Sustainability is central to our business strategy and the culture within Cornish Mutual.
In line with our purpose of working to protect the farming community our sustainability strategy is ‘Doing what’s right’ for:
Our Environment, Our Communities, Our Members and Our People.
In line with the Government’s environmental targets, we have pledged to reduce our Scope 1, 2 & 3 carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. We are actively looking to reduce our emissions and have set in motion several actions we will be taking until our final target date.
Directly controlled operational emissions
Beginning with the emissions we can control directly, we will minimise our scope 1 and 2 emissions to net zero in a timeframe consistent with the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) Climate Change Roadmap.
To achieve this, we have committed to:
- considering climate change in all our business decisions
- requiring suppliers to align with our environmental standards
- upgrading our company fleet to hybrid and fully electric vehicles
- actively reducing our emissions*
* Additionally, in the short term we are working to offset our emissions. Our partnership with Community Interest Company Plant One Cornwall delivers our offsetting requirements while also investing in a greener future for the South West. Plant One’s woodland creation projects provide public benefits and valuable wildlife habitats, support biodiversity and increase carbon storage.
We care about our environment and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint:
- Our office computers automatically shut down every night to save electricity.
- To reduce travel we, where possible, make use of webinars and video conferencing.
- We have reduced the amount of paperwork that we send out and are moving towards digital communications.
- We encourage recycling and have mixed recycling bins in the office. We also collect crisp packets and batteries to send for recycling through a local scheme.
- We are reducing and aiming to eliminate our use of single-use plastic (cups and crockery in meetings, ponchos at shows).
- We are working with the University of Exeter’s environmental growth initiatives to develop the outdoor space at our offices.
- We are liaising with local companies to share ideas and best practices around sustainability.
Supporting local communities has always been important to us at Cornish Mutual. Below are some of the actions we are taking to support our communities.
- We continue to grow The Cornish Mutual Young Farmers Bursaries and support local agricultural colleges by providing a total of £2000 in bursary awards.
- Through donations received during our attendance at three agricultural county shows, our Members have raised a total of £3,000 for local charities: Cornwall Air Ambulance, Farms for City Children and Future Roots.
- With show season back in full swing we have supported over 20 agricultural shows and events through sponsorships, class sponsorships and attendance.
- We continue to support the Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset Young Farmers’ Club with finances, training, and resources.
- We launched ‘Cornish Mutual Farm Walks’ which are community-led events that allow farmers of all ages to attend and learn more about various farming practices and give them the opportunity to go out and network with local farmers.
- We encourage staff to give back and this year staff have volunteered their time at local foodbanks, The Kingfisher Award Scheme across the South West, local Farm and Country days and Farmerados charity events.
- We delivered training in the local community, including Health & Safety workshops for farmers, the agricultural community, and groups of Young Farmers.
- Internally we have helped create awareness and raise funds through hosting bake sales, quizzes, bingo and raffles for our chosen charities: Ukraine, Comic Relief, Brain Tumour Research, Breast Cancer Awareness, The Wave Project, Farms For City Children, Air Ambulance and Future Roots.
- We donated office furniture to charities including Volunteer Cornwall and British Heart Foundation.
Climate change is a growing threat to both food production and biodiversity on farms. We are continually seeing the impacts here in the South West and around the world. Through partnerships with specialist businesses, we are extending our support for Members in their journey to a more resilient, sustainable, lower-carbon businesses.
Good soil health is the foundation of a resilient farm. Our partnership with independent soil health specialist Terrafarmer will help our Members capitalise on this asset and build a more sustainable, lower-carbon future. We will provide Members with the knowledge, tools and services to understand how to build soil biology, increase organic matter and sequester more carbon.
We are working with partners to develop and pilot a simple tool that will help understand key contributing greenhouse gas emissions on farms. The aim of this tool is to support our Members to better understand their environmental impact and identify emission ‘hotspots’ before finding the most appropriate management changes.
We care about creating a great workplace for our employees and recognise that we will be able to deliver the best service and advice to our Members if our staff are healthy and happy.
- All of our staff are paid above the Living Wage and over 50% of our staff have flexible working patterns by choice.
- We are committed to operating an inclusive working environment, which embraces and welcomes diversity.
- We provide over-40’s with annual health checks and we provide healthy snacks, filtered water and fruit in our offices.
- We provide training every year on first aid and fire safety and have engaged other experts to provide training on suicide awareness, stress and resilience and mental health first aid. We have 3 mental health first aiders.
- We are actively involved in the government’s Healthy Workplace Scheme. We achieved a Gold award and have a dedicated ‘Going for Gold’ team to maintain this standard.
- We encourage our people to be active and have a strong link with the local ROC 5k charity run in Truro and the Cornwall Beach Games each year.