Net zero carbon and sustainability are in our DNA

As an RSK company, we have signed the Pledge to Net Zero, an initiative that commits organisations from the environmental sector to a leadership role in the transition towards a net-zero economy. Signing the pledge represents a further step in RSK’s commitment to one of its underlying principles, promoting the concept of sustainability in all that we do.

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“Since the business was founded in 1989, RSK has been on a journey to integrate sustainability principles into all aspects of its work. Fundamentally, we recognise that as the world continues to wake up to the severity of the climate crisis, a business like RSK, with sustainability at its heart, must play a leading role in society’s response to the climate crisis. This will also enable us to better manage risk and respond to opportunity associated with the transition to the net-zero economy.”

Garry Charnock – RSK Climate Change and Sustainability Director.
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RSK’s annual sustainability report

First published in 2017, the report identifies the steps the business is taking to manage its corporate responsibility, occupational health and wellbeing, carbon footprint and socioeconomic impacts on the communities in which it operates. In 2019, RSK furthered these commitments with its sustainability route map, which demonstrates the company’s longer-term goals and performance objectives and its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2019, RSK also switched its UK utilities contract to SSE Green, a new supplier initiative from SSE Business Energy that guarantees that all the electricity it uses will originate from 100% renewable sources with a zero-emission rating. In addition, the business has replaced boilers, upgraded fleet vehicles and installed electric vehicle charging points at many offices.

RSK’s pledge commitments

  • Set and commit to delivering a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C or well below 2°C global warming scenario, covering buildings and travel as a minimum
  • Publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year
  • Publish one piece of research or thought leadership each year on practical steps to delivering an economy in line with climate science and in support of net zero or provide mentoring and support for smaller signatory companies in setting targets, reporting and meeting the requirements of the pledge

At our Leeds office, we are counting our carbon and looking at ways to reduce our impact. In 2023, the Carbon Footprint Dashboard began analysing and tracking our carbon footprint. Our short-term plans as part of the wider RSK goals are to introduce daylight switching to our light fittings, promote public transport for essential meetings that cannot be held virtually and to install an electric car charging point, which is currently being considered by planning owing to the listed nature of the Leeds office.

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“Sustainability and addressing the impacts of climate change continue to move up the global agenda, and I am delighted that RSK has demonstrated its sustainability commitments by signing the Pledge to Net Zero. As well as continuing to focus on sustainability as a key business driver, which will unlock opportunities for our business, it is important that we also continue to look inward and ensure that we are doing the right thing – this pledge is part of that. We have a responsibility to protect the environment, reduce our carbon footprint and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

RSK Chief Executive Officer Alan Ryder.

Social causes

  • As part of its social values, RSK supports a charity of choice nominated by its employees every three years. Mind is the group’s current chosen charity. Employees are continually encouraged to support local charitable causes that will benefit from all forms of volunteering, fundraising and sponsorship.
  • Our Leeds office employs two apprentices, who have both come from local schools and who are now undertaking their degree-level studies with us. We had three summer placements join us in 2023, again from local and Harrogate schools, so that we could offer them a taste of the construction industry. We were able to demonstrate what we do and the impact we are able to deliver in reducing carbon emissions in the built environment and allow them some hands-on experience to carry forward with them through the remainder of their studies at school.
  • Locally, within our Leeds office, we enjoyed a wellbeing day in 2023 with the Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange. Supporting the Conservation Volunteers created additional funding to provide access to the outdoors and nature connectivity for local school children who may otherwise not have this opportunity. We feel that helping to facilitate this connection to nature for young people is paramount to their awareness of the world they live in and in halting the global climate emergency.
  • In 2022, zero energy design, a Silcock Leedham Group company, proudly supported a BBC Children in Need funded project, Getaway Girls, in Leeds, providing building physics modelling and volunteering.
  • We run regular collections for a local food bank as a way of supporting those less fortunate than ourselves.