Insight: Sustainability in practice – how HiB is tackling CSR

InsightFeatures Wed 3rd May 2023 by KBBFocus

Insight: Sustainability in practice – how HiB is tackling CSR

Insight: Sustainability in practice – how HiB is tackling CSR

As the anniversary of HiB’s first Corporate Social Responsibility Report approaches, operations director Neil Berry and logistics director Richard Berry – who happen to be brothers working for the same business – discuss the challenges and successes of CSR in the workplace.

Neil Berry, HiB operations director (pictured left):

For businesses, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t a target that can be achieved and forgotten about – it is a journey that takes time, innovation and collaboration. Often the more that is achieved in one area, opens doors for improvements in others.

A part of HiB’s vision is ‘to make a substantial difference to our people, partners and the word we live in’ and CSR is always front and centre of our decision-making, along with product quality and customer service.

As HiB’s operations director, the focus on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint has been high on my agenda. It is important to consider environmentally friendly options in a practical sense, making sure they fit the requirements of the business as well as supporting our CSR targets.

Some of our big successes have been reducing the amount of waste going to landfill to 0% and replacing all our company workwear with clothing made from recycled materials. We’re having to tackle the operations department process by process to see where improvements can be made, investigating areas like packaging, consumables and reducing unnecessary energy consumption at our facilities, by installing solar panels and using sensor taps and lighting, everything counts.

We’re currently expanding our warehouse and installing a new mezzanine and office space. We’ve been careful to consider sustainable materials and methods where possible to make sure that the impact on the environment is reduced. Our workspace manager Tony Masters and the wider facilities team have been doing a great job to manage the build of the new space and implement changes elsewhere to make sure we’re doing what we can to support HiB’s wider CSR aims. We’re also working with suppliers to bring them on our CSR journey, to ensure that their practices and ethics match ours, so that sustainability is a consideration at every level of our production and operations.

Richard Berry, HiB logistics director (pictured right):

Reducing carbon footprint is a hugely important matter for transportation and logistics, but to maintain delivery times and efficiencies it needs to be practical and sometimes this can be a challenge. Our logistics team including HiB’s transport manager Craig and fleet manager Pete are continuously monitoring fuel efficiencies in order to minimise our impact. We’ve replaced the sales team’s vehicles with electric or hybrid models and we’ve just taken delivery of a Maxus eDeliver electric van on a long-term hire, so that we can use clean energy to deliver to customers. We want to be at the forefront as the technology improves and develops, making sure that we utilise the latest transport technologies to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

But CSR isn’t just about carbon footprint, it is also about people. So, across the business we’re directing our energies at educating and encouraging sustainability at an individual level. We support charity shop collections, have electric vans to deliver food parcels to families in the local area, encourage environment-based volunteering opportunities among staff and make donations to wildlife and conservation charities such as Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wildplay scheme, who organise outdoor play sessions for children where they can also learn about the environment.

Because CSR is such a huge topic it can sometimes be a challenge to set realistic targets and implement practices which have an immediate impact. But by celebrating and sharing each step of the journey with our workforce and wider community, we hope to encourage other businesses to also do their bit. Because after all, it is a combined effort across the industry that will have the biggest impact on protecting the planet.

To see HiB’s 2022 CSR report, click HERE. This year’s report will be available to read from July.

Tags: insight, features, hib, richard berry, neil berry

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