ESG

Our stated purpose at QBS is to enable publishers and customers to optimise their procurement process and create sustainable stakeholder value for all, sustainably. We know that this is only possible through: our collaboration to ensuring a healthy planet, our contribution to an equitable society, and our commitment to strong corporate governance.

Doing the right thing

 

At QBS we put just as much attention to ‘doing the right thing’ as we do in ‘doing things right’.

Responsibility flows from our purpose through our vision statement, values and motto to the
countless actions that our co-workers take every day.

We have carefully selected 6 specific UN Global Goals to be the initial focus of our sustainability initiatives.

Each of these is closely aligned to our purpose, and represents an area where we can have authentic and meaningful impact, given the nature of our business and where we operate.

Environmental 

Everybody at QBS recognises the benefits of developing the business in an environmentally responsible and friendly manner. QBS is committed to the prevention of pollution and the protection of the environment and recognises that this is in the best interests of the organisation, its employees and stakeholders, and that it contributes to a better quality of life, now and for future generations.

QBS opposes waste of natural resources and makes every effort to conserve resources. It places high value on encouraging the industry to operate in an environmentally friendly manner.

QBS is Certified as a B Corporation

QBS is now a B Corp™ – joining 5000 organisations around the world certified for Using Business as a Force for Good™.

Certifying as a B Corporation goes beyond a product or service certification. It is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. From supply chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves a business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.

OUR JOURNEY TO NET CLIMATE POSITIVE

Climate Change needs no introduction. Government, businesses and society all need to act and future generations will ask what we did about it. This is why QBS is taking decisive action to be ahead of the curve and to see how we can be part of the solution, rather than the problem.

Carbon neutral certified

In June 2021, we were independently verified as carbon neutral through our own operations and also our partner, publisher and employee ecosystem. We have accurately defined our organisational footprint, agreed our boundaries and met all three scopes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with environmental integrity. We are both pleased and proud to work with the external party, Planet Mark, as our audit and verification partner.

ISO14001 certified since 2019

Our QBS Environmental Management System (QEMS) was certified and verified according to BS EN ISO14001:2004 in May 2019 – Certificate No: GBEF1009.

Since then we have developed and articulated our unique set of environmental policies, and linked these to best practices in order to proactively monitor our adherence to policy. Finally our model is to demonstrate ongoing improvement of the standards.

Statutory reporting on GHG emissions

We have voluntarily provided environmental disclosure in our annual company audited accounts in compliance with Section 172 (1) (a) to (f) of the Companies Act 2006 since 2020.

From FY22 we will publicly disclose our footprint and progress on our energy use and carbon emissions reduction in compliance with SECR in our annual accounts. Although we are far too small for TCFD – Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, we will aim to comply with the standard where applicable.

Pledge to Net Zero

On April 22nd 2021, World Earth Day, our Group CEO formally signed our official Pledge to Net Zero in conjunction with IEMA/SocEnv/EIC/WSP/AECOM.

Pledge to Net Zero was launched in late 2019 and is partnered with the UN’s official global-backed campaign, ‘Race to Zero’. It requires signatories to commit to deliver a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C climate change scenario, or well below 2ºC.

CRN Sustainable Distributor of the Year

QBS has been recognised as a channel champion once again in the global fight against environmental destruction — taking the Sustainable Distributor of the Year / Service Provider of the Year titles at the CRN Tech Impact Awards.

Dave Stevinson, CEO of QBS Group, said: “This is a real recognition for the whole group and their tireless efforts to drive our carbon footprint lower by following our purpose of doing what’s right for our people, planet and prosperity.”

Empowering Tech to Go Green

We support the tech community in becoming carbon neutral through collaboration with the industry’s leading sustainability movement of IT and tech orientated companies and sharing practical know-how.

QBS proactively works with the membership helping them on their decarbonisation journey and encouraging them to be climate positive.

