GForces is committed to being a sustainable and environmentally friendly business. We operate a variety of sustainability initiatives designed to minimise the environmental impact in operational areas. Whether big schemes – like our state-of-the-art building – or small ideas – like our car share scheme, we value our environment and we want to protect it.
GForces' headquarters, Corbin Business Park, is a state-of-the-art building that was designed to save energy from the outset. Located in the heart of the Kent countryside, the first section was built in 2007 to high environmental standards. The 2010 extension was designed to improve upon these standards.
A pre-development BREEAM assessment and sustainability report looked into the overall impact of the extension programme. The results of the BREEAM assessment demonstrated that the building would receive a rating of 'Good', whilst the sustainability report demonstrated that energy efficiency measures would reduce the expected demand by approximately 28.1%. These measures include smart lighting, dual-flush toilets and a highly efficient ventilation system.
Minimising the number of journeys to work reduces congestion, lowers our carbon footprint and can help our staff to save money. We voluntarily created a company travel plan, designed to reduce the number of single occupancy journeys and promote sustainable travel, such as public transport, cycling and lift share. Priority parking for those who share lifts, along with on-site showers and participation in the 'cycle to work' scheme makes it easier for staff to utilise alternative means for their journeys to work.
With the increase in plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, we deemed it appropriate to install an electric vehicle charging point. Currently, some staff members drive fully electric cars to work each day and clients can also use this while on site.
|Lift share||Alternative||Car driver||Total|
|2010 mode share||17.60%||4.70%||77.70%|
|5 year target mode share||21.00%||14.00%||65.00%|
|Current mode share||27.15%||10.00%||62.85%|
With clients spread across the UK and abroad, the travel demands on the company are substantial. To minimise work-related miles, we encourage video conferencing. Home working is also supported where appropriate and staff can log-on to their systems from anywhere that has an internet connection.
GForces' product portfolio is primarily designed to make the process of buying and maintaining a car easier. Traditionally, a consumer may visit several retailers prior to making a decision. Now, they can undertake the vast majority of the research phase online, removing the need for multiple trips. The average number of showroom visits prior to purchase is now just 1.2; our products are helping to reduce this even further.
The grounds at our headquarters have been landscaped to provide suitable surroundings not only for our staff but also for native species of plant and wildlife. A constant cycle of grounds maintenance ensures that throughout the year, our immediate environment is in the best condition it can possibly be.
Day-to-day, we try to operate a paperless office in order to minimise paper waste. Inevitably, some paper waste is created, however, we encourage our staff to recycle and make provisions for them to do so. E-waste is minimised as much as possible, for instance laptop computers are sometimes refurbished and redistributed within the business to keep them operating for longer. Anything that is surplus to requirements is offered to staff before being condemned. Where IT equipment cannot be saved, it is dismantled and recycled appropriately.
"We have a responsibility for the areas in which we operate that stretches beyond generating revenue and creating employment. Reducing our impact on the local environment has always been a core element of GForces' operations, and throughout the business's history, we have made decisions and implemented schemes that help us to achieve this. Now, and in the future, the sustainability remains a key part of our agenda."
Giles Smith, Managing Director, GForces, 2014