BiU Sustainability and Employee Report 2020


Our report up to July 2020 on BiU’s impact and targets on the environment, industry, community, people, and net zero.

BiU Sustainability

& 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.


Contents 2

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

Commuting 10

Energy consumption 11

Woodlands 12

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

Innovation 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

the future.

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.

Michael Abbott

Chief Executive Officer, BiU

Finalist 2019 Energy Champion, Energy Institute

Our responsibilities

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

recycling points


Large boxes of crisp packets

sent for recycling!


Other initiatives:

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

information effectively.

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).


Responsible consultancy

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

adopt renewables.

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


Our building

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

Our community

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.


Energy consumption

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

restore woodlands.

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.

Be Bold

We challenge the norm, stand

out from the crowd and are

proud to do things differently

Be Responsible

We own our words and

behaviour; the effect they have

on our colleagues, our

customers and our culture

Be Imaginative

We fuel a space that allows

people to create the new, push

the boundaries and think


Be Together

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

Health Assured

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

massage/treatment sessions.

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

hydrated better.


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.

New starters

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

sustainable results

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

lockdown phase.

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 champion

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,, 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 |

BIU Limited, 349 Clifton Drive North, Lytham St Annes, FY8 2NA |