Efforts to improve environmental and ethical credentials have helped workwear and safety specialist Arco gain a gold medal from international sustainability ratings specialist EcoVadis.

After several years with a silver rating, the Hull-based company has now achieved gold after improving its scores in areas such as the environment by improving energy performance reporting and the setting of carbon reduction targets.

It also improved its scores in labour and human rights and in sustainable procurement.

The gold rating puts Arco in the top 5% of more than 100,000 companies that are assessed by EcoVadis. In addition, Arco was also recognised as an industry leader, overall, by making the top 2% of companies rated by EcoVadis in its industry sector as well as in the areas of sustainable procurement where it was in the top 1%, and environment, placed in the top 2%.

Jim Harbidge, head of sustainability at Arco, said: “As a responsible choice of safety partner, Arco is very proud to have secured a gold medal from EcoVadis and that our efforts to continuously improve in sustainability and ethical performance have been recognised.

“As a business, we are always striving to be the best at what we do, to lead in our industry and in the family business sector.

“We will continue to take steps to achieve our ambition of being a platinum-rated business in the future, including increasing our alignment to external standards and accreditations, such as setting science-based targets, and further improving our reporting to stakeholders.”

The EcoVadis methodology framework assesses companies’ policies and actions as well as their published reporting related to the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.

Its team of international sustainability experts analyse and cross-check companies’ data, such as supporting documents and 360-degree Watch Findings, to create reliable ratings, taking into account each company’s industry, size and geographic location.

Other companies that have taken part in the EcoVadis assessment system include digital print specialist Epson, promotional merchandise company Geiger and European garment decorator Lynka.