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Environmental, Social and Governance Policy

Environmental, Social and Governance Policy (“ESG policy”)

Policy Summary 

The purpose of this policy is to provide information about ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors and to encourage everyone working for and with Distinct to better understand ESG and our approach to sustainability matters.

Introduction

We want all of our stakeholders, from our People to customers to investors, to be proud to be a part of our business. Part of that pride is understanding how our business makes a positive contribution to the world.

Environmental – Environmental sustainability is an ethical and commercial imperative. Managing our carbon footprint goes hand in hand with the strategic necessity to operate efficiently. Our commitment to tackling climate change at a corporate level is fundamental to our strategic objectives. Examples of how environmental factors relate to a business’s impact on the environment are: renewable energy usage; waste management; environmentally responsible policies.

Social – Our People make up our business. We aim to foster an environment that values and nurtures unique talents and contributions from every individual within a culture of inclusivity. While we have progress to make, we are committed to cultivating and empowering change by building an inclusive workplace where all talents can thrive. Social factors within a business could include: diversity and inclusion; appropriate working conditions for our People; and our community relationships.

Governance – Good governance is foundational to our business, and all aspects of ESG. We cannot thrive without paying attention to our compliance obligations. Our business seeks to go beyond the concept of ‘box-ticking’ and embed compliance into the heart of our business. Governance factors within our business could include: our company structure; our communication and reporting practices; and embedding our policies into meaningful practices. 

Environmental, social and governance issues do not exist in a silo. ESG is about bringing them together under one banner to demonstrate the positive impact our business is having on the world.  We believe that by driving forward our ESG efforts it will help us to live our values in our everyday working relationships, practices and behaviors. These are:

  • Do the right thing
  • To dare is to do
  • No egos
  • In it together
  • Go home proud

 

This policy will inform how we aim to do this from an ESG perspective.

Scope

This policy does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services, and we may amend it at any time.

Our ESG commitment

Environment: our statement on climate change and the environment

We are committed to driving down our energy and carbon impacts, as we believe that climate change is one of the greatest risks to our world. Our sustainability program is committed to environmentally sustainable initiatives that deliver efficiency, value, and health for our business, our People, and the wider community.

We actively promote a paper-free office. We regularly support our clients to avoid printing and we will make all endeavors to be a digital-first business.

We seek to comply with current environmental legislation and work to minimize the impact of our activities on the environment.

We support full communication and disclosure with our staff and wider stakeholders on our progress against climate-related performance indicators, including our progress to becoming a carbon neutral business.

Social: our statement on social responsibility

Our focus is to deepen relationships with our key stakeholders by investing in our employees and partnering with our customers, communities, investors and suppliers.

We are committed to engage with our employees to provide a challenging, dynamic, inclusive and diverse work environment that supports their professional development, as well as promoting a good work-life balance that prioritizes their overall health and wellness.

We will support initiatives that benefit the environment, human welfare and education. This includes skills training that advance workforce talent pipelines for our customers and economic development in the communities in which we operate 

We will engage employees, customers and suppliers around safety, health, and wellness.

Governance: our statement on ethical governance

Our focus is to promote strong oversight, transparency and risk management at all levels of our organization, ensuring the resilience and long-term preservation of value for our business.

We will maintain strong corporate governance practices through exemplary board stewardship, management accountability, and proactive risk management.

We will mitigate risk exposure and build the resilience of our business to climate change through smart design and sighting.

We are committed to high ethical standards through a strong Code of Conduct, ongoing ethics training, and executive leadership that promotes a culture of integrity.

We cultivate strong stakeholder relationships through transparency, open communications, and responding to stakeholder input.

We establish clear and effective governance for ESG, set goals and establish accountability. This is set through our ESG committee and reported to our board. 

Your role to play in ESG

As a member of our business and our community, you have a vital responsibility to ensure our organization thrives. When it comes to ESG, this means understanding your role in each area of ESG. You can start to do this by familiarizing yourself with the concept of ESG, such as through this policy, and also our strategic objectives around ESG. You should know: 

  •   Our strategic ESG goals
  •   How we plan to achieve them and over what time
  •   Your individual and team contribution to those goals
  •   How to discuss our ESG goals with customers and third parties
  •   Where to report potential concerns or actions which go against our policy

 

On an individual level, you have an important role to play in meeting our ESG objectives. Here’s how:

Environmental – We all have a role to play in reducing carbon emissions and getting to net zero. While as a business we are setting organization-level targets, consider the choices you make and the environmental impact. For instance: 

  •  When travelling, are there more environmentally friendly options to take?
  •   Can some meetings be done remotely instead of travelling?
  •   Think before you print
  •   Does the office have recycling and energy saving measures?
 

