Report 2018

Shaping the future

Environmental Stewardship

Protecting our resources, reducing our impacts

Culture and Wellbeing

Maintaining and enhancing our status of employer of choice

Governance and Ethics

Business operations with a conscience

Sustainability in Services

Leading the market towards a sustainable

built environment

Community and Charity

Working together to create opportunities

In 2018 GVA set out to improve on last year’s environmental performance. Energy consumption continues to be our biggest environmental impact and we are taking steps to reduce our associated carbon footprint.

We decided to target the following environmental objectives; ensure that any new or refurbished offices would deliver increased wellbeing for staff and lowered our carbon footprint. A Sustainability Champions Network was set up to disseminate best practice and market leading ideas able to assist our clients and staff. We continued to purchase renewable electricity contracts and mitigated any remaining carbon by planting trees.

100% Renewable Electricity

The following GVA offices are being 100% supplied with electricity by Smartest Energy, the leading purchaser and supplier of renewable energy:

  • Birmingham
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
Establish a ‘Sustainability Champions Network’

In 2018 we set out to harness the enthusiasm of GVA staff for sustainability through an online user group and knowledge share platform. This group grew rapidly to over 100 staff UK wide, sharing best practice and sustainability tips aimed at benefiting our staff and clients.

Carbon Mitigation through the Woodland Carbon Scheme

We continue to partner the Woodland Trust’s Woodland Carbon Scheme helping companies reduce their carbon footprint by locking up carbon emissions through planting trees. As a partner, we are involved in a credible carbon removal scheme operating under the government’s Woodland Carbon Code.

Our goals

Reduce and offset our operational CO2 emissions

Reduce the environmental impact of our supply chain

Our objectives

Purchase 100% renewable electricity where we control the energy contract (and there is a renewable electricity tariff available)

Set environmental procurement criteria and engage with our supply chain

Specify environmental fit-out criteria, including a minimum rating of Ska Silver on all fit-outs

Continue to run an environmental management system certified to ISO 14001

Enable our colleagues to operate in a way that minimises their environmental impact through education and changing processes

Offset the CO2 from our office energy use and car travel via the Woodland Carbon Scheme

Continue to improve the accuracy of our data and reporting

Alignment to UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
UN SDG 15: Life on land

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

GVA action:
We are proud to be purchasing electricity from the only supplier in the UK who offers certificate backed 100% renewable electricity Smartest Energy. As a result we are able to report zero carbon emissions for the electricity we purchase in accordance with the GHG protocol, demonstrating our commitment to tackling climate change.

We have been working together to mitigate every kg of CO2 from the energy used in our offices through planting new trees. Through our support, the Woodland Trust funds projects that increase bio-diversity and help the UK landscape adapt to climate change.


GVA continues to collect, monitor and report its carbon and energy usage. GVA’s carbon footprint is measured on the basis of the Defra Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol.

Carbon (tonnes, UK wide):

Energy (kWh, UK wide):



“GVA is standing up for trees. Its fantastic support has funded the planting of more than 50,000 trees through our Woodland Carbon initiative since 2014. As well as absorbing carbon, these trees will provide homes for wildlife and enhance the local environment for generations to come. The company is not afraid to get its hands dirty, with its enthusiastic staff having helped to put many trees in the ground on planting days. We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone at GVA for their support.”

Karl Mitchell
, Director of Fundraising at the Woodland Trust