Supporting Terra Carta

QBS is pleased to support Terra Carta on their Sustainable Markets Initiative. The Terra Carta, led by HRH The Prince of Wales, provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector.

“QBS is pleased to support Terra Carta on their Sustainable Markets Initiative” Therese Stevinson, Group Sustainability & Diversity Officer.

Offsetting employee homeworking

As remote working has shifted carbon from our offices to our employees’ homes, QBS has offset its employee homeworking emissions for 2021. We have chosen our Gold Standard VER (Verified Emission Reduction) offsets from Climate Impact Partners, a certified B Corporation, which is dedicated to tackling climate change and improving lives.

These offsets are a specially selected mix from projects that have additional health, social and economic benefits as well as carbon reduction.

Social 

Engaging with and investing in our local communities is critically important to QBS. The intended purpose of company donations is to achieve positive social, environmental and community impact, with a strategic bias towards the support of emerging sports and wellbeing.

Philanthropy Statement

The intended purpose of company donations is to achieve positive social, environmental and community impact, with a strategic bias towards the support of emerging sports and wellbeing.

Community Engagement

Engaging with and investing in our local communities is critically important to QBS. With seven physical offices and a good proportion of remote workers, we are pleased to have recently supported over ten community initiatives ranging from volunteering to feed the homeless in Paris, supporting a bake-off for a Cork-based breast cancer charity, sponsoring the Great Britain real tennis U21 team and funding the team shirts of a Munich-based basketball team.

Sponsoring Emerging Sports

QBS has proudly sponsored the 49th Manchester Gold Racquet tournament. We have a strong commitment to ESG, and supporting society (as one of our 5 stakeholders) is core to our purpose.

Our history in sponsorship goes back many years to the late eighties when we were starting out in the fledgling technology business and articulating the value of software, and has encompassed sports including football, basketball, tennis and cricket.

Sponsoring Channel Initiatives

QBS has proudly sponsored the CRN Channel Leadership Forum 2022. This forum deliberates topics that QBS is strongly committed to, such as top technology and service trends, diversity & inclusion, sustainability, mental health, and wellbeing.

We support channel initiatives that are aligned with our ESG strategy and help the channel evolve and have a positive impact on the community and the environment.

Governance 

QBS believes in strong governance and this is set by the group board comprising of a balance of executive and non-executive directors. 

Our Policies

The board of directors determines the processes for decision making, accountability, control and behaviour. A lot of time, effort and expense has been applied to ensure the governance in QBS is of a similar standard to a small/mid -cap listed company.

2021-2022 ESG KPIs

QBS uses KPIs that act as a compass to ensure moving in the right direction to meet our ESG promises.

2021-2022 KPIs

  • Hold net carbon neutral status with gold standard verification – Achieved 06/21
  • Achieve B Corp certification with an exemplary score – Application submitted 12/21
  • 100% of all staff to be formally trained on sustainability by a leading consultant
  • 70% of NFR suppliers to be local businesses, within 50 miles of the office
  • 100% of stationery supplies to be made from recycled materials or with low environmental impact
  • 100% renewable energy to be used in all core offices, plus lobby landlords at others
  • Cut our group carbon impact (inclusive of homeworking) by 10% in absolute terms.
  • Continually Improve staff satisfaction and engagement
  • 5% of CEOs time to support young entrepreneurs, industry sustainability and emerging sport

“Good governance connects our day to day business issues with our purpose. As the Board implements this policy consistently, we will influence behaviour right through the group, and this in turn will become apparent to all of our stakeholders."

Dave Stevinson, CEO, QBS Technology Group

“Climate risk is more than a regulatory issue at QBS – it is recognised at board level and sustainability is hardwired into our business model and thus the strategy of the entire organisation.”

Therese Stevinson, Sustainability and Diversity Officer, QBS Technology Group

“In today’s corporate world, the ability to collaborate with people from diverse values and cultures in extremely important. Inclusion and community engagement is a vital part of our internal culture.”

Anita Bitard, Non Executive Director, QBS Technology Group

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