Report 2017

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

Energy consumption and its associated carbon emissions are our biggest environmental impact and for many years we have taken big steps to reduce this. In 2017 our strategy to address this impact has involved three clear steps.

Firstly we have driven down carbon emissions generated from our occupied estate, secondly we have purchased renewable electricity contracts and finally we have mitigated our remaining carbon by planting new 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
Carbon Captured Paper

We replaced our everyday office paper with “carbon captured” paper. Every sheet of this paper supports Woodland Trust projects that increase bio-diversity and help the UK landscape adapt to climate change.

Sustainable Fit-out Policy

In 2017 we set out to define the required standard that all new GVA offices must attain when going through the process of refurbishment or fitout. The purpose of this new policy is to ensure GVA’s corporate responsibility strategy threads through any acquisition, fit out and occupation of new office space.

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 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. It’s 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