The media industry’s business network

Sustainability Guidance Notes

Guidance has been provided for each question that outlines the expectations when responding including additional information that sets the context and other useful information.

Click on a section heading/question for guidance related to that area.

Contents

      • Policies and standards

      • Energy

      • Waste

      • Emissions

        Policies and standards

        Question 1 

        Do you have a current written sustainability policy documentation publically available, such as copies of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy or environmental sustainability policies?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then to help you get started, search for “sustainability policy template” on the Internet where you will find many resources available. 

        Additional information

        As examples, the following websites have template statements and additional guidance available (please note that the DPP does not endorse or recommend any particular websites or templates).

        https://startups.co.uk/how-to-create-an-environmental-policy-statement/

        https://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk

        If your response is Planned then this would indicate that you have scheduled in effort and resources to write your policy but have not made a start. As part of your response, you must as a minimum include indicative dates for when your policy (or policies) will be finalised. You can consider including other key milestones. 

        If your response is In Progress then this would indicate that you have made a start and the policy may be in draft form, or be in your internal review and approval process. As part of your response, you must include indicative dates for when your policy (or policies) will be finalised. Documentary evidence may include draft copies of strategies, statements or policies.   

        If your response is Implemented then this would indicate that you already have a policy (or policies) in place and are now operating in accordance with those policies. Documentary evidence may include final copies of strategies, statements or policies.  

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        Question 2

        Do you currently have a named person(s) responsible for sustainability, with a named role and defined responsibilities?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then your organisation should consider assigning responsibility to someone for sustainability and grant them the authority and resources to help drive a positive environmental impact. 

        Additional information

        Dedicated resources may have the job title of Chief Sustainability Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Head of Sustainability etc. Smaller organisations may allocate these responsibilities as part of another role. 

        If your response is Planned then it would indicate that your organisation has the intention to assign responsibility and resources to someone, however that person may not have been appointed yet. The terms of reference may be only in draft form. You should consider providing a timescale and key milestones for implementation. 

        If your response is In Progress then it would indicate that your organisation has committed to assigning responsibility – you may be at a stage where interviews have taken place, appointments been awarded, budgets approved and released. 

        If your response is Implemented then it would indicate that your organisation has assigned responsibility to one or more individuals for managing environmental sustainability. For larger organisations there may be more than one dedicated resource. For smaller organisations it may be part of someone’s role. However, they will be empowered by the organisation to make decisions and drive positive change.

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        Question 3

        KEY QUESTION – this means that this question is especially important, and in planning to improve your sustainability, you should pay particular attention to the outcome of this question.

        Why is this important?

        Investors and customers rightly demand that the companies they deal with are transparent about, and accountable for, their environmental impact. You can demonstrate maturity around reporting, and a commitment to reducing environmental impact, by reporting via a recognised scheme. 

        For some smaller companies it may not be appropriate, or you may not have the necessary scale to warrant reporting via such a scheme. In those cases, ideally you should consider making that information available on your website. This enables potential customers to make more informed decisions. If it’s not possible to share via your own website, then you should at least make an option to request information available.

        For further information around reporting see https://cdp.net

        Question 

        Do you voluntarily provide organisational performance information to customers? This could be published publicly, provided upon request, or provided via a Carbon Disclosure Project (or similar)?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No you should consider reporting about your environmental sustainability performance. This is important, as it allows you to be transparent about the risks and opportunities you’re facing, and allows your organisation to be held accountable. Smaller organisations could consider publishing information on their website. 

        If your response is Planned then it would indicate that your organisation has considered reporting and has made plans accordingly. This could include details around whether the reporting will be via an organisation such as the Carbon Disclosure Project or Carbon Trust, or via some other means such as reporting on your company website, or by partnering with third parties. 

        If your response is In progress then it would indicate that your organisation is capturing data for reporting and may be part way through the reporting period. If reporting via a recognised scheme, then your organisation would have already been in touch with the scheme provider and be in active discussion with them. 

        If your response is Implemented then it would indicate that your organisation is already reporting via a third-party organisation such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, Carbon Trust or similar. For smaller organisations you are likely to be publishing the information on your own website or in documents that are made available upon request.

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        Question 4

        Have you set organisational targets for performance improvements?

        Additional information

        Setting improvement targets for key environmental impact areas will enable your organisation to move towards reducing its environmental impact by focussing its activities on a specific goal. The targets need to be realistic but also ambitious both in terms of timescale and impact. 

        Targets and performance improvements should at least consider core impact areas such as energy use, waste and carbon emissions.

