As a growing technology company, innovation underpins our success. However, we believe that we have a duty to innovate in other ways, especially in the way that we do business.
In previous years, we’ve been one of the first SMEs in the GIS sector to formalise our commitment to employees, the community and the environment. This has included making the Living Wage Commitment, adopting flexible working, achieving Cyber Essentials Plus and making the SME Climate Change Commitment.
This year, we decided to go one better by having our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) formally assessed by EcoVadis, a holistic sustainability ratings service.
What is ESG?
ESG is used to measure the ethical and sustainable impact of a business.
The EcoVadis Rating covers a broad range of non-financial management systems, including Environmental, Labour & Human Rights and Ethics impacts. Over 90,000 organisations across 200 industries have already been assessed by EcoVadis.
How was our ESG assessed?
It’s safe to say that the EcoVadis assessment system is a little daunting when you’re facing it for the first time. It was especially so for our ESG Champion, Leigh, who had only been with Astun for a few months. Supported by Mike, our MD, and Jill, our Marketer, Leigh did an amazing job of pulling together the evidence required in a challenging timeframe. This included copies of all relevant policies, internal communications and evidence of the way we support our team and the GIS community, such as our sponsorship of FOSS4G.
What was our EcoVadis result?
We are now proud bearers of an EcoVadis silver medal. This places us in the top 25% of companies assessed by EcoVadis in 2022. We were especially pleased to receive a 90/100 score for ethics.
What happens next?
Although it’s almost a year until our next assessment, it’s important that we don’t stand still. We already have some ideas to drive our ESG forward including:
- Training a Mental Health First Aider who can provide additional support to colleagues
- Publishing a newsletter about our ESG to raise awareness of how SMEs can make a difference
- Supporting the open source community by sponsoring FOSS4G and FOSS4GUK
- Using videos to help employees ‘go green’ and ‘protect against cyber crime’
“As your business grows, it’s easy to lose sight of your values. Benchmarking our ESG is one way to ensure that our ethos of doing business ‘the right way’ is protected and nurtured. Our new ESG newsletter will help prove to clients that our open and supportive approach is at the heart of Astun.”
Mike Saunt, MD