& Employee Report 2020
First edition, 2020
Our report up to July 2020 on BiU’s impact and targets
on the environment, industry, community, people, and net zero.
Welcome to our first edition sustainability report 3
Our responsibilities 4
Responsible consumption and ‘Rs’ 4
Responsible printing and paper 5
Responsible consultancy 6
Our impact on St Annes and Fylde Coast 7
Our building 7
Our community 8
Local education and continuous training 9
Our impact on the environment 10
Energy consumption 11
Our impact on our people 12
Values and culture 13
Mental and physical health 14
Welcoming new arrivals 15
Investing in our People 16
Sunday Times Best Small Company to Work For 17
Our COVID-19 response 18
To our employees 18
To our community 19
To our clients 19
Our impact on the industry 20
Energy champion 20
Energy advice hub 20
Our impact on net zero 21
What is net zero 21
Our net zero 2021 ambition 21
Welcome to our first
edition sustainability report
Since BiU’s inception in 1997 we have been totally committed to
caring for our colleagues, exceeding client’s expectations, and
making a positive impact on our local community and environment
here in St Annes. I was delighted when our impact on our people
was rewarded for the second time with the coveted ‘Sunday Times
Top 100 small businesses to work for’ accolade. Building on this
external recognition, we decided to publish our first sustainability
and employee report, outlining where we’ve come from, where we
are now, and also setting some ambitious targets for the next
couple of years, including becoming a net zero company.
We’re all concerned about a wide range of issues affecting
everything from the health of our people during Coronavirus through
to the lasting impact us and our clients have on the environment.
With that in mind we want to continually do better, be better and
demonstrate good practices internally and externally.
Being our baseline report, it is lengthy and detailed, and future
reports won’t be this wordy, we promise! Think of it as our first
edition, which we will reference going forward.
Making up our first sustainability team along with myself; our head
of carbon and energy optimisation (can explain in detail every
acronym known to man in sustainability); our communications
manager (a self-confessed 6Rs principle nerd); net zero champions
(volunteers supporting our goals across the company); and our
chief commercial officer (a renewable energy pioneer and all-thingsgreen
champion). I am pleased that this team embodies our values
in making BiU a sustainable and responsible company now, and for
We’ve outlined this report to cover our impact on our people, our
impact on our community, the environment and how we affect it,
our dedication to the energy industry, as well as how we continue to
adapt to Coronavirus.
I hope this report gives you an insight into BiU, and if you have any
questions, please do get in touch.
Chief Executive Officer, BiU
Finalist 2019 Energy Champion, Energy Institute
Responsible consumption and ‘Rs’
We are committed to being a sustainable company in the
purchasing, consumption, and waste of the products we use at
BiU. Consuming more, buying more, and wasting more, is not
sustainable, and it is not good business either.
We’ve enabled a suite of changes at BiU in recent years, which
are echoed in our ISO14001:2015 accreditation (the standard
for Environmental Management Systems). These include a
pledge to continue to support the 6Rs – reduce, reuse, rethink,
refuse, repair, and recycle.
In 2019 we enlisted a new waste removal partner that allowed
us to fully recycle paper, plastic, metals and glass responsibly
across our site.
Single use plastic bottles/cups.
200 reusable water bottles we've
now provided to staff, clients and
partners adds up to equivalent use
of 30,000 single use plastic bottles
Enviro-friendly hand dryers across
the company, reducing our yearly
paper towel use by 120,000 towels!
Single serve snack types swapped
for fruit towers and self-service
tubs of nuts and nibbles
Individual waste bins swapped in
favour of 6 department wide
Large boxes of crisp packets
sent for recycling!
Nespresso pod recycling
Bottle bins for fun Fridays
Eco-friendly mouthwash pots
New recycling waste partner and
mass IT cardboard recycling
Think digital before physical
Physical marketing activity to be reusable,
recyclable, biodegradable or rethought
We’ve committed to reduce paper usage by
20% by end of the financial year
Responsible printing and paper
We handle over 1 million utility bills annually, with approximately
92% being eBills – so for the remaining 8% we are conscious of
the level of paper and printing handled to process the billing
In 2019 we partnered with a new printing supplier that enables
us more control on the companywide settings to ensure
greyscale printing as default for all office activity and duplex
printing as standard to reduce print and paper usage.
