Derwent Training Association

Derwent Training have teamed up with Circular Malton and Norton CIC to drive change through creating and delivering a clear ad wide-ranging Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.

Our story

by Derwent Training Association

Derwent Training is an independent training provider based in Malton, North Yorkshire. Trading for 30+ years, it delivers apprenticeships and online training. A predominately office-based organisation, our training has a significant role in contributing to the local and national circular economy. Its Directors, staff and learners take social responsibility seriously, seeing it as integral to the business. In 2019, the new CEO introduced a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy committing the business to promote environmental sustainability, where the needs of the present do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and committing to the dual ethos of sustainability and responsible global citizenship. Taking this initial step consequently developed and promoted environmentally sustainable practices that had a financial benefit to the business. We believe we have a major role to play in building the capacity of the learners, staff, and local communities to effectively participate in translating the rhetoric of sustainable development into reality.

Our CSR Policy details Derwent Training’s commitment to achieving savings and creating a sustainable environment through three themes of curriculum, centre, and community.

The CSR Policy contains a commitment to 14 actions; progress has been made on 8 so far. Some are challenging and longer term, but some are smaller and easier wins. Here are the environmental measures we have implemented so far:

Reduced the fleet of corporate cars containing diesel VW Golf Estates to one petrol Citroen C3. The CO2 emissions are 37% less for the Citroen, and costs have been reduced.

Implemented software called Papercut to record volumes of printing/copying; limited open access printing/copying for learners, introduced low-level pricing for further usage; promoted print preview and double-sided printing. It reduced costs for paper, printing/copying, toner, reducing the amount of paper going to the recycle bin.

Removed single use plastic items within the centre, e.g., water cups, A4 pockets. People use their own reusable water bottle and learners are discouraged from using punched pockets.

We reduce, reuse, and recycle wherever possible, and implemented safe, ethical disposal procedures. Learners are taught to reduce the amount of metal they use, cost implications of not doing so, reuse oddments, and recycle scrap for cash. We have purchased resources so general and dry mixed recyclables can be separated.

Support a cycle-to-work scheme reducing the reliance on staff using cars. Three staff have purchased bicycles so far.

Introduced hybrid working practices that reduces the carbon footprint of staff travel and improves work-life balance.

One percent of online revenue is given to an environmental charity to combat climate change, as we work towards meeting Government targets for a sustainable environment.

Our advice

Every business is different. Different in terms of product, service, resources used, and waste produced. Every journey to improving its impact on the environment is also different. How did Derwent Training start its journey? Simply by a) knowing it should start and b) by wanting to make a difference.

There are no set rules to how it can be done. Just start somewhere. We began with small changes. We introduced print control software, removed single use plastics, and changed the fleet cars. We reviewed, over a number of months, all our business processes to identify where we could change things, so we operated more environmentally, economically, ethically, and philanthropically. We did not face any push back from staff or clients. Indeed, they welcomed the changes.

You cannot change everything and certainly, you cannot change it all at once, but you can consider the following. How much waste does your business create, what type of waste is created, can levels of waste be reduced, can your waste be used by someone else; does it have to go to landfill? Can you change your practices to reduce the miles covered by the resources you order; can you send your products by a more sustainable means?

We supported and championed a local circular economy initiative (Circular Malton & Norton) which inspired us further. We continually spoke about and promoted the changes we made and listened to the stories from others. Through sharing, it made us think of what to do next. Increasingly clients want to be associated with businesses that take their corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously.

Going forward we will select suppliers who can demonstrate their own CSR credentials and use, wherever possible, local suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint involved in delivery. We will also look for funding and grants to support us with bigger initiatives such as installing LED lighting and greywater harvesting.

Overall, our message is simple. Just start somewhere. Do not be afraid to tell people what you are doing and do not be embarrassed about the small changes. They all add up.

Our metrics

Cost savings per year (£12,000).
Increase in productivity.
Number of cash gifts to our chosen charity.
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Our team celebrating success at our annual awards ceremony.
Derwent Training's CEO Claire Gavaghan.
One of our apprentices hard at work.