Lucion Group Continues To Progress ESG And Sustainability Initiatives Through Membership of the UN Global Compact16 March 2023
The past 2 years have seen Lucion Group acquire 5 businesses. With no signs of slowing down and positive growth year-on-year in the face of economic uncertainty, Lucion Group have continued to buckle down on their ESG and sustainability initiatives. Most recently the Group has joined the United Nations Global Compact to help facilitate the Group’s progress towards both our own sustainability goals and that of the UN internationally.
Group ESG Lead Hazel Gillings provides insight into what the UN Global Compact is and the Group’s current and future approach to ESG.
What Is The UN Global Compact?
Founded in 2004, the United Nations’ Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles. The principles are designed to ensure responsible business and progression towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative and is internationally recognised. By seeking to create universal principles of sustainability, it promotes businesses to take a shared responsibility in advancing the UN SDGs with an ethos of ensuring that we do no harm and create a positive impact.
To achieve this, the UN Global Compact promotes both members and organisations globally to;
- Do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and
- Take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.
Why Have Lucion Joined The UN Global Compact?
Historically each of our businesses within the Lucion Group has been locally managing ESG commitments; individually adding value through supporting local good causes or volunteering, for example. Now we are operating as a larger Group of companies, and as ESG is at the forefront of our minds, we are aligning our ESG strategy to our business practices and purpose; “Protecting People and Planet”.
The Group signed up to the UN Global Compact in November 2022. With its internationally recognised set of ten universal principles for good business practice, the international aspect is an important one. Whilst we are a UK-based Group, we work internationally through our founding membership with the Inogen Alliance, a global corporation of consultants that provides worldwide coverage through one point of contact for environmental, health, safety, and sustainability solutions for multinational clients and organisations. Whatever we do, change or commit to has an impact on our partner organisations, so we have a duty to be considerate of them when making changes. Our commitment to the UN Global Compact gives us credibility to our partners. It is robust and includes providing a corporate ESG disclosure annually, which we will be completing for the first time in 2023.
The disclosure requires us to interrogate our business operations and have good policies and practices in place. As we acquire more businesses, integration presents a challenge as our new businesses adopt the culture and values of the Group and we have additional data to collect, for example across our fleet and property portfolio. We have addressed this by creating roles in these key areas, and understand that having good quality data and being well informed allows us to make the best choices in the future. It has also enabled the Group to become a “Beyond Net Zero” business with action plans for carbon emissions reductions since 2021.
We also have to be considerate of all of our stakeholders. We have identified ESG obligations required to satisfy three main groups – our staff, our clients and our investors. Requirements for each group have common features but are also specifically different. For example, our staff want to be able to participate in volunteering and want to be confident that we are operating a responsible and ethical business, whilst our investors and clients also want us to measure our Social Impact and demonstrate how we ensure we are working with credible and reputable organisations. We have developed a robust way of tracking this, so we can report our actions against our company values and Sustainable Development Goals.
Embedding ESG into the business governance, management and operating structures of the Group is evolving over time and requires iterative change. We need to do more than create an overarching ESG policy because ESG has to be integrated within our day-to-day operations in order to align with our culture and values. For example, a procurement plan and travel plan may be adequate but a sustainable procurement and a green or sustainable travel policy would be better. We are working on developing these policy changes with other teams, to adopt changes and continuously improve across all of our business operations.
Speaking on Lucion Group’s recent membership into the UN Global Compact, Caterina Agnoletti from UN Global Compact UK said;
“I am delighted that Lucion Group have joined the UN Global Compact Network UK.
The UN Global Compact Network UK is the focal point for UK-based participants of the UN Global Compact. Our mission is to turn global momentum on sustainability into practical local action. We do that by offering top quality webinars, working groups, and peer-to-peer discussions with leading organisations, providing engagement opportunities to our members, facilitating their ability to scale sustainability whilst making a positive impact on people and planet.”
Working with members of the Group from all areas of the business, as our internal Group ESG lead, I am looking forward to utilising the resources and knowledge-sharing initiatives UN Global Compact has to offer. I am looking forward to further improving our business practices and ensuring that as we grow we create a responsible, resilient and truly sustainable business which is desirable to our staff, our clients and our investors.
The world is in a climate crisis. The media brings this to the front and centre of everyone’s minds on a near-daily basis. This continual exposure to crisis news can leave many decision-makers experiencing action paralysis, but this is not the time to delay. As Group Communications Director, Lucy Clark, echoed in her article, ‘Impact: Don’t Lose It’, we need to be actively looking inwards at how we function and operate as a business, our commitments to ESG don’t need to be parked during an economic downturn, they should be further strengthened, to the benefit of the business and our wider lives.
ESG done well is not about ticking boxes and achieving ratings. ESG done well is about doing better business, increasing business resilience, identifying and mitigating risks and improving the future outcomes for your organisation.
We can, and we will create greater business value by investing in ESG, creating real value through mitigating business risks, reducing costs and overheads, and increasing trust from our clients and stakeholders to ultimately drive growth and attract talent. We are in a stable and secure position to be able to deliver on our set goals and make a true difference.
About The Author
Group ESG Lead
Hazel Gillings is a Chartered Environmentalist and Technical Director who leads a team of environmental social governance (ESG) professionals providing sustainability support and expertise for Lucion Group, including Lucion Services and Delta-Simons. She has over 18 years’ experience within environmental consultancy and has strong leadership, strategic, commercial and interpersonal skills.
Hazel has specialist skills in environmental due diligence and providing commercially focused consultancy advice. In recent years, she has been focused on the emerging requirements for integrating ESG parameters into transactions and corporate reporting. This experience has been translated into ESG strategy and implementation, providing alignment of the people and team requirements with investor led ESG aspirations.
T: 0345 5040 303
Linkedin: Hazel Gillings
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