        You can obtain information about setting targets at the following website where you can also publish targets once set: –
        https://sciencebasedtargets.org

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then your organisation should consider measuring some of the key environmental impact areas that have been identified as part of this process and then set improvement targets. Performance against these targets should be included in any reporting that is implemented. 

        If your response is Planned then your organisation has considered measuring key environmental impact areas and has formulated a plan for monitoring and measurement. It has also developed an understanding of the requirements and has considered the resources required to measure them.  

        If your response is Implemented then your organisation has started measurement and is able to consider setting targets for improvement.

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        Question 5

        KEY QUESTION – this means that this question is especially important, and in planning to improve your sustainability, you should pay particular attention to the outcome of this question.

        Why is this important?

        Many national and international industry standards and best practice recommendations exist that address the requirements of environmental sustainability. Adherence and compliance to these demonstrates a high degree of maturity and commitment to achieving a positive environmental impact. 

        Consider registering for an industry standard or following best practice guidance. There are numerous benefits ranging from achieving positive environmental impact and better risk management, through to achieving cost savings. 

        A number of these have been listed below and links to the relevant websites provided:

        If you run your facilities in data centres (or own or operate your own) then consider reviewing the following best practice guidelines:

        Best Practice Guidelines for the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency

        These guidelines assist data centre operators in “identifying and implementing measures to improve the energy efficiency of their data centres”.

        Additional guidance on actionable measures you can take, can be found at the following links: 

        Question 

        Do you adhere to any existing sustainability standards and best practice recommendations?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then consider working towards an industry standard or other best practice recommendations. The Committed to Sustainability programme is a good start to help you on the way. 

        If your response is Planned then your organisation has considered implementing an international standard or best practice recommendations. They may have already applied for specific schemes.

        If your response is In Progress then your organisation has applied or registered, and may already be working part way through a standard or best practice recommendations. 

        If your response is Implemented then your organisation is already following an industry best practice or has attained certification in one more standard.

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        Question 6

        Has your organisation incorporated environmental sustainability awareness into staff training and development plans?

        Additional information

        Buy-in from all staff will be required to achieve your organisational objectives for sustainability. If staff are not aware of the effects that their day to day actions at work can potentially have on the environment, then it won’t be possible to drive the desired change. 

        An awareness and development programme that encompasses sustainability should be incorporated into staff training and development plans. Sustainability information and goals can be incorporated into employee inductions or handbooks. 

        The following websites have lots of useful information to help raise awareness. Some have carbon footprint calculators that can be used by staff to assess their own environmental impact in their personal lives as well as at work: 

        https://www.wwf.org.uk

        If you work in the TV and Film industry in the UK then free training is available via Albert. 

        https://wearealbert.org/about/free-training

        Some organisations can consider getting some staff to be formally trained in Sustainability, in particular Sustainability reporting. The following organisation offers training to individuals as well as organisations. 

        https://carbonliteracy.com

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No it would indicate that environmental sustainability does not feature as a theme in staff training plans. You should work towards updating your staff training plans to include this.

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that staff in your organisation have environmental sustainability as a key personal development area. Your organisation may offer courses either online or in-person, or may encourage staff to attend courses provided by others. 

        Additional information

        You may include environmental sustainability as part of new staff induction. These measures and any other approaches implemented should be described in the section How have you implemented this?

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        Question 7

        Does your procurement policy include requirements that your suppliers have sustainability policies?

        Additional information

        Your supply chain should be managed with sustainability in mind, using sustainability as part of the selection criteria during procurement. Placing contractual requirements on your suppliers may be appropriate, as could monitoring ongoing supplier sustainability performance. 

        Any organisations completing this checklist should also review their existing suppliers and recommend that they too get involved by completing a checklist of their own. 

        It will enable all organisations involved in the supply chain to think more about their environmental impact and will help collectively amplify the change required to achieve a positive environmental impact.

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No it would indicate that you currently don’t have policies in place that require those purchasing goods or services for your organisation to systematically request sustainability credentials from suppliers. 

        If your response is Yes it would indicate that your organisation currently has policies in place when purchasing goods or services that require sustainability features as part of the procurement consideration. Information is requested on the suppliers sustainability credentials.

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        Question 8

        KEY QUESTION – this means that this question is especially important, and in planning to improve your sustainability, you should pay particular attention to the outcome of this question.

        Why is this important?

        Organisations should consider meaningful integration of sustainability into the design, development and delivery of products and services.  Our planet contains finite resources and as they are mined and used for everyday products, these resources will eventually dwindle. The extraction of these resources also has a huge environmental impact and so it makes sense to reuse where possible. 