If printing is not collected using the person-to-printer technology
by the end of the day the print queue is cleared, resulting in no
For our marketing materials, we enlist in environmentally
conscious practices, using print-houses that can either print on
recycled materials, or source paper/card materials that can
biodegrade safely or recycle responsibly. Even our packs can be
fully recycled, so much so, we state it on the packaging.
We are committed to promoting a paperless office except for
mandatory practices (HR and Finance).
Fossil fuels are finite, and as a responsible consultancy we can’t, and won’t, continue
to recommend fossil fuel sources of energy and we constantly challenge clients to
Our CEO was a pioneer in anaerobic digestion projects, we’ve a renewables team, and
proud that we’ve enabled over a quarter of our clients to use renewable energy
accounting for over 600 GWh of electricity.
In 2019, BiU became one of the leading UK energy consultants to offer innovative
renewable procurement solutions including CPPAs for the public sector, giving
hospitals, charities, councils and communities access to true renewable energy
By providing CPPAs we connect wind, solar and hydro energy generators in the UK to
energy consuming organisations, supporting British energy generation companies, in
turn creating green jobs in the renewable engineering and energy sectors.
To always recommend renewable
energy as the first option energy
source, for any organisation
Source our own renewable
energy to power BiU HQ
Our impact on St Annes and Fylde Coast
Since we started in 1997, we’ve been located in Lytham St Annes, on the Fylde Coast. Aged 15, our CEO Michael Abbott, started his
working life as a car park attendant on the pier, and now overlooks that very pier from his office. And we are proud to continually
support local tourism, events and activities from St Annes’ local festival weekend through to sponsoring St Annes’ International Kite
As BiU sits in the heart of St Annes, we feel
we have a responsibility to keep our
building looking in top condition from the
outside, not just inside. We want to present
the best possible face for the local people
as well as help the tourism economy.
We have a continuous improvement
program to make sure everything from the
front door fascia is clean, to the roof being
maintained. We use local tradesmen for all
work to support the local economy.
In 2020 we became an accredited
Love my Beach business.
St Annes Pier 7
Over the years BiU has been heavily active in supporting the local community in
volunteering and fundraising.
Up to now we’ve, cleaned our beaches, provided monthly food bank donations, picked
and packed for Mission Christmas Toy Appeal, volunteered at soup kitchens, took to the
streets to provide care packages for the homeless and their hounds, slept on the streets
to raise money for homeless local teens, and we have made sure to contribute to St
Anne’s festivals - from the local town St Annes festival to the International Kite Festival.
Every year, every person at BiU can have a paid day off for volunteering.
Meals made for Fylde Food Bank
In 2019 our Christmas ‘lunch trolley
dash’ event had staff going door-todoor
to high-street businesses for
goods which resulted in 475 meals
being made over the festive period for
Fylde Food Bank.
Beach Clean Up
Paid for volunteer days
donated to charity in 6 years
To enable and encourage
more staff to give a day for
charity with organised
charitable days per quarter
Local education and continuous training
Over the last 10 years we’ve worked with the local training authorities in helping build
Lancashire Energy HQ, a premier energy training facility, as well as contribute to
Blackpool and Fylde College work experience days, helping the Young Chamber of
Commerce, and provide interview training and workshops for sixth former leavers of
local schools and colleges.
Staff of all levels are provided with continuous professional development opportunities
through the year, whether that be books in a staff library to learn, or training events
both at BiU and 3 rd party providers.
During Covid-19 we continued our support for local education, by providing digital
virtual work experiences where our senior team recorded video introductions and
provided workbooks and activities to learn more about the profession and the energy
Lancashire Energy HQ
university and school leaver work
experience students across the
teams at BiU in Summer 2019 -
paid fully and had access to a
range of core BiU perks
Our impact on the environment
For several years we’ve held ISO14001:2015 status. The impact we make on the environment is important to us.
