Improving ESG at RS Group, means better Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) for customers and a better world for us all, says Andrea Barrett, Vice President of Social Responsibility and Sustainability

This article is one in a series in which senior management at RS and its' parent company, RS Group plc, explore its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) action plan and the role it plays in strengthening strategies for better management of MRO of company sites and facilities.

Here Andrea Barrett, who joined RS Group as Vice President of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in January 2021, shares details about the company’s 2030 ESG plan, “For a Better World”. Launched in November 2021, the goals and targets outlined in “For a Better World” will ensure that RS remains a trusted supplier that can support you in improving MRO within your organisation.

For a better world
For a better world is our 2030 ESG action plan to support a more sustainable and inclusive world. We are bringing our people, customers, suppliers and communities together to accelerate our positive impact and deliver our purpose – making amazing happen for a better world.

We have set four global goals by 2030: advancing sustainability; championing education and innovation; empowering our people and doing business responsibly, each with a robust set of supporting actions.

Race to zero
We’ve pledged to be net zero by 2030 – and then net zero in our wider value chain by 2050. The first of our four goals is advancing sustainability. Our focus is around developing cleaner and greener operations and offering sustainable product and service solutions to our customers. One of the lead commitments in this area is that we’ve pledged to be net zero in our direct operations by 2030 – and net zero in our wider value chain by 2050.

We’ve pledged to be net zero by 2030 – and then net zero in our wider value chain by 2050

As part of that, we’re among around 2,000 organisations that have committed to the Science Based Targets initiative and set a net-zero target in line with a 1.5-degree future. This is one of the building blocks of the UN’s Race to Zero, so we’re really proud of these commitments and will be getting all of our targets verified.

To support progress towards this goal, we’ve set a whole raft of other sustainability targets around issues such as energy, packaging and waste and our transport emissions, as well as offering sustainable products and services to our customers and engaging our suppliers to cut carbon emissions in their businesses.

Better for people
The second goal outlined in “For a Better World” is about championing education and innovation. Our focus here is about building skills and fostering innovation among 1.5 million engineers to help create solutions that improve lives.

The third goal is empowering our people: creating a safe, inclusive and dynamic culture where our people can thrive and grow. Our lead commitment in this area is to work towards 40 percent women and 25 percent ethnically diverse leaders. We believe that's what’s going to build a truly diverse team and inclusive culture, which will then lead to empowerment of our people as well as innovation and representation of our communities and our customers.

Responsible business
The fourth and final pillar of “For a Better World” is doing business responsibly and that’s about ensuring that we have high ethical environmental standards not only in our own business but also throughout the value chain. One of our key actions here is that we’re increasing the screening and management of our suppliers against our high ethical and environmental standards and setting ESG objectives for strategic suppliers.

We’re still in the early stages of this new plan, and there’s a long way to go before the end of the decade, but I want to give our customers confidence in the ethical, quality and environmental assurance that are integral to products and services from RS Group.

For more about how RS is already supporting customers with their sustainability targets, see “How our sustainability efforts improve MRO in your organisation”, another article by Andrea Barrett in this series by senior management at RS Group, exploring ESG and its importance for better management of MRO