Environmental policy can be seriously boring stuff. Companies know it, staff know it and customers know it.
But getting people inspired to look after the environment is vitally important. That’s what construction firm Esh Group has realised and responded to with its strategy for doing more sustainable business.
The Summit 2026 plan is all about getting staff fired up about the company’s environmental responsibilities, and communicating that work clearly – minus the jargon – to the public and customers.
Simon Park, Esh Group’s energy and environmental advisor, explained:
“Getting staff and customers enthusiastic about Esh Group’s commitment to the environment is a challenge.
“We found we were losing people by throwing numbers and targets at them. We needed a simple and inspiring strategy that everyone could get on board with.
“I think our approach could help other businesses.”
The answer was Summit 2026 – which is based on five important themes: culture, cutting carbon emissions, waste management, environmental protection and building sustainability into the supply chain.
Using interesting stories within each theme, Esh Group makes sure staff and customers are genuinely inspired about their own potential contribution to the sustainability agenda.
For instance, under the culture theme the firm has developed Carbon Coach – a skills-building programme that introduces apprentices to carbon reduction and sustainability processes at an early stage in their careers.
Within its cutting carbon emissions theme, Esh has invested in new technology for its vehicles – helping the team to measure driving styles and make recommendations that cut fuel consumption.
Through the waste management theme staff and customers are told of Esh’s investment in its own waste processing facility, which is crucial in helping the business divert 93% of material from landfill.
Involving specialist ecologists on difficult sites is just one of the firm’s efforts under the environmental protection theme. On one scheme, AJT Environmental Consultants provided expert advice on navigating a large area of Japanese knotweed that was being developed to mitigate flooding.
And within its efforts to build a sustainable supply chain, Esh runs a special programme that gets key suppliers and Esh staff together so they can build more innovative processes. Simon added:
“Now we’ve cracked a strategy that guides the business, but in doing so brings all of our staff and customers on board by highlighting the on-the-ground examples of environmentally responsible work.
“For us the challenge has been about bringing all the great work we do on different sites to the attention of others, so they can be inspired in their own work.
“While Esh Group is a construction business, I think this strategy could apply to other companies that want to make sure their staff and customers understand and share in their environmental policy.”