Corporate Social Responsibility, or ‘CSR’ to use its acronym, covers a wide spectrum of topics, amongst them; Human Rights and Labour Practices, Ethics, the Environment and Emissions.
Operating ethically has always been at the forefront of Ital Logistics, having always paid above industry averages, and always ensuring that all our employees are treated well. From day one it just came natural to do so. As such, it didn’t seem high on the agenda to put it all in writing when developing our business.
It is easy to write a policy to tick a box, but this is meaningless if there is no desire to actively pursue its content. Clearly it is a minefield, and one can easily understand why the creation of multiple (and somewhat repetitive) policies slip to the back of the queue. Especially when you are already operating respectfully, and doing what you can to reduce environmental impact.
Of course, we have since put pen to paper, and in July 2022 we did our first assessment on EcoVadis, a globally recognised assessment platform that rates businesses’ sustainability based on four key categories: environmental impact, labour and human rights standards, ethics, and procurement practices. We achieved Bronze standard with a score of 51/100.
On re-assessment in August 2023, our score had increased to 61/100 achieving Silver standard, placing us 79th percentile, and in the top 25% of companies assessed on EcoVadis. Our highest scores came from our Ethics, alongside our Labour Practices and Human Rights, which is truly reflective of our Company’s standards.
But it doesn’t stop there. We also expect our suppliers to be equally conscious of the principals surrounding the primary topics of CSR, and operate accordingly.
Human Rights, Labour Practices and Ethics
When recruiting new people, we always seek to employ the right person for the role in question, irrespective of gender, nationality or religion. We don’t have targets to procure employees from either, just to be seen to balance the numbers. We don’t discriminate, but what will be, will be.
We reward our people well. In addition to above industry remuneration, we also provide medical insurance and death in service benefits for all. Flexible working and working from home is also made available, so long as it bears little impact on the operation as a whole.
We hold high ethical standards, and have done since inception. Our mantra is to provide a quality, reliable and personalised service, with openness, honesty and integrity.
We also engage with our colleagues to share the responsibilities of monitoring ourselves in areas such as; bribery and corruption, health and safety, mental health and well-being, with an open door for discussion, taking any corrective action necessary.
We also like to support charitable initiatives, whether these be by our employees being directly involved, or contributing time and resources, as well as financial support, for many causes. We have even taken a truck load of aid, including case-packing two statues (one of the Madonna) on the back of a vehicle outside the church who made the collection, to L’Aquila following the earthquake some years ago.
As a freight forwarder, excluding the impact of vehicle emissions, we believe that we have done everything we can to mitigate our environmental impact. Small things, but contributory.
On moving to our current premises at the end of 2014, we immediately changed the existing lighting across the warehouses and offices to motion-censored LEDs, replacing the inefficient halogen lighting. At the same time we purchased hybrid fork lift trucks, which have recently been renewed, but with the same technology.
All of our waste is collected by a local company who recycles, sending an average of 25% to energy resources, with just an average of less than 2% in the last 6 months going to landfill.
We have changed all company cars to fully electric vehicles, with just 2 vehicles being plug in hybrid vehicles, and have installed four charge points for all our employees to use, and without charge.
Our bespoke software system is as near virtual as our industry will allow, thwarted slight by the tumult of additional documentation still required in hard copy following Brexit. Having said that, as soon as this can be further digitalised, we shall ensure that we convert this to digital.
Furthermore, we are also looking to facilitate the e-CMR protocol, pending Italy to accede, which has additional benefits as well as removing the paper-based format.
Oh yes, one more thing, we planted a 30 metre beech hedge in 2015.
Our current project is regarding emissions for which we have developed our CO₂ulator. This will enable us to calculate CO₂e emissions for each job, considering all parts of its journey. An added advantage of using our sister company’s domestic transport provides us greater control and accuracy at a domestic level as opposed to using average data publicly available.
Similarly, working closely with our foreign partners, we hope to be able to use more precise data where available. And additionally, by calculating all other emissions which are unrelated to transport, these can also be incorporated to provide a much fuller picture.