        Most modern products/and or services are not designed with sustainability in mind so when something becomes faulty, it is replaced by buying something new. This is where consideration of sustainability in design, development and delivery of products and services can help.

        It’s important as it helps organisations to think in detail about the full lifecycle of their products and services. It is better from an impact perspective to move towards a Circular Economy where a product is developed, manufactured, used, and then reused. 

        You can find out more about Circular Economy and how to consider design and development here: 

        https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org 

        A useful resource map can be found at the following link: 

        https://kumu.io/ellenmacarthurfoundation

        While it’s important to consider the full lifecycle it is also important to consider aspects of design and delivery. Can a solution be designed with less environmental impact in mind? Have all alternatives to technology infrastructure been considered?  

        Question 

        Do you consider sustainability in your design, development and delivery process?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then you have not considered sustainability in the design, development or delivery of your products or services.  

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have considered sustainability in the design, development or delivery of your products or services. You would have considered the end to end impact – the details can be summarised in the extended field “How have you implemented this?”.

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        Energy

        Question 9

        KEY QUESTION – this means that this question is especially important, and in planning to improve your sustainability, you should pay particular attention to the outcome of this question.

        Why is this important?

        Where possible, organisations should move to using energy suppliers who use renewable sources or other alternative sources of energy. For most organisations, the use of non-renewable (fossil fuel based) energy is the most significant contributor to carbon emissions. 

        Carbon offsetting may be acceptable in circumstances where renewable or alternative energy sources are not available. For example, in some countries, the only source of energy available may be fossil fuel. In this situation, if the total amount of energy used is known, the equivalent in carbon emissions can be offset. 

        Your power supplier or your landlord should be able to provide you with your actual annual usage. 

        Find out from your energy supplier if they’re providing energy from renewable or non-fossil fuel based sources. If not, then they may be able to switch you to an alternative tariff that does. If they can’t, then investigate switching to a new provider who can supply renewable energy. This will vary from office to office/region to region. If renewable sources are not available then consider offsetting the carbon emissions as an alternative. 

        In the UK, the Albert scheme has developed a Green energy programme called Creative Energy. They assess the market on a regular basis and partner with energy providers to offer the best deals to organisations wishing to switch their supplier. 

        Further information can be found at the link below.

        https://wearealbert.org/about/creative-energy/

        Question 

        Where your organisation has control over its energy procurement, are you using energy from non-fossil fuel based or renewable energy sources?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is Not applicable then it would indicate that you have no management control over your energy procurement. This can occur when you’re operating from third party facilities (customer or landlord provided energy supply). In these situations, where possible, the third parties should be encouraged to switch to energy suppliers who use renewable sources. 

        It may also be the case that your landlord or customer site is already using renewable energy sources, in which case you should still select Not Applicable.  

        If your response is No then it would indicate that although you have control over your energy procurement the majority of your energy is sourced from fossil fuel based suppliers. You should consider checking to see if your existing provider offers renewable energy as an option, if not then choose a provider who can. If that’s not possible then consider offsetting the carbon emissions. 

        If your response is Partial then it would indicate that your organisation operates in a mixed environment where, in some facilities, you may have full control over your energy procurement and in others you may not. For example, if you have a division that is based in a customer location or in third party managed office.  

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that your organisation has full control over its energy procurement and has already moved to suppliers that are providing energy using non-fossil fuel based sources, such as renewable electricity from wind, solar, and/or other alternative sources. 

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        Question 10

        This question enables us to gather metrics about sustainability in the media industry. 

        Your answer should cover a 12 month reporting period. If you don’t have data for the full 12 months, then estimates should be used where there are gaps.

        Additional Information
        Your total energy used can be found in your utility bills, or provided by your energy supplier. If this is not available then estimates can be developed by assessing and modelling your energy consumption. For example, by using your asset register to estimate the energy consumed by electrical devices such as computers, laptops, printers, kettles, microwaves, lighting, air conditioning etc. 

        Question 

        Are you measuring the total Energy use across your organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you have not been measuring the total energy across the organisation. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that across your organisation you’re keeping track of energy used and recording this information.  

        Question

        Is information available to customers on total Energy consumption broken down by sites?

        Additional Information
        It’s important and useful to publish or make information available about energy consumption broken down by regions or other classifications as customers are looking to make an informed decision based on environmental factors. For example, if there’s a part of a service that uses multiple data centres then a customer may prefer to use a low energy data centre or one that is uses renewable sources of energy.   

