Environment

Our vision

To ensure our decision making and operations are mindful of the environment while enhancing our competitiveness.

Our approach

We are creating a culture that adopts technologies, materials and processes to ensure we minimise our impact on the environment.

Vitec’s products and processes

We continue to implement initiatives aimed at sustaining and protecting the environment, in the areas of research and development, production, packaging and waste disposal. 

Our products and services have a low impact on the environment. We use low-hazard materials, we minimise the use of resources during the manufacturing process and we search for materials that are sustainable and can be recycled and reused. Our efforts and environmental awareness have continued to evolve, not only to comply with regulations but also to make our business better. By putting in place a proper environmental management system we are reducing operating costs and business risks, while ensuring sustainability.

Vitec’s green practices

As part of our commitment to responsible business practices, we have continued initiatives aimed at reducing energy, paper and water use, encouraging recycling and proper waste disposal, and promoting a culture of sustainability among our employees. 

We monitor and track our usage of electricity, gas and water across our manufacturing, warehouse and administrative sites and make efforts, where possible, to reduce our usage both to reduce costs and the impact on the environment. Many buildings within the Group have timer and motion sensors for lighting to save on electricity usage. Other buildings have programmable thermostats that are centrally managed to optimise the building’s heating and cooling needs, therefore maintaining a steady temperature.

The Broadcast Division’s Shelton site has initiated a project to reduce the light usage on site by 50%. They are replacing all light fixtures with LED lights which last ten times longer than a regular incandescent bulb and are four times more energy efficient.

The electricity contracts with Green Certificates at the Italian sites were renewed in 2015, confirming the commitment to use energy generated by renewable sources.

The Photographic Division’s sites in Cassola and Feltre in Italy and the Broadcast Division’s site in Costa Rica had their ISO 14001 status confirmed in 2015 showing that these operations have designed and implemented effective environmental management systems. 

The Group’s electricity, gas and water usage per £million of Group revenue over the last five years is set out below.

* The figures for 2014 have been re-stated following receipt of final invoices for consumption during 2014 that were not available at the time of publication of the 2014 Annual Report.

Our electricity, gas and water usage based on usage per £million of Group revenue

The table below shows the quantities of materials that were recycled in 2015 (2014 are shown in brackets) at our major manufacturing sites in the UK, Italy and Costa Rica. All measurements are in kilograms.

Feltre, Italy Bury St Edmunds, UK Cartago, Costa Rica
Aluminium – 62,424 (56,825) Aluminium – 22,800 (26,620) Aluminium – 53,010 (29,480)
Iron & Steel – 58,612 (40,703) Steel – 6,450 (5,660) Iron & Steel – 9,650 (12,900)
Paper & Cardboard – 70,798 (85,600) Paper & Cardboard – 30,600 (33,200) Paper & Cardboard – 21,000 (26,130)
Plastic – 17,036 (18,101) Plastic – 2,500 (1,500) Plastic – 3,590 (4,610)
Wood – 16,025 (9,560) Wood – 8,290 (14,000) -
Carbon fibre – 3,361 (1,770) Carbon fibre – 460 (1,390)
Copper, Bronze and Brass – 130 (380) Brass – 2,660 (6,440) -
Magnesium – 2,075 (1,069) Magnesium – 750 (980)
Packaging Mixed Material – 13,290 General Waste – 20,500 (18,850) -

The recycling largely covers the cost of waste management at our main manufacturing sites while similar recycling initiatives are carried out at our smaller manufacturing sites. Offices and manufacturing sites throughout the Group have waste recycling points to enable the sorting of waste into different recycling streams (paper, glass, plastics, ink toners, electronic waste and batteries).

This Annual Report is produced using vegetable-based inks and materials approved by The Forest Stewardship Council. We also encourage our shareholders to receive the Annual Report electronically thereby saving on production and distribution resources and costs.

Most of the Group’s operating sites including the Head Office, Divisional head offices and business units have video conference facilities in place enabling employees to video conference with both internal and external parties, reducing the need for business travel.

In accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Directors Reports) Regulations and the requirement to report on greenhouse gas emissions, we have developed processes to accurately capture and report all material Scope 1 and 2 emissions as defined by the Greenhouse Gas protocol as of 31 December 2015. We have applied the financial control basis for our reporting boundary. These emissions have been recorded at 21 of our major operating sites in the 12 months to 30 September 2015, and arise from on-site energy use and any fugitive emissions, and transport from owned vehicles. We have identified these major operating sites as the material sites for the Group for this requirement as it covers our principal sites: Feltre, Italy; Bury St Edmunds, UK; Cartago, Costa Rica; Burbank, US; Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK; Irvine, US; and Shelton, US. These sites account for over 95% of the Group by revenue. We have excluded our smaller sites as their size and scale of operations are not material with respect to their Scope 1 and 2 emissions. For this reporting year we have included SmallHD that was acquired in December 2014 and was therefore excluded from the 2014 year end numbers. As well as enabling the reporting of emissions, this information will enable us to identify potential cost savings going forward.

Our most significant emissions arise from the use of electricity which makes up all our Scope 2 emissions. Approximately two thirds of our Scope 1 emissions arise from the use of natural gas with the remainder mostly arising from transport fuel. All our emissions have been calculated using the latest Defra conversion factors available here.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the period from 1 October
2014 to 30 September 2015 (Tonnes of CO2 equivalent)
2015 2014
Scope 1 emissions 1,599 1,653
Scope 2 emissions 4,458 4,923
Total gross emissions 6,057 6,576
Total carbon emissions per £m of Group revenue 19.1 21.2

We have selected a reporting date of 30 September each year to enable accurate data to be collated to compile the table above in time for inclusion in this Annual Report. We have conducted an internal review to check the completeness and accuracy of the reported data.

Potential areas of saving have been identified in our larger production sites in the UK, Italy and Costa Rica. These include energy efficient lighting, staff awareness, regular maintenance programmes, optimisation of machinery and equipment switch off, and optimisation of control around air conditioning. Associated capital requirements and payback periods will be assessed as opportunities arise to identify the best opportunities to pursue, balancing the need to deliver on other business priorities in 2016 and beyond.

In 2015, the Company carried out an audit in conjunction with a third party at its UK sites of Bury St Edmunds, Ashby-de-la- Zouch, Twickenham, Byfleet and Richmond upon Thames to identify cost effective energy reduction opportunities at each of the sites to comply with the requirements of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet qualification criteria (employing more than 250 employees or an annual turnover greater than £38million), with assessments to be carried out every 4 years from 2015 onwards. The audit covered the period from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 and identified an energy consumption for the UK sites of 5,082,642 KwH/year. The audit identified opportunities to save on energy consumption including opportunities to introduce an energy management system, improved lighting and heating systems and other operational measures. The audit has been filed with the Environment Agency in compliance with ESOS regulations and each of the sites has the detail of the report to review opportunities to implement recommendations balancing the capital costs and estimated payback periods.