• Responsible printing and paper commitments
• Responsible consumption and recycling commitments
Reduce car mileage by 20% by
end of 2020 financial year
We encourage staff to commute via means other than car to the office – as a result we
do not have on-site parking.
We’re local to the railway, provide ample bike parking onsite (as well as changing
facilities) and for those who live locally, many walk. Less cars on the road helps our
personal carbon footprint, as well as help the country meet net zero goals.
At the start of 2019 we committed to reducing car usage by 20% by the end of the
financial year. With C-19 taking hold of the UK, our car usage reduced to 0%. We
therefore have a responsibility to not ‘get back in the car’ when office meetings
commence, and will adopt new practices to keep our car usage down, and review the
objective in 2021.
We have firmly embedded Microsoft Teams throughout the business to use video
conferencing facilities and have a new way of organising in-person meetings with our
new business and client teams which reduces one-touch-point journeys.
As an energy consultancy we know how easy it is to ‘waste’ energy, where energy
leaks occur in buildings and how to maximise efficiency of a building’s energy use
through behavioural change as well as technology tools.
We’re committed to reducing our energy consumption in 2020 compared to 2019. As
we develop our BiU Net Zero 2021 Pledge, we will set a benchmark, and lay out a
program to improve our energy consumption year on year.
This year we’ve already invested in; changing old high-energy consuming hand dryers
to faster, eco-friendly hand dryers; upgrades to our LED lights, and removing
unnecessary decorative lighting; and installation of PIR systems throughout meeting
rooms and low-footfall areas will make sure we’re only lighting what we need to, when
we need to. Even our new printers this year have a hibernate function when inactive
for 15 minutes.
We initiated a rolling upgrade of all staff workstations to bring their energy efficiency
up to standard, and dispose of all waste IT equipment appropriately, with many being
repurposed for home computers. Our computer settings are centrally controlled, giving
optimised energy efficiency settings - such as centrally managed sleep control for
when a computer has been in active for 15minutes, reducing consumption per PC to
around 3-5 watts from 100-120 watts if left idle (depending on make/model).
In the last 12 months we’ve replaced all of our old high-energy consuming plasma TVs
with energy efficient LED ones – which are all now on timers to turn on/off suitable to
occupancy levels of the office.
Reduce energy consumption year on year
to meet BiU 2021 Net Zero pledge
Staff are integral to us being a responsible
business. And when they speak, we listen. In
2019 staff proposed we plant some trees after
the devastating forest fires across the Amazon
– shortly after staff nominated 10 oak trees to
be planted in The National Forest to help
Now becoming a tradition, staff nominated the
purchase of another set of trees to be planted
in The National Forest, this time lime trees to
show our continuing support of the regrowth of
woodlands following the fires across Australia,
aid in CO 2 reduction and giving thanks to nature
for its time during and beyond C-19.
Our impact on our people
Values and culture
In 2019 we launched our new mission, vision, and values that underpin the DNA of BiU, fondly dubbed #OneBiU.
We challenge the norm, stand
out from the crowd and are
proud to do things differently
We own our words and
behaviour; the effect they have
on our colleagues, our
customers and our culture
We fuel a space that allows
people to create the new, push
the boundaries and think
We are in this together;
recognise a team is greater
than the sum of its parts and
we take our clients with us
Our #OneBiU programme is rewarded with #OneBiU Merits. Merits can be nominated by and
earned by all staff, from new starters to our CEO. We have a transparent online system where
merit nominations are recorded with context and against a value. In the last year, over 2,169
individual nominations have been sent for merit recognition. Merits are designed to recognise
every day little ways of saying thank you to larger scale thank yous for someone going above
and beyond to help a colleague.
Merits awarded in 12 months
from staff, to staff
When a member of staff achieves 20, 50 and 100 merits, they’re rewarded with a gift, and
nominations are celebrated during monthly company updates by our CEO.
Mental and physical health
We recognised it is important to not just look after our physical health at BiU, but
also our mental health. As a result, in the last 12 months changes have been made
to both areas of BiU to look after our impact on our people.