Social – Building a diverse and inclusive workforce where everyone feels valued is everyone’s responsibility. Understanding your role in bringing People together is critical to our success as a business. From hiring the best talent to encouraging all staff to thrive, we want a workplace where People proactively work to be the best. You can help by:

  •   Challenging and reporting discriminatory or offensive behavior
  •   Understanding our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
  •   Being an active ally for groups often underrepresented
  •   Leading by example in your work
 

Governance – Good governance goes beyond having the right policies and procedures in place. It’s about embedding compliance in your day-to-day work. From completing training on time to actively understanding how regulations affect your work, good governance starts from the individual acting ethically. Take governance to heart by:

  •   Referring to policies and procedures instead of shortcuts
  •   Being aware of red flags for compliance failures and risks in your area of work
  •   Don’t be afraid to call out poor behavior or report failures
 

Our responsibility to our customers

We have an obligation to our customers to offer them the best service. Customers are at the heart of our business, and without these partnerships our business wouldn’t exist. Part of that commitment to customers is about responding to their needs, hearing their concerns and committing ourselves to customer satisfaction.

ESG priorities are drawn not only from investor concerns but customer needs. Customers are asking how we are improving the world around us. How are we protecting our shared natural heritage, investing in our communities and being good corporate citizens? It is imperative on us as a business that all of our interactions with customers are reflective of who they expect us to be. And that is a partner in their own enterprise. A company they are proud to work with and recommend.

ESG and our supply chains

Traditional risks in supply chains were generally about quality, cost effectiveness and reliability. But seen through an ESG lens, the holistic nature of the third parties, from how they source raw materials to how they treat workers and comply with accepted standards are just as vital. 

Ethical procurement gets to the heart of the supply chain. When we consider the entire supply chain, from raw material supplier to end use customer, we can better understand the needs and impacts of our business’s decisions within those relationships. Ethical procurement within the context of ESG means paying attention to the carbon impacts of a supplier, and the labor practices of an end-user.

We are committed to procuring our suppliers ethically by:

Undertaking risk assessments of the value chain in order to identify key vulnerabilities based on supplier and customer needs.

  • Real-time tracking and traceability over suppliers and movements of goods and services. We will try, where possible, to support high quality suppliers within a local geographical perimeter.
  • Carrying out ESG due diligence on suppliers to evaluate and rank them based on their ESG profile and track record, and monitoring for ESG breaches.
  • Investigate ESG incidents that take place in the value chain, have remediation plans ready and manage financial and reputational damage.
  • Build robust internal governance frameworks to respond to ESG issues in the value chain.
 

Monitoring and enforcement

The key objectives of our ESG committee are to:

  •  Emphasize the importance of environmental measures, sustainability goals and performance, at all levels of the business.
  •  Promote, monitor implementation of and communicate progress against the strategic ESG objectives across the business – highlighting barriers to implementation both upwards to the Board and across the organization to our People
  • Provide best practice on the structure, policies and regulations that impact the business
  • Increase understanding and awareness of corporate governance and social aspects that impact the industry


Active participation and engagement at all levels of the business is of great importance to ensure ownership of ESG by all staff. At minimum, we endeavor to maintain compliance with legislative requirements.

Line managers have day-to-day responsibility for this policy and you should refer any questions about this policy to them in the first instance.

Any breaches or concerns, including ethical concerns or potential breaches in our commitment to high ethical standards should be reported as soon as possible through our whistleblowing Policy.

Review and maintenance

This policy is generally reviewed annually by the Board. Changes to this policy may be made at any time with or without notice.

 APPENDIX A: KEY DEFINITIONS

People

Our People include employees (whether part time, full time, fixed term or permanent); casual workers, agency workers, contractors, delegates on secondment, volunteers, interns, apprentices, job applicants, third-party providers and partners.