Looking after our environment and climate toolbox
Our policies, standards and other resources
We have more in-depth Group policies and standards on our approach to the environment. You can find links to them here.
In addition, there may be specific policies and procedures that apply where you work. Your manager can tell you about these. If you are unsure then ask your manager.
(Please note: some of our resources are only available to Serco employees. In this case, you’ll need to log in to MySerco to access them. If you have problems accessing them, please request a copy from your manager.)
One page statement defining Serco’s commitment to addressing the environmental and climate emergencies and supporting the net zero carbon ambitions of our clients and wider society.
The variety of life in all its forms, levels, and combinations; includes ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity.
The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is a way to measure the impact of different greenhouse gases so you can see how much global warming the equivalent amount of CO2 would cause.
That way you can calculate the total amount of emissions one country or industry is producing and express it in a single measure of CO2e.
The amount of carbon (measured in CO2e) emitted by an individual or organisation over a specific period of time, or the amount of carbon emitted during the manufacture of a product.
Alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
A pattern of change affecting global or regional climate, as measured by average temperature and rainfall, and how often extreme weather events like heatwaves or heavy rains happen. This variation may be caused by both natural processes and by human activity.
The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings.
One or more substances released to the water, air or soil in the natural environment.
Elements of an organization's activities, products or services which can interact with the environment (ISO 14004). A significant environmental aspect is an environmental aspect which has or can have a significant environmental impact.
Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization's activities, products or services.
The part of an overall management system which includes structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procurements, processes, and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining an environmental policy.
Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions are any release of gases such as carbon dioxide which cause global warming, a major cause of climate change. They can be small-scale in the form of exhaust from a car or methane from a cow, or larger-scale such as those from coal-burning power stations and heavy industries.
The steady rise in global average temperature in recent decades, which experts believe is largely caused by human-produced greenhouse gas emissions.
The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet's atmosphere warms the planet's surface to a temperature above what it would be without this atmosphere. A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits energy and cause the greenhouse effect on planets. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. “Carbon dioxide equivalent” or “CO2e” is a term for describing different greenhouse gases in a common unit of measurement. For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 which would have the equivalent global warming impact. So for example, Serco’s operations use petrol and diesel in vehicle engines, marine fuel in ship engines and natural gas in boilers for heating, these processes all emit more than one greenhouse gas but to measure and report in a common unit we express the impact in CO2e.
A “net-zero” target refers to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by a selected date, but differs from zero carbon, which requires no carbon to be emitted as the key criteria. Net-zero refers to balancing the amount of emitted greenhouse gases with the equivalent emissions that are either offset or sequestered (i.e. naturally absorbed in trees or peat bogs). Focus should be on avoiding and reducing carbon before offsetting.
The process of re-using material to produce new goods or services on the same quality level. If the quality of the goods and services produced with recycled material is lower, then the process is known as downcycling.
Energy from sources that are renewed on an ongoing basis. This includes energy from the sun, wind, and small hydropower. Ways to capture energy from the sun include photovoltaic, thermal solar energy systems, and bioenergy. One issue with bioenergy is the amount of fossil fuel energy used to produce it.
Using items again by repairing, donating, or selling them. Reuse is even better than recycling because the item does not have to be reprocessed before it can be used again.
If you're a manager
Make sure that everyone and every part of the operation you manage are complying with environmental policy, standards, procedures, and key controls. These include the development of local operating procedures, work instructions and method statements.
Be sure environmental responsibilities are clearly defined and understood by everyone.
Ensure local controls are in place so that environmental impacts are effectively managed.
Have environmental objectives and targets in place and provide oversight and report environmental performance.
Lead by example in promoting environmental initiatives to drive continuous improvement.
Have processes and plans in place to manage environmental incidents.
Record all environmental observations and incidents on Assure and investigate them in accordance with Group procedures.