5 minutes with… Michael McGowan MSc

Following on from the release of our Annual Sustainability Report, we spent 5 minutes with Quality, Environmental & Energy Manager, Michael McGowan, to find out more and what’s in store as we evolve as a responsible and sustainable business.

What do you do?

Our team focuses on supporting our businesses to ensure compliance with the UK and European Legislation and implement ways of lowering our impact on the environment through initiatives such as reducing energy and water consumption and carbon emissions. We also ensure that we source our raw materials responsibly, such as sand, additives and plastics, etc. We then report on these through the BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing Standard to ensure that we are continually improving our practices and standards. We are also focused on the future development of our business to ensure we’re evolving responsibly and sustainably in all these areas and more into the future.

That sounds like a lot?

Yes, there’s over 60 pieces of government legislation that we have to comply with and report against each year such as greenhouse gases reporting for example. This is mandatory so we gather all the data from across our businesses to help us measure and understand the impact of our carbon emissions on the environment.

What do you mean by ‘evolving responsibly and sustainably?’

We are very mindful of the impact our business has not only on the environment but on our people and on the communities in which we operate. So it’s really important that we ensure we’re being responsible for our people through, for example, excellent Health & Safety and career development practices, recruiting responsibly and ensuring we are having a positive impact on our local communities through our involvement in community projects and making use of local businesses wherever possible, so that we are contributing to the growth of our local economies.

What will be your focus for the next 12-18 months?

Our focus will be on continuing to maintain and improve upon our high standards in environment, energy and responsible sourcing practices. We’ll be focused on how we can further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and save energy by exploring alternative sources such as solar and wind power. We’ll also be developing a new group-wide roadmap of targets and metrics aligned to our 4 pillars: Economic, Social, Natural Resources and Environmental which will help us focus even more on being a responsible and sustainable organisation.

What can people do to get involved?

Everyone can get involved by doing the little things like switching off power when not in use – this is especially important in a factory environment where you have much higher power consumption than at home – recycling, as a business we recycle millions of litres of water every year and we’re really proud of that. But it’s not just about doing these things through the work environment, we can all be doing much more at home too. It might not seem like you’re having an impact but if everyone did their bit, think of the difference it would make!

View the full Sustainability Report here.