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you don’t have the information available. 

        If your response is Not applicable then it would indicate that you primarily operate out of a single site and therefore don’t need to have information about other sites.  

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have information available about energy consumption broken down by the various different sites. 

        Question

        Are you reporting the total Energy use across your organisation?

        Additional Information
        To enable customers to make informed purchasing decisions, information about energy use across the organisation should be reported via a recognised scheme mentioned earlier or made available on company websites or other literature.  This is also facilitates greater transparency and accountability. 

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reporting this information. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have information available and are reporting either via a recognised scheme or publically via website or other mechanism. 

        Question

        How has your relative (total) Energy use changed across your organisation?

        Additional Information

        There are many methods by which an organisation can choose to measure energy use. In the majority of circumstances it cannot be quantified simply by seeing whether it has increased or decreased based on total consumption. This can be impacted by numerous factors such as growth in staff, mergers and acquisitions etc. 

        So organisations should use a metric by which they can assess whether overall energy consumption has changed, and provide details of the metric and approach used.

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is Between +-5% then it would indicate that by the mechanism which you have used to assess energy use on balance it has only increased or decreased by 5%.

        If your response is Increased >5% then it would indicate that by the mechanism which you have used to assess energy use on balance it has increased by more than 5%.

        If your response is Decreased between 5% and 10% then it would indicate that by the mechanism which you have used to assess energy use on balance it has decreased by more than 5% and less than 10%.

        If your response is Decreased >10% then it would indicate that by the mechanism which you have used to assess energy use on balance it has decreased by more than 10%.

        Question

        What metric have you used to measure this?

        Organisations should use an appropriate metric by which they can assess whether overall energy consumption has changed, and provide details of the metric and approach used.

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        Waste

        Question 11

        KEY QUESTION – this means that this question is especially important, and in planning to improve your sustainability, you should pay particular attention to the outcome of this question.

        The questions should cover a 12 month reporting period. If you don’t have data for the full 12 months then estimates should be used where there are gaps.

        Why is this important?

        Waste generated in the industry can vary from general office waste such as food, paper, and plastics, to harmful substances and electronic waste. When waste is collected it is often sent to a landfill site and this has serious negative environmental impact. Over time as waste breaks down, it leads to a range of harmful toxins being released and entering the environment. Organisations should find out from their waste disposal provider how much of their waste is being sent to landfill, and should aim to minimise this.

        Question

        Are you measuring the total amount of Landfill waste across your organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not measuring this information. Sending waste to landfill has serious negative environmental impact, you should find out from your waste disposal provider how much of the waste is being sent to landfill.   

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you’re recording details of how much of your waste is being sent to the Landfill. You should select Yes, if you know that you have a zero-to-landfill waste management supplier.  

        Question

        How much of your commercial waste is sent to the landfill?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is None then it would indicate that your waste management provider is not sending any waste to Landfill and has measures in place to recycle, reuse or convert to energy all your waste. 

        If your response is Under 5% then it would indicate that your waste management provider is sending up to 5% of your waste Landfill.

        If your response is Over 5% then it would indicate that your waste management provider is sending more than 5% of your waste Landfill.

        Additional Information

        Consider moving to a zero-to-landfill waste disposal provider. If that’s not possible, consider whether there are options for your waste to be incinerated instead. The waste is converted to energy when incinerated through an energy recovery facility. 

        Question

        Are you reporting the total amount of Landfill waste across your organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reporting this information. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have information available and are reporting this information.

        You are required to provide supplementary information in the section How have you reported. Examples of this could include reporting on your own website or data made available upon request. 

        Question

        Are you reducing the total amount of Landfill waste across your organisation?

        Additional information

        This is only applicable if you do have some waste going to Landfill. 

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reducing the amount of waste that is going to Landfill. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have reduced the amount of waste going to Landfill.

        You will need to indicate the amount of reduction in  % for your last recording period in the section What have you reduced it by in %?

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        Question 12

        Question 

        Are you measuring the amount of Recyclable waste across your organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not measuring this information. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you’re recording details of how much of your waste is being Recycled.  

        You will be required to provide details of the volume in the section: 

        What is the total amount of Recyclable waste for your last recording period (in kg)?

        You will also be required to provide additional details in the field:

        How you have implemented this?

        Question

        Have you taken measures to reduce the amount of single use plastic used by your organisation? 

