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Our ESG goals – 2023 in review

Churchill’s actionable methods for tracking and reporting progress towards our 2040 net zero goal fit into an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework. We have made considerable changes in the past year to ensure our group of specialist businesses are environmentally sustainable, socially valuable, and successful.  Key to this was submitting our reduction targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The global initiative will help us define our targets for carbon reduction and was detailed in our previous sustainability blog.

We are honoured to have been awarded the Rising Star award from the SFMI annual report for 2023 and have been shortlisted for the Edie Sustainable Business of the Year Award. As we continue to grow, our focus on ensuring the best levels of sustainable business is essential.

Environment – Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

In 2023, our annual turnover increased by 16%, and our workforce by 19%. In that same period, across the business, our entire emissions footprint increased by 9%, showing positive signs of decoupling the business’ growth from the consumption of fossil fuels.

In terms of Scope 3 emissions, our employee commuting and remote worker emissions have increased by 15% due to far greater data quality following our 2023 employee commuter survey. Our purchased goods and services have also increased by 7%. However, the footprint of our capital goods – the assets we use in our operations – has reduced by 12%.

Overall, our Scope 1 emissions have increased by 6%, and our Scope 3 have increased by 10%. However, our Scope 2 emissions have been reduced by 23% as we have scaled down our location-based electricity.

In terms of electricity, one of our major 2024 goals is to grow our electric fleet to reduce our Scope 1 emissions. Currently, 6.6% of our fleet is electric, an increase of 4.1% from last year.

Though only a small portion of our vehicle fleet for now, there has been a 108% increase in EV miles travelled in 2023, in comparison to 2022. The introduction of more fully electric vehicles coupled with improvements in hybrid technologies and cleaner more efficient engine vehicles meant that in 2023, whilst company miles travelled increased by 13%, the fleet footprint increased by only 5% YoY.

This month, we formally kicked off our fleet electrification project with Zenith, the initial phase focuses on capturing real-time telemetry to identify EV opportunities across the fleet, meaning that we can accelerate the transition to EV by better informing our drivers and operations teams. By introducing more electric vehicles to our working fleet, following the success of the first integrations, we can continue working towards our science-based emissions targets.

Social initiatives

We encourage our employees to give back to their communities and the initiatives they care about. That’s why full-time employees are given two volunteer days a year. Since July 1662 hours of volunteering have been logged by 364 Churchill employees.

We have also worked with multiple charities to develop outreach initiatives in various areas, including the armed forces, care leavers, employee domestic abuse, education, and support for refugees.

These groups often face increased barriers to employment and lack long-term sustainable employment opportunities. This year, Churchill has recruited 16 employees from these groups. Our dedication to creating a positive impact goes beyond our business objectives, actively contributing to the well-being of the broader community.

We also work with Smart Works, a charity that provides clothing and coaching for women who face employment barriers, like homelessness, job centre reliance, or prison leavers. Our employees have set up donation points for clothes at their work sites, so women can access suitable clothing for interviews.

We are also working with the Drive Forward Foundation, which aids young people leaving foster or residential care in gaining employment. We were introduced to the initiative through the Care Leavers Covenant, upon signing their pledge to make a difference in caring for experienced young people. The relationship has grown from strength to strength, and we now have two divisions from the business supporting.

Our colleagues have worked hard to make a difference; mentoring young people moving from care into living independent lives, supporting them with employability confidence, and networking to create opportunities for them. Many are now able to see and feel what it’s like to work in the FM industry, opening opportunities for sustainable careers.

This year, we welcomed care-experienced young people for a dedicated Insight Day at our London office. Attendees had an introduction to our business, the FM industry, and an opportunity to network with leaders and hiring managers from our cleaning, transport, security, and guest services divisions, as well as participate in interactive group activities and mock interviews. The day was a huge success, and it was a pleasure to host such an inspirational group of young people.


Earlier this year, we became an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT). Becoming an EOT means that employees are central to our growth as an organisation and that they have a share in our success.

On the horizon, we are aware of the increase in mandated governance frameworks. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is one such framework making global headlines; we expect our participation in the TCFD to be mandated in a short number of years.

We have already begun upskilling senior management and several key departments across the business in what TCFD is and the wider impacts of climate change on businesses like ours. In early 2024, we are hosting educational workshops to ensure that a TCFD project team is established to prepare the business far in advance of mandated reporting.

Following TCFD guidance will help ensure Churchill’s resilience to climate-related issues through careful and appropriate scenario analysis ensuring that staff, customers, and our business remain safe and sustainable.

Looking ahead

Our progress in waste management, emissions reductions, charity work and governance schemes ensure that Churchill becomes the most sustainable version of itself for our staff, clients, and the public.

To read more about our sustainable initiatives, read our previous 2023 blogs on SBTi, sustainable workwear, and our partnership with Bunzl.