RPS - A Sustainable Organisation
As well as supporting our members and wider climate action within healthcare across Great Britain, we want to make sure that we are a truly environmentally responsible organisation. Throughout all our day-to-day activities and operations, we’re continuously looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact.
Finance and Investments
As an organisation we’re determined to apply environmental, social and corporate governance principles (ESG) across all of our activity. A key pillar of this commitment is our approach to financial management and investments.
With this in mind, following a review of our existing investments at the July 2021 meeting of the RPS Assembly, we have redistributed our portfolio by investing in a new sustainable green fund.
The funds left in our long-standing investments fully integrate the principles of ESG, including for example actively excluding investment that contribute to harmful activities such as mining for coal and tobacco. They are made with a firm that is a signatory to all the major ESG codes, including being a founding signatory to Climate Action 100+ which is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. Our provider is also rated A/A+ by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment rating framework.
Recycling & Waste
We’re proud to be a ‘zero waste to landfill’ organisation. Across all our offices we have a number of waste bins to segregate waste and to prevent cross contamination. Once disposed in our segregated waste bins;
- All recyclable waste is recycled
- General waste is converted to green energy that helps to power local communities
- Food waste undergoes anaerobic digestion to produce energy and fertiliser.
Use of plastics and paper
As of 2021, our Pharmaceutical Journal is now online only. By shifting away from a monthly print edition of the PJ we will be saving the equivalent of over 15 million pages of paper, or 1,600 12-metre-tall trees, each year.
Our publishing arm, Pharmaceutical Press, are also increasingly moving more of our products to be online only. For the remaining products that are printed, we are proactively looking to work with printing companies which follow the environmentally friendly printing processes and are signatories of the Healthy Printing Charter.
Over recent years we have worked with our staff to reduce the use of plastics in our offices. Single-use kitchen items (plastic cups, cutlery etc) have now been completely discontinued and all our staff have been given reusable water bottles.
We’re also working hard to reduce paper usage. As of 2020, all RPS policies and board papers are only hosted on our website, with no print versions produced. These actions mean our office paper usage is extremely low, with no new order having been made in over two years. Any future orders will be for recycled paper products.
Our aim is to convert to 100% renewable energy power supply across all our offices in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London. To help us achieve this goal, we’re currently in the process of renewing our energy providers on new green tariffs.
To further improve our energy efficiency, solar panels have been installed on the roof of our London office, and we’re replacing our existing fluorescent lighting with LED lights. This work is already underway in London office with the aim of becoming 100% LED across all sites.
Reducing water consumption is also an important priority for us. We’re doing this by focusing on leak detection as well as introducing water restriction nozzles and exploring other new technologies.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we had already made significant investments in video conferencing facilities across all our sites in order to reduce the need for staff and our members to make unnecessary journeys.
Like all organisations, our use of video conferencing technology has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming out of the pandemic, we will take advantage of the lessons learnt and continue to utilise video conferencing platforms to minimize travel. Where domestic travel is necessary, we encourage staff to use trains where possible.
Support is also available for our staff to travel to and from work in the most environmentally friendly way that is possible for them. We do this by offering rail season ticket loans and through our Ride2Work scheme. Shower facilities are also available on all sites for staff members to facilitate healthier ways of travelling to the offices.
Corporate Social Responsibility
We have a long-standing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, led by our staff. To date, this has mainly focused on local charity initiatives. From now on, we hope to expand our CSR activity to include environmental projects and initiatives.