Environmental

At RWS, we recognize that our operations impact upon the environment. We are committed to improving the environmental sustainability of our operations by reducing negative environmental impacts, preventing pollution, protecting the environment and enhancing positive impacts wherever reasonably practicable. 

We measure and monitor our significant environmental impacts, where we have the ability, and have set objectives and targets for their reduction. We have developed an Environmental Plan to reduce our carbon emissions and environmental performance is reviewed six-monthly and audited annually against our objectives and targets. 

Our head office in Chalfont St Peter is ISO 14001:2015 certified and we are now seeking to roll this out to our other offices. We commit to the continual improvement of our environmental management system to enhance environmental performance and protect the environment. We also have in place an action plan to manage hazardous waste and substances and have implemented a waste sorting system. 


RWS measures its carbon emissions globally, and in conjunction with Carbon Footprint Ltd, assessed its carbon footprint successfully for 2019 and 2020.

RWS employees have indicated that they are concerned about the environment and any possible impact of RWS’s operations. RWS is committed to reviewing and improving the environmental aspects and impacts of our operations by preventing pollution, protecting the environment and enhancing positive impacts wherever reasonably practicable. These actions improve the environment as well as RWS’s attractiveness as a place to work, reducing staff turnover, and they are a mitigation factor offsetting one of the Group’s key risks, namely attracting and retaining good quality staff. 

The CEO has overall responsibility for all climate-related issues and the CFO is responsible for managing climate-related risks across the Group. Both the CEO and CFO sit on RWS’s Board and climate-related issues are presented and considered by the Board bi-annually. 

We measure and monitor our principal environmental impacts and have set objectives and targets for their reduction. 

Our targets have been set as a reduction of 2% year-on-year, for the following:

  • Natural resources and consumables
  • Commercial waste
  • Carbon footprint
  • Landfill waste/measured by employee and turnover
  • Electricity KwHr/measured by employee and turnover
  • Waste/measured by employee and turnover

We also strive to have no environmental incidents. 

Environmental performance is reviewed six-monthly in line with our environmental policy and reviewed against our objectives and targets. 

We have committed to:

  • The continual improvement of our environmental management systems globally
  • Co-operate fully and maintain open relationships with all regulatory authorities
  • Comply with the spirit as well as the letter of all applicable environmental legislation, approved codes of practice and any other requirements not codified by law to which we subscribe
  • Comply with the environmental requirements of the company’s clients

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Report

As part of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirement, RWS is required to report its energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions within its Directors’ Report. 

RWS appointed Carbon Footprint Ltd to independently assess the Group’s GHG emissions in accordance with the UK Government’s SECR guidance. 

The GHG emissions have been assessed following the ISO 14064-1:2018 standard and has used the 2020 emission conversion factors published by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The operational control approach has been used. 

View table summarises the GHG emissions for reporting year: 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020.

Energy Use

Energy is a key driver of carbon emissions across the Group and we are committed to reducing our energy consumption across our operations. 

RWS’s total carbon footprint was 2,388.99 tCO2e for FY20. Of these emissions, 72.1% were from energy, 65.6% of which was electricity, 4.2% natural gas, 0.3% diesel and 2.0% from heat and steam; the remaining 27.9% was from business travel, waste and water. 

Managing energy use 

As energy accounts for 72.1% of our emissions, we recognise the importance of investing in energy efficient offices and renewable energy. 

In 2020, the Group took several measures to reduce energy use and emissions. These included: 

  • A move to purchasing only renewable electricity across all offices wherever possible 
  • Replacing existing lighting with energy efficient LED lighting 
  • Ensuring energy efficient lighting and motion sensors are installed in our larger sites or as we open new offices such as Moravia’s head office in Brno 
  • Implemented various energy efficiency actions such as: a “closed-door” policy to avoid unnecessary energy consumption for heating/cooling; and a “switch off at night” policy 
  • Updated the Group’s head office air-conditioning to ensure effectiveness and energy efficiency 
  • Launched a Green Agenda intranet to educate, inform, engage and advise employees on energy consumption 

Traditionally, the Group’s second biggest cause of emissions is air travel. Clearly the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the amount of travel in this financial year and carbon emissions have therefore reduced accordingly. 

The Group has taken the opportunity to utilise software to hold virtual meetings and these will continue to be promoted as a way to curtail the number of flights in the future. 

With many of our initiatives, we recognise that what is good for the environment is also good for business. Energy savings, for example, reduce our emissions output while cutting costs. 

Each division within RWS tracks and monitors energy use, in line with our Group-wide commitment to reduce emissions and to reach RWS’s annual target to reduce energy use across its operations.

Minimising waste

Waste management is not a significant issue for RWS as being a service-based company our waste is low. However, we do consider waste to be an important issue and have set company targets to reduce general waste and increase recycling across the Group. 

In managing waste, we strive to engage employees to take ownership and create more efficient operations and practices. 

In 2020, the Group took several measures to reduce waste. These included: 

  • Liaising with landlords regarding waste measurement and management
  • Launching a Green Agenda intranet to educate, inform and engage employees around waste and recycling
  • Liaising with suppliers to get more accurate reports detailing waste and recycling

At present, due to some of our offices being in managed buildings, we are unable to measure all our waste effectively and this is something we are working to improve moving forward.

Carbon offset

As part of its commitment to helping reduce carbon emissions, RWS purchased 2,500 trees for the National Forest; one for each employee of the RWS Group. The UK employees were able to select what species of tree they preferred and then many employees travelled to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood, in Leicestershire, England to help plant some of the trees. 

New research estimates that a worldwide planting program could remove two-thirds of all the emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere today. 

If you wish to see the area where our trees were planted, you can do so by going to www.what3words.com and typing in value.august.fruit

Green logistics programme

RWS operates a total of three company vehicles globally of which one is a hybrid and two diesel. The diesel vehicles will be phased out by September 2022 and, where a vehicle is still necessary, will be replaced with hybrid vehicles.

Link to Environmental Policy 

Other Significant Documents