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you have not taken measures to reduce single use plastics in your organisation. Some tips on plastic reduction can be found here:

        https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/ten-tips-reduce-your-plastic-footprint

        If your response is Yes then provide additional details on the measures taken in the section Please provide further details.

        Question 

        Do you or your waste management provider reuse or recycle Electronic waste?

        Additional information 

        In some countries there are legal requirements to dispose of electrical waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Your waste disposal provider will typically collect your electronic waste and then dispose of it responsibly. You may also consider re-using some electronic waste.

        If your response is Not applicable then it would indicate that your organisation may be based in a region where facilities to recycle or reuse electronic waste are not available. 

        If you response is No then it would indicate your organisation or your waste management does not reuse or recycle electronic waste. 

        If your response is Partial then it would indicate that some of your electrical waste is recycled or reused and the rest is disposed of. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that your organisation or waste management provider reuses or recycles electronic waste. 

        If so please provide further details in the section How have you implemented this?

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        Emissions

        The overall objective is to reduce our carbon emissions. This requires an organisation to understand how much it is emitting to begin with. Reporting on this to aid transparency and taking measures to reduce emissions is extremely important.  It may not always be possible to do that, so Carbon offsetting can help. Carbon offsetting is a process that’s used when emission of carbon is unavoidable. For example, when taking a necessary business flight, or emissions generated when goods are transported by vehicle. The amount of carbon that would have been emitted is offset by doing something positive to negate the harmful effects of the carbon. For example, planting trees.

        A number of schemes exist to help organisations offset their carbon. For example, some airlines will charge you a bit extra as a contribution to offset the carbon. 

        Some schemes have been listed below. The DPP does not recommend or endorse any specific schemes. 

        A reliable Carbon offsetting scheme will publish information about what they’re funding, and how they calculate the emissions saved. Schemes should be registered with bodies like Gold Standard or Climate Action Reserve, which publishes protocols on how to prove and quantify savings according to the current best science. It’s worth finding out a bit more information about a scheme before committing to it.

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        Question 13

        Are you measuring the total Carbon footprint across your whole organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not measuring the total Carbon footprint across your organisation. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you are measuring the total Carbon footprint across your whole organisation.

        You will be required to provide details of the total recorded emission in the section

        What is the total Carbon footprint for your last recording period (in tonnes)?

        Additional Information

        A portion of your total emissions will be based on business travel. Airline travel generates more Carbon emissions than other common forms of transport. If your organisation requires staff to travel consider ways in which this can be minimised. Ask yourself whether travel is actually required and whether it’s possible to achieve your objectives via a video or conference call.

        Question

        What is the total Carbon emission from business travel for your last recording period (in tonnes)?

        Question

        Are you reporting the total Carbon footprint across your whole organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reporting Carbon footprint across your whole organisation. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have information available and are reporting this information.

        You are required to provide supplementary information in the How have you reported this field. Examples of this could include reporting on your own website or data made available upon request. 

        Question

        Are you reducing the total Carbon footprint across your whole organisation?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reducing the total amount of Carbon emissions across your whole organisation.

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have reduced the total amount of Carbon emissions across your whole organisation. 

        If so you will need to indicate by what % you have reduced it by in the field titled:

        What have you reduced it by in %?

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        Question 14

        Do you offset your Carbon footprint through a reliable and trustworthy Carbon reduction programme?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is Not applicable it would indicate that in some cases you have no control over the carbon emissions, for example, if you’re hosted at a customer site or if travel arrangements are outside of your control.  

        If your response is Partial it would indicate that for some activities you have been offsetting emissions, however, it is not widespread across all business activities. 

        You will be required to provide additional details in the Please provide further details field. 

        If your response is No it would indicate that you do not offset any Carbon emissions. 

        If your response is Yes it would indicate that you do offset Carbon emissions via a reliable and trustworthy Carbon reduction programme.   

        You will be required to provide details in the How you have implemented this? field

        Question

        Are you measuring other environmental data?

        Additional information

        Other environmental data in this context can be a range of measures including water and other Green House Gas emissions.

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not measuring other environmental data across your organisation. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you’re measuring other environmental data across your organisation. 

        You will be required to provide further details of this in the How have you implemented this? field. 

        Question

        Are you Reporting on other environmental data?

        What do the options mean?

        If your response is No then it would indicate that you are not reporting on other environmental data. 

        If your response is Yes then it would indicate that you have information available and are reporting this information.

        You are required to provide supplementary information in the How have you reported this? field. Examples of this could include reporting on your own website or data made available upon request.

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        Question 15

        Is there any other information that you would like to add in support of your submission?

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