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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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Sustainable Service Performance – why it's personal to Barbara Plucnar Jensen

Barbara Plucnar Jensen, CFO – ISS UK & Ireland and Executive sponsor of the ‘Sustainable Service Performance’ pillar of our ThinkForward@ISS CR strategy tells us why driving change sometimes means getting personal
Barbara Jensen_blueIt has been fantastic to play a key part in the growth of the ThinkForward@ISS Sustainable Service Performance Pillar. Over the last 2 years I have been the Executive Sponsor of the Pillar and have regularly met key parties to review progress and lead change in the business. I wanted to take this opportunity to share part the journey of our ThinkForward@ISS sustainability progress to 2020.

The catastrophic impacts we are witnessing globally as a result of climate change and unsustainable resources use are challenging us to think about the way we operate as a business. We are seeing new and great needs to make conscious decisions, as clients and their customers now have greater expectations for our business to provide a more sustainable approach to what we deliver, including how we can support them in their own sustainability initiatives. 

Sustainability is an important issue to me on a personal level. My daughter has always inspired my thinking and challenged me to ensure that our family is responsibly buying, using and disposing of everyday items. For me, it is key to making sure that the generations to come are best equipped to deal with a continuously changing world. 

From a business point of view, ISS sits in a very unique and important position whereby we are able to engage with our clients, their customers and the supply chain to increase our combined sustainability performance. We are leading the dialogue and challenging key suppliers to provide more sustainable solutions for us and our clients. A great example of this is the single use plastics agenda. Traditional media and social media has accelerated the plastics agenda to become a key priority for our clients and the public. The Food Services business made the decision in 2017 to switch to Vegware compostables to replace most of the plastics available in their restaurants saving approximately 105 tonnes of raw materials that year. 

The importance of Thinkforward@ISS and sustainability will continue to grow when attracting the best talent globally. Increasing numbers of young people put sustainability and corporate responsibility at the top of their agenda when looking at organisations to work for. By sharing our great stories, we can show that ISS is an employer who makes sustainability a key priority and highlight our influence on a global scale. 

Since rolling out of the Global Energy & Sustainability training module on E-Learning, hosted on the MyLearning platform in April 2018, we have had almost 2,500 participants. This platform provides further opportunity to monitor our level of awareness and competence in increasing sustainability amongst our people. Almost 500 people have received our IEMA approved Environmental Management With A Human Touch training course with around a 95% first time pass rate, exhibiting the existing level of environmental knowledge and understanding within the business. 

ThinkForward@ISS has been instrumental in changing the way we engage with our employees -  with over 40,000 employees, it can be difficult to give individuals such as myself a feeling of involvement and achievement in sustainability activities. Earth Hour and the ZWC have transformed the way we look at campaigns. Using the myISS and pledge platforms to capture your participation and the ThinkForward@ISS case study pages and social media to share your stories, enables us to modernise our approach and capture achievements in each event in a more tangible way. The Zero Waste Challenges on World Environment Day 2017 and 2018 have seen a combined 28,500 people worldwide try and go ‘zero waste’ for one day. Potentially eliminating 143,000 items from ISS and client bins. We need to continue to use these platforms to raise awareness.

Together, we have made a difference, and our achievements have been well recognised externally with great feedback from the WWF UK for Earth Hour 2018, and success in awards such as the Edie National Sustainability Leaders and ISS Waste’s BIFM awards with both wins and shortlistings. We need to continue to use these platforms to bring everyone together and continue to make a difference.

In 2016 I oversaw the establishment of our carbon, energy and waste baselines and the 2022 long term objectives within the Sustainable Service Performance Pillar. It was exciting to see the progress of our objectives and targets through new KPIs from the tonnes of carbon to percentages recycled, to aim to take out kilograms of food waste or surplus donated to charities. Through these objectives and targets we have seen considerable progress on the way to 2020 and our 2025 Courthauld food waste reduction commitment. 

In 2018 we achieved our 2020 carbon reduction objective 3 years early. We made strong reductions in our largest footprint, our fleet fuel use and additionally our Technical Services fleet of engineers showed best practice in achieving their Masternaut Gold award for use of telematics in increasing efficiency. In our estate, we made significant steps towards making our properties more sustainable. Our Head Office is today located in a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building. In our estate we have switched to 100% renewable electricity and connected key offices in a pledge for better sustainability.

It’s important that we acknowledge that the exit of our routebased Landscaping business in 2018 has had a large effect on the size and mix of our carbon footprint, and the divestment was a major factor in the accelerated achievement of our overall 2020 reduction objective and our estate and fleet targets. To meet future objectives and targets we will need to work harder, set more ambitious objectives and targets and being increasingly proactive in how we meet them. On every site and in every team we should be ambitious and decide how to help reduce our combined carbon footprint. 

I look forward to watch ISS grow as a sustainability leader of the sector. Looking towards 2022 we need to continue to challenge ourselves to be more ambitious with our personal sustainability targets and take an active role in making ISS a more sustainable business. Use the ISS platforms to share your great stories and experiences with all your colleagues and teams. It has been a pleasure for me to be able to challenge ThinkForward@ISS to achieve Sustainable Service Performance and realise the tangible benefits we have seen throughout its journey.
 

Find out more...

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About our ThinkForward@ISS Sustainable Service Performance Pillar...

Jonny 
Mobbs, UK Environmental Business Partner - ISS UK

Email Jonny