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Environmental policy

The CITB recognises we have a global climate emergency and that we must take action now, amongst other interventions, to limit future global greenhouse gas emissions to help restrict future changes in the climate system. We are already seeing the impact of human-induced activity, not just on our climate, but to our natural environment, and we must act immediately to protect it.

Version 1.1 Approved 24 April 2024

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Policy overview

The CITB recognises we have a global climate emergency and that we must take action now, amongst other interventions, to limit future global greenhouse gas emissions to help restrict future changes in the climate system. We are already seeing the impact of human-induced activity, not just on our climate, but to our natural environment, and we must act immediately to protect it.

Sustainability is a value that shapes everything we do and how we do it. Through conducting a materiality assessment and engagement process in 2022, we know our stakeholders support the need for us to achieve Net Zero and to reduce our wider environmental impact.

The CITB is committed to achieving Net Zero across its whole business operations as soon as possible, and by 2050, at the latest.

Our ambition is to remove all Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, and Scope 3 by 2040.

We will set practical milestones and targets against Scopes 1, 2 and 3 aligned to advances in engineering, science, and technological developments to reduce and eliminate carbon, and the utilisation of other natural resources over this time.

We will aim to reduce our wider environmental impact in a manner which is better than or at least comparable with, the best of the construction industry.

As an Arms-Length Body (ALB) of the Department of Education (DfE), the CITB is ‘in-scope’ of the Greening Government Commitments (GGCs) and will support the Department through setting our own targets in the following areas:

  • Reducing our consumption of energy and fossil fuels
  • Minimising our business travel requirements
  • Minimising our production of waste and promoting resource efficiency
  • Reducing our consumption of water and creation of sewage
  • Minimising all forms of our pollution arising from our business activities
  • Procuring sustainable products and services throughout our supply chain
  • Preserving and enhancing nature by encouraging and making space for thriving plants and wildlife across our sites
  • Adapting our business practices to address the impacts of climate change
  • Reducing the environmental impacts from our use of digital and technological products and services

The UK Government is committed to reaching ‘Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (with the Scottish Government committing to 2045). We are working towards achieving this target and hope to eliminate our direct emissions well before that date, with the further aim of tackling our supply chain emissions, which we recognise as highly material. In addition, we aim to also help provide the right support to the Construction Industry to help decarbonise the UK’s built environment.

A top-level materiality assessment of Scope 3 emissions has shown they account for over 90% of the CITB’s carbon footprint. The CITB is committed to working with its customers and suppliers to set an ambitious target and a collaborative work programme to reduce carbon emissions. This has started by procuring our electricity and gas from renewable sources.

The CITB’s environmental targets will be agreed by the Board and outlined in our Sustainability Strategy. This will be underpinned by an Environmental Action Plan and the Board will receive regular progress updates provided by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Executive Sponsor for Sustainability. The
CFO will also ensure that the Environmental Action Plan is sufficiently resourced.

  • To be more resilient to the threat posed by climate change, climate change risks have been identified and effectively managed through the Corporate Operational Risk Register that is overseen by the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).
  • The CITB will ensure that it meets all its environmental legal, regulatory, and other requirements and maintain a legal register.
  • The CITB shall ensure that it maintains an effective Environmental Management System (EMS) to identify, assess, monitor, and maintain the interactions with the environment to prevent negative environmental impacts, such as pollution, and how to decarbonise its activities and protect the natural environment and further enhance it where possible.
  • Green Champions (colleague volunteers) will meet regularly and no later than quarterly to discuss ideas and delivery to continually improve our environmental sustainability performance.
  • The CITB is committed to developing a Green Skills matrix to identify the skills, knowledge, competencies, and behaviours needed by colleagues to help them transition to a sustainable future and meet our Net Zero emission targets. Learning and development opportunities will be offered to all colleagues, including basic carbon literacy training.
  • Regular internal communications will be shared with colleagues, providing updates on our progress and to help raise awareness on the actions they can take in their job roles and personal lives to help the environment.
  • The Sustainability/ESG Group will inform, review, and make recommendations to support the development of the CITB’s Environmental Action Plan and take appropriate action(s) to realise its objectives.
  • This Policy will be shared with colleagues and made available on the CITB’s intranet (SharePoint) and publicly available on our website.
  • This Policy will be reviewed annually as we need to ensure we work at the right scale and pace to ensure we can meet our environmental commitments and, therefore, adjust if necessary.
  • This Policy applies to all people who work for or advise the CITB, including permanent, fixed term or temporary staff, contractors, interim staff under contract, people on work experience, and agency workers.

The CITB publishes its annual carbon footprint and environmental performance updates in the Sustainability sections of its Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) available on our website.

Appendix A - Policy details

Policy Owner: Nick Payne (Chief Financial Officer)

Policy prepared by: Kay Barnes (Corporate Social Responsibility Manager)

Information Sources:

Advisory support from Business In The Community’s (BITC) Environmental Advisor

BSI, BS EN ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for use

Glossary of terms

Net Zero - Net Zero means that the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would
be equal to or less than the emissions the UK removed from the environment. This
can be achieved by a combination of emission reduction and emission removal.

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) – This includes water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane,
nitrous oxide, ozone, and some artificial chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs). Greenhouse gases do occur naturally and warm the earth (‘the greenhouse
effect’). The problem we now face is that human activities – particularly burning fossil
fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are increasing the concentrations of greenhouse
gases. These are causing the earth’s temperature to rise too much.

Scope 3 emissions – These are emissions that are not produced by the CITB itself,
and not the result of activities from assets owned or controlled by us, but by those that
we are indirectly responsible for, up and down our value chain. An example of this is
when we buy, use, and dispose of products from suppliers. Scope 3 emissions include
all sources not within the boundaries of Scopes 1 and 2.

Green Skills – These are the essential and technical skills, knowledge, competencies,
and behaviours required of colleagues to help us transition to a sustainable future and
to meet our Net Zero targets.