Gym & Physical Therapy
Cycle 2 Work
Food and Drinks
We subsidised 41 gym
memberships in the last 12
230 memberships in total.
Organised and heavily
subsidised sports and physical
therapy consultation and
We’ve always supported a cycling
scheme at BiU, with the summer
of 2020 seeing us upgrade our
provision to accommodate more
choice, better payment options
and more flexibility for our staff.
We’ve facilitated 44 bike
purchases, with 5 in June 2020.
We have inside bike parking at
BiU, and range of changing
facilities including showers.
From helping with finances, to
Covid-19 support, our health
assured scheme is completely
free for staff to use including
easy to access online support
or confidential phone
We also have several trained
mental first aiders at BiU.
Following a consultation with
staff we removed a range of
low-quality ‘nibbles’ for better
quality snacks such as nuts and
wider range of fruit to help
support better bodies and
minds. Supported with our
launch of our #OneBiU water
bottles for all staff to keep
To continually work with our staff through
consultations to provide the mental and
physical health resources they need
Friday fruit pots 14 14
Welcoming new arrivals
Our equality and diversity policy underpins our recruitment process and selection. BiU adopts a zero
tolerance to discrimination of any kind and openly encourages a discrimination free culture by the
dialogue we engage in with employees, promoting and donating to charities of diverse groups, which
filters through to the decision making on who we bring in to the company.
BiU offer an enhanced maternity cover for all our ladies to support
their new arrivals. And just because they may be on maternity,
they’re still looked after, from receiving our 20 gifts while working
from home during C-19 to enjoying our events and nights out. We
provided over 27 extended maternity covers, with 6 in the last year.
Maternity cover also offers an opportunity for our younger staff
to train-up and experience our range of roles at BiU, often leading
to full-time positions which are retained even once our team
members return. New dads enjoy flexible paternity where they
can take their leave in blocks of weeks or days to suit their needs
and can add onto it with annual leave.
Every member of staff goes through a week of inductions with
each department and they have time allocated to meet with our
CEO as well as enjoy lunch on the house with a different member
of staff every day to get to know a ‘buddy’ at the office.
Through lockdown new starters still enjoyed the same
onboarding process, with virtual tea breaks, lunch buddies and
even a virtual tour of the office!
powered by women
Supporting women at grassroot and board level as well as providing
student level employment in a disadvantaged social-economic area led
to us being awarded Diversity Pioneers, Energy Live News 2019.
To continually embrace society as a
whole and not exclude certain groups of
any kind during hiring practices.
The standard for people management
Investing in our People
2020 saw BiU embark on investors in people accreditation.
What it takes to lead, support, and
manage people well for
The rigorous framework sees our company go through several
stages of analysis from discovery of existing business models and
processes at BiU through to employee interviews, observations, and
feedback to make BiU better, sustainably.
It’s a great opportunity for our team to make an impact on the
development of BiU, have their say and put forward ideas as to how
we can improve things which will impact everyday life and
We aim to achieve accreditation in Winter 2020, but the work
doesn’t stop there. We will be taking the benchmark report to evolve
our processes to create the best version of ourselves for improving,
supporting, and leading our team.
Sunday Times Best Small
Company to Work For
In 2020 we were awarded as one of the UK’s best small
companies to work for by the Sunday Times in their annual
independent and adjudicated rankings report, for the
second time. We first appeared in the 2011 rankings.
We were awarded ‘outstanding place to work’ from Best
Companies survey of our staff.
“The firm’s employees are proud of its record on protecting
the environment, scoring 83% positive, in 10th place among
our Best Small Companies to Work For” – The Sunday Times
UK Small Company Rankings
32 nd for giving something back
50 th for wellbeing
10 th for protecting the environment
St Anne’s International Kite Festival Partnership
Our COVID-19 response
2020 saw unprecedented circumstances and change across the UK and globe as a
result of Coronavirus. Looking after our staff, community and clients became a priority
like none other.
