Our Service Standards
Climate Change & Environment
Climate Change is a defining issue of our time. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Urgent and unprecedented action is required to keep the earth’s temperature rise between 1.5C and 2C. We are also experiencing biodiversity loss, one million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years. These crises are fundamentally interlinked. There can be no prosperous future if we destabilise the systems that sustains us [1,2.]
Responding to the Climate Crisis is a mainstream business issue. As a leadership and membership organisation providing business leadership and support to 20,000 businesses across the South West to create the “Best Businesses and Best Place,” Business West is the organisation in the best position to work with its stakeholders, members, employees and wider business community to support the business community prepare and adapt to the climate crisis.
The shift needed to adapt and mitigate requires an economy-wide transformation. The transition will impact all industries, jobs and communities. We must ensure that the transition is just , respects the rights of all people and builds a more inclusive and resilient economy. It is our view that the business community can make a pivotal contribution towards the rapid transitions required to meet the challenge.
Business West is committed to safeguarding the environment and addressing the Climate Crisis. We are Carbon Neutral and aim to be completely net zero, having cut all our emissions, by 2030.
We are committed to:
- Reducing emissions: We are accelerating our existing carbon reduction programme across our organisation and business activity (Scope 1, 2, 3)  and balancing remaining emissions with Gold Standard Verified Emissions Reduction (GS VER) offsets .
- Engaging business: Supporting our members and wider business communities to make a just transition  on their journey towards net zero and climate resilience, while enhancing and protecting natural assets globally.
- Accelerating the region: Working with our stakeholders on transitioning our region to meet Net Zero targets and achieving a climate and nature resilient economy and place.
Business West Chambers of Commerce and Initiative has signed up to the International Chambers of Commerce Chamber Climate Coalition  and will use its certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System  and B Corp certification  to help monitor and challenge our progress.
- IPCC – Details the science behind the need to limit global temperatures htts://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
- WEF – Details the business risks associated with biodiversity loss https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2020
- Scope 1 refers to direct emissions e.g. gas used for heating, Scope 2 refers to the emissions from purchased energy (e.g. electricity, heat, steam) and Scope 3 refers to indirect emissions (e.g. waste disposal, business travel, purchased goods and services). www.carbontrust.com/resources/briefing-what-are-scope-3-emissions
- Business West is Offsetting its carbon emissions and those of its workforce using Gold Standard Verified Emissions Reduction (GS VER) offsets https://ecologi.com/businesswestltd
- British Chambers of Commerce and other leading business groups have called on the government for a Just Transition to Net Zero. This is to: account for the scale of the ambition; have clear and accountable governance; have a diverse set of business led solutions; ensure businesses from all sectors in every region can contribute to a net zero economy; and that climate change policies are affordable and achievable.
- Chambers Climate Coalition provides a platform for chambers to demonstrate their commitment to an effective global response to the growing climate emergency https://www.chambers4climate.iccwbo.org/
- IS0 14001 Certification demonstrates that a business has an independently audited framework to manage and reduce its environmental impacts https://www.iso.org/iso-14001-environmental-management.html
- Certified B Corps are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose https://bcorporation.uk/
Environmental Management Systems certification to the ISO 14001:2015 standard demonstrates our commitment to the environment. The scope of our environmental management system is the provision of business support services and corporate support services at our business centres;
- Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3RA
- Park House, Church Place, Swindon SN1 5ED
This ensures that we effectively manage and improve the environmental aspects of our business activities, whilst taking into consideration pollution prevention, and compliance with existing regulations. View our Quality and Sustainability Policy 2020/21.
Our Quality Management System certification to ISO 9001:2015 demonstrates our commitment to meeting our customer's requirements and improving our business processes. View our Quality and Sustainability Policy 2020/2021.
Equality & Diversity
We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all service users, staff and job applicants. View our full Equality Statement.
Health & Safety
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers or clients and/or anyone affected by our business activities and to providing a safe environment for all those attending our premises through regular assessments of risks in the workplace.
Anti-Corruption & Bribery
It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.
Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats. It’s recommended by The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), whose job it is to uphold the GDPR in the UK, as ‘A good starting point’ for the cyber security of the IT you rely on to hold and process personal data. Business West has been independently accredited against Cyber Essentials scheme.
Business West is a NEPRO accredited supplier. NEPRO is a nationally available neutral vendor solution for public and third sector organisations to engage specialist professional services including consultants and interim support. NEPRO was set up by the North East Procurement Organisation to provide an efficient and EU compliant route for its members and associate members to meet their professional services’ needs while driving value for money for the tax payer.