Working towards a more sustainable future - six ways the Home Affairs and Justice sector can act now
April 01, 2021
Spurred by the pandemic, regulators and the public want more action on climate change and social value. And business leaders in our CEO Survey are putting more emphasis on environmental and social agendas.
With Build Back Better and the 2050 Net Zero target also requiring the Home Affairs and Justice sector to cut emissions and add social value, what strategies will help it align purpose, regulatory and legal requirements to match current public sentiment? We believe organisations should focus on these six things:
1. Measurement and reporting
Organisations need to better monitor progress of their Net Zero and social value strategies, factoring in their supply chain. High-level ethics statements aren’t enough. The public now demands in-depth information and statistics on actual impact. Financing for major projects will also need greater consideration of environmental and social aspects in line with the Treasury’s revised Green Book guidance. Another governance consideration will be how departments like the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Home Office and Attorney General drive accountability and responsibility throughout their devolved agencies.
2. Supply chain due diligence
The MoJ already has supplier requirements in their procurement process, ranging from understanding their partners’ business strategies to reviewing data on energy usage and carbon emissions. Extending similar obligations throughout the sector’s complex supply chain will be challenging but necessary, as it widens its network to meet the target of sourcing more government contracted spend from small and medium enterprises by next year.
3. Estates strategy
About 70% of greenhouse gas emissions come from infrastructure. Switching to LED lighting at HMP Elmley reduced CO2 emissions by 183 tonnes annually, an example of a change that can be applied across the whole estate and the estates of other organisations in the sector. With the second largest estate in Government, MOJ has the scope to harness solar and wind energy generation resources for their prison and court buildings. Other possibilities include the decarbonisation of heat through heat pumps, combined heat and power (CHP) schemes and biomass heating.
4. Low Emission Fleet
More police forces, including the Met and Gloucestershire, are testing low-emission vehicles - hydrogen fueled and fully electric - and extending the range of fully electric vehicles means they can now be used for front-line policing work. Other organisations with large fleets within the sector, including other police forces, the MoJ and Home Office can apply the benefits from these trials to their own fleets.
5. Partnership with the private sector
Infrastructure is often delivered through collaboration between public and private entities, whether in design, construction, operations, maintenance or finance. This creates opportunities to share capabilities and experience, as well as leading to new joint initiatives in the environmental and climate change domain. Furthermore, this collaboration will be important in the area of social value. An example of public/private sector partnership in this area is the Unlocked Graduates initiative, supported by PwC, which enables talented graduates to work as prison officers for two years, providing new ideas to improve the service and help reduce re-offending.
6. Workforce and people strategy
The size and reach of their workforce provides real opportunities for Home Affairs and Justice organisations to drive their sustainability agendas. Social mobility alongside diversity and inclusion should be key aspects of their workforce strategies. Fostering a culture of personal and collective commitment to sustainability policies will mean daily decisions are influenced by environmental and social considerations. Furthermore, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of employees in the longer term is an important part of their social responsibility. As part of this extending flexible and virtual working beyond the pandemic, minimising commuting, office and infrastructure requirements, will benefit both the environment and staff wellbeing.
We’d love to talk to you about what your organisation can do to assist in meeting the #NetZero and #SocialValue agenda. Please get in touch.