“ESG is not necessarily about being truly innovative or taking a brand-new approach, it’s about measuring and enhancing current practices and recognising where improvements can be made, as well as being conscious of how your actions impact what’s going on around you,” says Hollie Lawson, Corporate Development Director, and Economic Social & Governance (ESG) Champion of ICR Integrity Ltd.
After joining ICR in 2014 as Commercial Manager, Hollie has since worked in associated roles in the company progressing from Commercial and Procurement Director in 2016 to Corporate Development Director and ESG Champion overseeing all related activities. She reflected,
“My appointment to ESG Champion in November in 2021 was made after identifying a need to focus our efforts in promoting ESG in the business. By December, a committee was established to identify a baseline of ESG practices and set targets on how to achieve these objectives.”
Enhancing the focus on ESG through employee communication to all stakeholders, educating our employees on what ESG means for ICR and ultimately raising the profile of ESG within the business, the committee has been an invaluable addition to the company’s structure.
She commented “The committee comprises our key support functions which all directly contribute to ESG. We also recognise and acknowledge that we are not experts in assessing our impact so we consulted Sustainable Advantage to aid us with baselining our current data and to help structure our ESG objectives, whilst helping to identify ways to incorporate new sustainable strategies into our business.
The focus on ESG prompted the business to reconsider its purpose. “We want to ensure that we contribute to sustainable development, as we work towards transitioning to Net Zero, whilst having a positive impact on our employees, customers, and communities where we operate.
Following the creation of the ESG committee and nomination of ESG Champion to maintain strategic focus and drive progress, Hollie commented on the journey, “Once the outline plan was established, we focused on baselining our carbon emissions and implementing a defined set of objectives”
Hollie experienced challenges along the way with data gathering being the most prominent. She commented “We experienced challenges with data gathering as getting access to the information could be difficult at times. To set specific targeted objectives we had to be thorough to ensure we attained the correct metrics and identify a baseline for reporting purposes. We also had to take into consideration our other facilities and employees that were not based in the Aberdeen Headquarters.
“As part of the data gathering process, I conducted workshops with each of the business divisions to brainstorm what they do well in terms of ESG, and what they could do better. It was an inclusive process that was engaging and aimed to involve everyone so although initially perceived as a challenge, it was incredibly beneficial.”
ICR defined key targets for the year ahead following the initial baselining of data to support ICR’s purpose. “For 2022, we identified four key areas we hoped to achieve: Improve our environmental impact score by 34% which includes a reduction of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 10% YOY to achieve Net Zero by 2050; Accelerate our energy transition objective in support of our target of a more market diverse revenue mix by 2025; Publication of an annual Impact Report to ensure transparency and disclosure in line with best practice; and achieving EcoVadis accreditation, which will demonstrate our contribution to ESG internally and externally.”
Scoring of ICR’s 2022 performance is underway with Sustainable Advantage and it is hopeful to demonstrate improvements. During this period, ICR has secured a silver accreditation with EcoVadis and has now launched its first Impact Report which looks back to ICR’s ESG performance throughout 2022. The focus is now on its 2023 objectives and associated strategic activities.
Hollie continues: “In addition to our focus to achieve targeted objectives, we chose to refresh our corporate values to align with our approach to ESG.”
After consultation, the ESG committee defined three categories that encompassed each of the ESG pillars to be easily digestible and unique to the way ICR operates: Respectful, Responsible, and Dynamic.
Commenting on the activities under each of the categories, Hollie said: “Our Respectful value covers communities, cultures, people, diversity and inclusion. At ICR, our approach is people first and so we continue to make sure that individuals of any background, culture, age, gender, or sexuality are respected and have the same opportunities to be included and heard.”
With the energy transition taking a strong hold over the energy industry, the Environmental pillar is often seen as the most visible component of ESG. Hollie says: “Our Responsible value ensures we are being responsible in every way we conduct our business, which embodies our environmental responsibility. For example, enhancing our service offering to support clean energy, looking at sustainable alternatives in the supply chain, reducing international travel where possible to cut down on emissions, and putting a major focus on waste management to maximise recycling potential as much as possible.
“Environmental responsibility is intrinsic in the way we operate, not only do we give focus to our own carbon footprint, but our core operations also contribute to the longevity of infrastructure and to minimising embodied carbon. Replacing large steel equipment is energy intensive and requires the production of new replacement equipment. By repairing the equipment, our clients avoid the emissions associated with steel production and transportation as well as the energy required to perform the replacement. Our installation process reduces the number of personnel offshore meaning less emissions from travel and our weldless technology eliminates the need for hot work or welding, providing a safer solution to our clients.”
ICR has independently carried out life cycle analysis of its repair products and has validated that its engineered composite repair solution Technowrap™, offers an overall 66% reduction and Quickflange™ weldless connector solutions offer a 39% reduction in carbon emissions when compared to traditional steel replacement methods.
Commenting on the Dynamic value, Hollie said “Being dynamic is very important to ICR and we must be agile in the way we respond to things; our service offering, our response times to clients and the way in which we conduct our business. Our products and services are continually evolving to meet the changing needs of our clients, new markets and in particular our transition to clean energy and alternative markets. Maintaining a dynamic edge is essential for ICR to retain our position in current markets, to continue to provide an exemplary service and to transfer our skillset to nuclear, offshore wind and other markets. We encourage creativity and innovation internally which enables us to achieve this.”
Hollie concludes with an insight on the benefits of communicating your ESG initiatives to younger generations entering the industry:
“We have the energy and motivation to want to be better as a collective and I think there are significant benefits of communicating ESG initiatives to younger generations entering the industry. We have introduced an ESG conversation during the recruitment process, particularly with the younger generation. They can offer a fresh perspective and innovative views on energy transition having been surrounded by climate conversations most of their adult lives. We want to know what they consider most important and what they would like to see the company involved in for the future to help re-align our ESG targets and ensure we continue to be conscious of our impact whilst leading by example within the industries we operate.”