I am DWF's Group Health, Safety and Environmental Manager and a member of the Workplace Management team. As part of my role I am also responsible for Business Continuity Planning, Physical Security and Travel. You may wonder why travel is part of my role but that is because the safety of our colleagues falls within my remit as does the environmental impacts of business travel and commuting.
My evolving role
I first came to DWF as a PA but this role was not the traditional PA role at the time. I had lots of other duties to undertake such as secretarial management, organising events and conferences and meeting with clients. As the business began to grow my role then evolved to PA duties only, but for five Directors.
However, as I am sure you have gathered, I like to have a varied role so the opportunity came for me to move across into what was known as "Operations". I dealt with the people side of things whilst a colleague dealt with physical operations. As time moved on, our responsibilities and team grew so the structure changed. I then became a Facilities Manager for Preston, London and Liverpool which I enjoyed.
As part of this role, I was responsible for some commodities too including health and safety. After having my second child in 2010, I came back to work as the Health, Safety and Environmental Manager. I was responsible for building a management system and robust policies and procedures across both elements and ensuring that these were implemented, monitored and continually audited. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) also became my responsibility – again, building a robust management system and embedding the same.
My role today
As global businesses and people from around the world became more aware of environmental impacts as well as social and governance responsibilities, DWF looked into the ways which we carried out our business and in December 2021, the ESG Strategy was launched.
So what does this mean?
For the business it means a responsible and sustainable approach to doing business is central to our purpose of delivering positive outcomes with our colleagues, clients and communities. For me this means that we must look at everything we do and ensure that all three strands of ESG should be considered in all we do.
All elements of my role fit within the three strands, E (Environmental), S (Social: Health & Safety and Wellbeing of our colleagues) and G (Governance: Risk Management) and I work closely with Kirsty Rogers, Head of Environmental, Social & Governance, and her team to embed that ESG agenda.
Focusing on environmental – around 12 years I built an environmental management system, policies and procedures. Within that management system, targets were set to include carbon reduction, waste reduction, responsible purchasing and reducing paper and print and the impacts of business travel. Shortly following that, the management system was externally certified and I am proud to say that we still hold that certification today.
However, in an effort to further show our commitment to reducing the environmental impacts across the globe, in May 2021 we commitment with the SBTi to setting science-based targets (SBTs) in line with a 1.5 degree pathway. In December 2021 we sent our targets for validating and in 2022 those targets were validated by the SBTi.
So what does this mean?
This means we have committed to reduce our emissions across Scope 1 (Gas), Scope 2 (Electricity) and Scope 3 (all other emissions) by 50% by 2030.
By having the ISO certification and the validated targets means that we constantly working to drive down our own emissions as well as those emissions associated with our supply chain – we will do all we can to reduce our emissions not just in the UK but globally. I think it is really important to have such frameworks and validated targets in place as they ensure that we act responsibly and constantly work to drive down our own global emissions as well as those emissions associated with our supply chain. We all need to take accountability as businesses and individuals and go beyond damage limitation and work towards holistic climate solutions for a resilient future.
What I like about working at DWF
I am excited that we have launched the ESG Agenda and something which I wholly believe is the right thing to do as a responsible business. I am passionate about environmental matters and reducing my own impacts on the world!
It is also very important for me to be able to develop myself. I am always striving to do better and grow my knowledge so having the support to do that is key for me. Whilst at DWF I have undertaken a Level 5 Diploma in H&S, IEMA Certification (Environmental) and am about to start an Environmental Practitioners course. This doesn't include all the other smaller courses and conferences I have attended to ensure my knowledge is current in order for me to carry out my role to the best of my potential.
Finally, I like the fact that my role is diverse (and keeps me busy!) and that also allows me to meet lots of different colleagues across many areas of the business. It is great to learn about others and how different their live and cultures can be from my own.