Our values state that we will conduct our business in a responsible manner and this includes ensuring that we manage our impacts on the environment.
Provident Financial is a financial services group specialising in the provision of personal credit products for consumers in the UK non-standard lending market.
How we manage our environmental impacts
We operate in many towns and cities across the UK and Ireland and are aware of our impact in areas such as energy use, transport, water consumption and waste management.
Our environmental policy has been in place since 2000 to address these impacts. Its purpose is to limit the direct and indirect effects that our business operations, products and services have on the environment and to effectively manage all material environmental risks.
We also operate an environmental management system, which was introduced to ensure we deliver against the commitments set out in our environmental policy and mirrors the requirements of the international environmental standard ISO 14001.
The business case for energy efficiency is clear; it reduces energy costs, reduces vulnerability to increasing energy prices and reduces CO2 emissions.
A significant proportion (over 88% by revenue) of our electricity supply is purchased from Good Quality Combined Heat and Power (CHP) schemes. This enables us to reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we use.
To achieve reductions in our energy use we continue to adopt energy efficiency measures within our office infrastructure, which include installing motion sensors and energy efficient lighting during office refurbishments.
Travelling is an integral part of the way we do business; maintaining regular face-to-face contact with our customers is extremely important to us. However, we recognise that business travel has a direct impact on the environment, and is costly.
We continue to monitor the amount of business travel that employees across the Provident Financial group undertake by air, rail and road.
‘Greening’ our fleet
Starting in 2006, we have undertaken a range of activities to make the company car fleet more environmentally friendly.
Waste management and paper use
Our business activities, like those of all other businesses, result in the generation of waste. We try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much waste as we can to lessen both our environmental impact and the costs that result from escalating landfill taxes.
Paper is our most significant waste stream. We recognise that the provenance of the paper we use is also important and so continue to use recycled paper in photocopiers and printers, with all paper used in marketing activities coming from sustainable sources. For example, the paper used within the Consumer Credit Division is approved under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes.
In 2009, we offset some of our carbon emissions from business-related travel for the second year. We decided to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations by offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions associated with business-related journeys made by employees using their own vehicles, trains and flights. 2,889 tonnes of carbon dioxide were offset by an investment in a small hydroelectric project in the Udupi district of Karnataka in India that will generate approximately 120GWh of electricity each year which will be fed into the local electricity grid.
of our electricity supply during 2008 was purchased from Good Quality Combined Heat and Power schemes.