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Equality and Sustainability

13 July, 2022

Commitment to Equality

Best practice requires us to report on our work with regards to the public sector equality duty (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010). We consider the needs of different groups or individuals when carrying out our day-to-day work. This includes having due regard for the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, or victimisation. 
  • Advance equality of opportunity; between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who don’t. 
We are committed to giving equality, diversity and inclusion proper consideration in all that we do as a regulator and as an employer. Our approach to ensuring public protection is underpinned by our belief that all individuals should be treated fairly and have access to equality of opportunity.

When provided, we collect equality and diversity data about our registrants under the headings of the protected characteristics, including age; disability; gender reassignment; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation; marriage and civil partnership. In addition, where provided, we hold equality data for fitness to practise processes, for cases that are referred for assessment. 

Our equality monitoring forms were reviewed and updated in 2021, following commitments to improve how we collect and use EDI data in order to better understand the diversity of our stakeholders, and meet our obligations as a provider of a public service. We now have updated data for over 104,000 dental professionals, which is 92% of the register, compared to 66% of the register before.

This data is used to support our analysis of the impact of our regulation on people who share protected characteristics so we can foster inclusion and diversity and detect and eliminate discrimination. Over time, as we improve the rate of return of voluntarily provided data for all our stakeholders, these changes will enable us to better compare our data with insight from other organisations and national statistics.
Equality Impact Assessments are carried out on new policies and initiatives, and we collect equality data when we undertake any public consultations. This is used to understand and segment the responses to consultations and to understand the impact on people with a range of protected characteristics.   
We are committed to ensuring that our website is accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities. It has been assessed against the current accessibility guidelines and conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAH) level AA. 
We remain committed to ensuring that equality is an important consideration for all our work going forward, including in the development of our new Corporate Strategy for 2023-2025 which is currently underway.  


We seek to minimise our environmental impact in several practical ways. For example, our London office incorporates a sustainable design, energy efficiency and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) reduction. It is on year two of a two-year electricity contract on a green tariff. Our recycling rate in London is 46%, with 36.94 tonnes of CO2 being offset.

In our Birmingham office, we have worked with the landlord to recycle as many waste streams as possible. The office lighting has motion sensors and is reduced after a period of inactivity, and there are recycling points in all the kitchens. We have supported the upgrade of the landlord’s building management system which should be more energy efficient.

All staff are encouraged to use public transport and have access to the Cycle to Work scheme where the GDC provides a bicycle purchase as part of a salary sacrifice employee benefit, which is exempt from National Insurance. Both offices have secure cycle storage facilities.

Print usage is actively managed and monitored. Staff are encouraged to use scanning and electronic filing. GDC Committees use electronic documents and iPads instead of paper. Reports showing the number of pages printed are periodically sent to all staff as part of a drive to reduce waste. All confidential waste and mixed waste is recycled.

We consider sustainability issues within our procurement and investment practices.

Our investment advisors, who manage our financial asset portfolio, utilise Principles for Responsible Investment concepts, supported by the United Nations, in any investment decision.

Carbon footprint

Information of our carbon footprint has been calculated for our energy usage and business travel, using the relevant requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate standard and details both absolute and normalised (relative) emissions. Comparative information for 2020 is not available as this is our first year of reporting.

Breakdown of annual greenhouse gas emissions by activity type for 2021

Emission typeActivityUnits(tCO2e)% of Total

Indirect energy

(Scope 2) 

Emissions from the purchase of electricity, including heat, steam and cooling (KWh).414,43496.6286.2%
Other indirect emissions 
(Scope 3)
Emissions associated with grid losses, in getting electricity from power plant to organisation (KWh). 414,4348.317.4%
 Business travel (miles).18,1246.666.0%
 Emissions associated with the upstream process of extracting, refining and transporting (known as Well-to-tank emissions). 18,1240.450.4%
Total emissions (tCO2e)  112.04100%

*Scope 1 emissions arise from organisation-owned and operated vehicles, plant and machinery 

For a more detailed overview, you can download our full Annual Report and Accounts 2021.