Sustainability

Aberdeen Women F Ca

GAC's Roadmap to Sustainability outlines the Group's commitment to "adapt, innovate and reduce" its activities and encourage others to create non-destructive, long-term value moving towards a sustainable future. GAC UK recognises its own role in meeting these ambitions and in 2021, we launched our ten-year sustainability programme – MARS25. Read on to learn more.

MARS25a

With our first target date of end-2025, MARS25 encourages evidenced behavioural changes in line with the actions set out in our strategy, for the improved well-being of our people, and reducing our impact on the planet. This is our overarching mission:

“We are committed to significantly reducing our environmental impact, improving the well-being of our people, and influencing our stakeholders to do the same.”

We will accomplish this by completing sustainability objectives aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which form the framework of our ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) management system. Chapter One focuses on our activities and goals from now until the end of 2025; Chapter Two will follow, covering the five years 2026-2030.

Team effort

We have a dedicated MARS25 Microsoft Teams internal communications channel where our objectives are detailed and progress monitored. It is a platform where our staff can share ideas, opinions, and personal successes which is key in keeping our goals in the spotlight, ensuring our staff are continually aware of our objectives and helping us all achieve our targets.

Our ambition to promote equal opportunities for all was demonstrated in 2021, when GAC extended its partnership of Aberdeen Football Club to include sleeve sponsorship of Aberdeen Women FC. This support has benefited the club with the women’s squad achieving semi-pro status by the end of the 2021/22 season. What’s more, in partnership with Aberdeen Football Club, we support an annual ‘Fair Play for All’ community event for primary school aged children from areas of social deprivation. Youngsters experience unique coaching sessions and STEM activities at the club’s training facility, Cormack Park, before meeting squad members from the Women’s Team.

AFC Day

Biodiversity

To help promote biodiversity, GAC UK sponsors several beehives in Scotland, as well as a local farming wildflower meadow located next to our bee colonies, with the aim of restoring the natural biome of the soil using traditional methods and moving away from fertilisers and pesticides.

In September 2022, we became involved in a seagrass restoration project, in partnership with Falmouth Harbour and marine restoration charity, Our Only World. We co-sponsor the production of the Seavive Pod, which we hope can be used in many more Seagrass regeneration projects across the world to help raise awareness of the importance of Seagrass and similar marine habitats.

Bees

Goals achieved

  • In line with GAC Group’s ‘Roadmap to Sustainability’, we started measuring CO2e produced from our operations in January 2022.
  • Our in-house freight logistics software tracks CO2e emissions of cargo movements and also enables CO2e calculations to be included in our quotations and invoices, helping clients make greener choices.
  • CO2e consumption for all corporate travel is tracked and published.
  • We have banned single-use plastic in all offices, and reuse or recycle packaging materials, including pallets.
  • We use plastic-free packaging and recycled paper-based tapes for all our shipments. We continue our support of the bees and meadow throughout 2023.
  • In October 2021, as Official Logistics Provider of The Ocean Race, staff, customers, and suppliers of GAC UK came together to deliver Nature’s Baton by cycle relay to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, delivering our Sustainability Promise to COP26.
  • In 2022, we launched our menopause policy as part of our Diversity in Maritime targets.
  • Our environment management system is ISO 14001:2015 certified.