To our employees
Within 5 working days we had 98% of staff working from home with investment in
technology, equipment and true cross-department teamwork getting the whole
company mobilised to home working.
While at home, we’ve utilised our technology and BiU spirit to keep connected, engaged
and positive during uncertain times. Over 20 weeks of; coffee break quizzes, 1-2-1s,
virtual VE Day celebrations, game shows, staff anniversaries and birthdays, monthly
company updates, keeping in touch gifts in the post, online fun Fridays with BiU DJs,
team pub virtual quizzes, fundraising for nominated charities, photography challenges
for kids’ homework. We even managed to decorate the CEO’s office remotely for his
work anniversary! If we could think it, we did it. #BeTogether
Working from home provided an opportunity for us to change our recruitment,
retention, and staff engagement, and it is here to stay. To keep staff safe, and at ease
with continuing local lockdowns, all staff are working from home till the end of the year
2020. Office chairs, equipment and tech have been delivered across the UK to enable
comfortable working practices.
Virtual VE Day Celebrations, with Tea, Cake and Decorations in the post
To our community
We donated our Fun Friday pizza and drinks fund to Feed NHS
and supported charities ongoing each month (nominated by
staff) from Dogs Trust to Runnymede Trust.
The biggest way we supported our community during C-19 was
staying at home and continuing to do so past the main
To our clients
Many of our clients had to put sites into hibernation, while some
had footfall like never before. Providing easily accessible
support with our strategic account managers, expense analysts
and procurement risk traders was key. Staff didn’t go on holiday
for the main lockdown period so they could support our clients
and provide continuity.
The response from our clients has been
amazing, with dozens of clients
rewarding BiU with loyalty by extending
both the duration and scope of
engagements during some of the
toughest times in history.
Michael Abbott, CEO, BiU
Our energy alarms allowed site managers to see if sites in
hibernation were using (and wasting) energy, and our round
tables, online C-19 feature articles and emails provided a range
of resources for businesses. We were able to help with
forecasting usage, dealing with energy supplies through
lockdown and helping clients to re-open with the lights on.
Our impact on the industry
Energy advice hub
In 2019 our CEO, Michael Abbott, was
shortlisted as Energy Champion by the
Energy Institute for his long- standing
impact on the energy industry from
pioneering renewable energy generation
to supporting local talent through their
energy career ladder.
In late 2018 BiU launched the free Energy
Advice Hub, secrhub.co.uk, which
provided information, guidance and clarity
on streamlined energy and carbon
reporting (SECR). It has grown to include
a range of guidance, policy updates and
news covering climate change,
compliance and government policy
making around energy and environment.
The site has been read by a range of
organisations from the European Union to
our competitors. It continues to provide
unbiased, easy to understand content and
With renewable energy champions
leading BiU it comes as no surprise that
this year BiU became one of the leading
UK energy consultants to offer innovative
renewable procurement solutions
including CPPAs for the public sector.
In 2020 we released a range of free-to-use
eLearning tools including learner guides,
webinars, videos and masterclasses
online during COVID-19 to help keep
industry professionals up to date with
current policy, industry training and sector
Our impact on net zero
What is net zero
Achieving a state where the greenhouse gases emitted do not exceed the gases
being removed from the atmosphere, so that the overall balance is zero.
Net zero is the goal to enable organisations to contribute to keep the rising
temperature of Earth to 1.5 o C or less above pre-industrial levels. The earth’s
temperature has already risen by roughly 0.87 o C above pre-industrial levels. The
world is on track for an average increase of between 3ᵒC and 4ᵒC by 2100
Our net zero 2021 ambition
In 2020 BiU committed to a pledge to be net zero by 2021.
We have calculated the BiU carbon footprint covering our 2019 financial year and
identified emissions reduction opportunities across our operations. The
information gathered is being used to formulate our 2021 BiU net zero strategy.
To have a sustainable program
for reaching net zero 2021
established in processes at BiU
01253 789 816 | email@example.com
BIU Limited, 349 Clifton Drive North, Lytham St Annes, FY8 2NA
biu.com | secrhub.co.uk