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 – MARS30. Read on to learn more.
We recognise we have a responsibility to operate sustainably and responsibly. We have been incorporating sustainable practices into our business operations for some time, and we understand there is always more to do.
All our MARS30 People and Planet objectives are mapped to the most relevant UN SDGs to our business (SDG3, SDG8, SDG10, SDG13, SDG14 and SDG15) and underpinned by our ISO14001 Environmental Management System, which is externally certified by a UKAS Authorised Auditor.
We have a dedicated MARS30 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.
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.
At the beginning of every year, we publish our MARS30 Commitment, which clearly sets out our objectives and goals for the coming year, 2030, and ultimately, Net Zero 2050. Please click here to learn more about our wide range of People and Planet-focused goals, all strategically linked to our overarching mission.
GAC UK is the first provider of ship agency and related services to achieve Diversity in Maritime Charter status. The Charter holds organisations accountable for closing the diversity gap and making the maritime sector more inclusive.
At GAC UK, who you are is just as important as what you do. The GAC Spirit reflects our culture across the company, emphasising loyalty and understanding between management and staff. We recognise that people’s lives extend far beyond their jobs. By promoting a healthy combination of work and play we achieve a happier workforce, delivering service excellence. We provide our staff many additional benefits, including flexible working, enhanced maternity & paternity, additional annual leave and access to continual training.We have a team of Mental Health First Aiders across the UK and a Wellbeing Working Group who meet monthly and regularly launch new internal wellbeing initiatives.
In January 2023, Macmillan Cancer Support became our official charity of the year. Together, GAC UK and Macmillan Cancer Support will be working to help people with cancer and their loved ones live life as fully as they can.
Our Marine Leisure, Sports & Events arm, GAC Pindar, with their particular focus on ocean health, has supported a plethora of causes and initiatives over recent years including the Magenta Project’s work to promote equal access and opportunities for women in sailing, as well as the United Nations CleanSeas campaign to reduce single-use plastic waste.
Through GAC Pindar’s service partnership with The Ocean Race, we continue to work towards the elimination of single-use plastic from the event’s supply chain and extend our remit to the provision of greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking data for our logistics customers. We are also an active member of the Race to Restore programme which brings together all race stakeholders of the 2022-23 edition to at least halve the race’s greenhouse gas emissions, balance collective unavoidable GHG impacts, play a part towards global net zero emissions by 2040, and to restore balance by drawing down more GHGs than is collectively emitted. To meet these goals, we have committed to measuring and balancing any GHGs created at a company level associated with servicing The Ocean Race.
Since 2017, when GAC Pindar became the official logistics provider of World Sailing, we have been supporting the sport’s governing body with their mission to reinstate sailing to the Paralympic Sports Programme. Through the provision of our transportation services, we are helping more para sailors get out on the water at more locations around the world.