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The clearest practical evidence of this lies in the Group’s efficient recovery and reuse of material resources and seamless end-to-end freight solutions that minimise material handling and maximise lower-carbon rail and marine transport. These core business activities reflect the GRS Group vision ‘to be recognised as the UK’s leading independent, integrated construction and waste materials trader and partner of choice for construction sector services’.
A series of strategic acquisitions and joint ventures in the past five years has enabled the Group to accelerate towards its vision, for example the drive to supply high-quality secondary aggregates into London by lower carbon sea freight has been made possible by the acquisitions of Maen Karne in Cornwall and Walsh in London.
And during the same period GRS has been able to scale-up its involvement in major infrastructure schemes. In 2021, for example through our Rail Stone Solutions subsidiary, we became the lead supplier of essential aggregates to HS2, most of which is delivered by lower-carbon rail, removing vehicle miles and lowering emissions.
Outside the environmental arena, there is further evidence of GRS’ progress towards a sustainable business model. Back in 2017 the company set out three strategic priorities, one of which was – and still is – being ‘number one for people’. Without the enthusiasm, commitment, capability and wellbeing of our workforce we would not be able to deliver on our vision therefore people must and will always be central to our sustainable business model. That led to a series of far reaching initiatives to support and develop our people in all roles, at all levels and at all locations.
Although progress is being made on our drive to creating a sustainable business, we recognise that to move forward – and to go beyond net zero carbon emissions – a more comprehensive and integrated ESG strategy is required, backed by thorough measurement of where the business stands today, a series of targets setting out where we want to get to, and a credible roadmap to get us there. These continue to be ‘work in progress’ and we expect to be able to set out or plans in greater detail in our next report.
To help to galvanise the business around an ESG strategy, in 2022 the GRS Group embarked on a major restructure of its business to streamline its processes and practices, improving efficiency and sustainability in the areas which have the biggest impact. That has allowed GRS to set out on a new journey to put in place an ESG framework to help us to formulate and deliver on our ambitions to build a truly sustainable business model.
That framework is designed to align with international ESG model(s) and is based around three core areas that reflect our business now and in the future – people, planet and practices.
For further details read the GRS Sustainable Development Report 2021-22.