unworkable.

Our vision is zero harm. So we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work. But we can only do this by learning how to get better. And a key part of doing that is to look for best practices in sustainable development.

We welcome ideas, and want people to come forward with suggestions on how we can improve across the whole range of our activities. Without help from you, we won't get there.

So don't be put off by others. If you have an idea, no matter how small, take it to your manager or senior manager. We will thank you for it.

 

2. Give up

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Report your colleagues for their lack of commitment to environmental issues

Wrong. Please try again.