The Human & Community Side of Sustainability

The human and community side of sustainability
Nikki Langwell Marketing Executive at Ruddocks

Nikki Langwell

In: News 

Ruddocks supports the development and education of younger people, both through our mentoring on-site and our support within schools. 

Sustainability often focuses on the environmental initiatives that help to reduce damage to, as well as protect and restore our natural world. Reducing negative impact, individually and collectively to protect the environment is on the agenda for many of us, but just as important as our impact on the natural world is the impact we have on each other.

Being sustainable is a multi-faceted approach extending beyond reducing your carbon footprint and recycling (not to discount in any way either of those things!). It’s taking into account as well as being accountable to and for the people within our organisations, and the societies and communities we work in.

It’s not a new approach – the United Nations (UN) has pushed the need to tackle issues around improving human lives as well as protecting the environment for several decades; recognising ‘that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests’.1


At Ruddocks, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Every area of our business is guided by our principles to be a positive force for the future, aiming to lead by example. We have committed to support a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, three of which are very much focused on improving people’s lives. Not only do these aims tie in with our business objectives, but we believe working collaboratively towards global objectives will have the greatest overall impact.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


Humans are the biggest asset of most organisations; and as employers, we all have a responsibility to look after our people and support their development. Our approach at Ruddocks is driven by deep-rooted ethical beliefs that go beyond the basic expectations of paying a minimum of the national living wage, fostering equality and operating a safe place to work. We actively work to support mental well-being, and through our expectation exchange programme, we are championing openness and honesty together with encouraging accountability and promoting the empowerment of every individual who works at Ruddocks.


As a result of increasing numbers of people having to rely on food banks, we have recently committed to supporting The Trussell Trust and Lincoln’s local food banks.2 Supporting the community is not just a corporate initiative, our staff are an equally driving force behind what the business is doing. Our support of the local food banks not only includes monthly donations of food items but also donations of time. We have pledged volunteer time, where staff members are given time off to offer practical support to the food banks on a weekly basis at the local warehouse, to help make a real difference where it is most needed.


Employees help organisations drive sustainability. To facilitate the delivery of our objectives we run regular workshops to educate and update our team on our approach to and progress on operating sustainably, and we have launched ‘Our Guiding Principles’, a framework which supports our initiatives around building a better future. We also believe organisations have a duty to the young people in our society. A large part of the work we do in the community is supporting the development and education of younger people, both through our mentoring on-site and our support within schools, colleges and universities, particularly through our relationships with local special schools.

Quality education
We believe organisations have a duty to support the young people in our communities. It’s important we nurture talent and pass on the wealth of experience in our workforces. And it’s hugely rewarding seeing people grow in skills and confidence and to positively influence their potential contribution to the future.
Paul Banton
Managing Director, Ruddocks


This is all around creating an inclusive and safe living environment. Like many organisations, we are working to reduce our emissions; not only to achieve our target to become a net zero business by 2030 but also to directly benefit the people who live and work in the areas around us. Through our Environmental Management System, we know that 22% of our carbon output is directly attributable to transportation so we are actively encouraging our staff to car share, reduce unnecessary journeys, utilise our bike-to-work scheme, and we also offer flexible working to facilitate the usage of public transport. 

Another project we are quite excited about is reinstating part of our land back to a nature garden, for our employees and the wider community to enjoy, particularly important in what is predominantly an industrial area. Working with a local gardener, we are creating a peaceful, natural space which will encourage biodiversity, and where we can also grow some natural produce. This is the progress so far (picture taken in the spring of 2023):

The Ruddocks garden


Sustainability is all about working together, human life and the environment are mutually dependent, each protecting and supporting the wellbeing of the other. As organisations, we all have a responsibility to protect and restore our environment, and to improve the lives of our employees and the people in our communities, who in turn help to achieve our organisational aims and objectives around sustainability.




Are you interested in how we can support you on your sustainability journey?

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.