Our vision

To ensure we limit our negative impact on the environment and protect the natural resources we rely on, creating long-term sustainability for the business.

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Our approach

We adopt technologies, materials and processes that ensure we minimise our impact on the environment and maximise our use of sustainable resources.

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Vitec's products and processes

We continue to implement initiatives aimed at sustaining and protecting the environment in the areas of energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, water use and waste; and sustainable use of materials, packaging and waste disposal. We also encourage a culture of environmentally sustainable behaviour at work and ensure that our employees understand how they can contribute.

Our products and services have a low impact on the environment. We use low hazard materials, minimise the use of resources during the manufacturing process and search for materials that are sustainable and can be recycled or reused. Our efforts and environmental awareness have continued to evolve, not only to comply with regulations but also to make our business better.

In H1 2018, a new centre will open in Bury St. Edmunds to house Production Solutions manufacturing and engineering plant, as well as many of the Division's operational functions in the UK. Replacing the 50-year old existing factory, the new centre is purpose-built for modern manufacturing, and will specialise in advanced technology in areas such as robotics, automation and broadcast studio equipment. It will include a unique manufacturing process for the development of carbon fibre for the Flowtech tripod.

The site will house up to 200 staff, comprising engineers, sales and marketing, operational support and manufacturing personnel. The facility's main challenge is to meet the needs of this diverse group, whilst improving work flow, efficiency, productivity and space utilisation. A cross-functional design team was engaged to meet this challenge.

The new site is 66,000 square feet and is one third smaller than the previous location, making effective space utilisation imperative. The goal is to reduce the use of electricity by 30% and gas by 60% through a combination of factors including: the introduction of LED lighting throughout; no requirement for heating in the factory due to improved thermal properties; and three new compressors that will deliver further electrical use savings and a new, more efficient paint oven.

Another key change will be the improved flow of materials from the assembly area to the shop floor; this will reduce travel time thereby cutting energy and improving efficiency. We will report more fully on this in the 2018 Annual Report.

New manufacturing and operational centre in Bury St. Edmunds, UK.

New manufacturing and operational centre in Bury St. Edmunds, UK.

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Energy use

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.

Many buildings within the Group have timer and motion sensors for lighting to save on electricity usage. Our new site at Bury St. Edmunds, UK and our Production Solutions site in Costa Rica now have LED lighting throughout, which will significantly cut their electricity usage. Other buildings have programmable thermostats that are centrally managed to optimise the building's heating and cooling needs.

The electricity contracts with Green Certificates at our two main sites in Italy were renewed last year until 2021, confirming Vitec's commitment to use energy generated by renewable sources. Sites in Italy and Costa Rica continue to maintain their ISO 14001 compliance which were renewed in 2017.

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Greenhouse gas reporting

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 2016. We have applied the financial control basis for our reporting boundary. These emissions have been recorded at 20 of our operating sites in the 12 months to 30 September 2017, and arise from on-site energy use and any fugitive emissions, and transport from owned vehicles.

We have identified the following major operating sites as the material sites for the Group for this requirement: Feltre, Italy; Bury St. Edmunds, UK; Cartago, Costa Rica; 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 Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

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 of our emissions have been calculated using the latest Defra conversion factors available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversionfactors-2016.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the period from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017 (Tonnes of CO2 equivalent)

  2017 2016
Scope 1 emissions 1,647 1,709
Scope 2 emissions 3,106 4,353
Total gross emissions 4,753 6,062
Total carbon emissions per £m of Group revenue 13.5 16.1

We have selected a reporting date of 30 September each year to enable accurate data to be collated to compile the Greenhouse Gas Emissions disclosure in time for inclusion in this Annual Report.

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Sustainable resource management

Various initiatives around the Group took place in 2017 to build on our work to reduce the amount of waste created in our operations. We sort waste for recycling at our sites in Italy, the UK and Costa Rica using colour coded bins to improve segregation. At our factory in Bury St. Edmunds, UK, the improved waste stream segregation and labelling, combined with employee engagement in the process has resulted in 91% of all solid waste being diverted away from landfill, as well as a rebate for metal recycling from the site. Water free urinals and sensors for use of water for irrigation at our Costa Rican plant have also reduced water consumption. The introduction of print management software in Italy has significantly reduced paper wastage.

Recycling sorting bins at our site in Costa Rica

Recycling sorting bins at our site in Costa Rica

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Environmental awareness

Green Week events took place at our sites in both Italy and Costa Rica in 2017 to raise awareness amongst employees and share ideas on how to improve environmental impact. In Italy this took the form of a “Green to Work Week”, during which employees were encouraged to consider alternative ways to get to work, using either public transport, cycling or car sharing.

Children’s drawing contest as part of Environmental “Green to Work Week”.

Children’s drawing contest as part of Environmental “Green to Work Week”.