We recognise that our business activities impact on the environment and the wider communities in which we operate. Protecting our environment for the benefit of future generations continues to increase in importance. We are committed to ensure that we reduce any adverse impact and maximise the opportunity to address sustainability in a strategic manner. The management of our business has reflected this change. Our long term objectives are to improve the overall environmental performance of our assets and to strive to achieve the highest standards of corporate governance and management systems.
The Board has adopted a Sustainability Policy that applies across the business. This sets out the manner in which we operate in addressing sustainability issues. The Company's staff and the consultants and contractors that it uses are presented with this Policy as a clear means of providing guidance on what we expect to achieve. The Policy is reviewed on an annual basis and over the coming year we will be working with external consultants to ensure a comprehensive review of the Policy is completed, incorporating the latest thinking on Sustainability.
All of our significant development projects aim to achieve the highest Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method rating. Specialist consultants have been appointed to assist with this process. Energy Performance Certificates are also being produced across the portfolio and will provide a useful measurement of how each building is performing.
The lessons learnt from the Carbon Trust review continue to be applied across the assets within the business. In addition to benefits to the environment, these initiatives will reduce our operating costs by improving energy efficiency.
Local suppliers and labour are used wherever possible on our development projects and details of local service providers are appended to tenant handbooks.
The Company endeavours to take a prominent role in promoting business activity in the towns where it has assets as well as fostering links with local educational and charitable institutions.
Our work with local communities is intended to provide an environment in which everyone can learn, develop and grow. Our mission is to work within the communities where we operate, to help positively influence the locality.