During Recycle Week we wanted to take the opportunity to blow our trumpet about our green credentials to encourage you to take a look at yours.
Recycle Week (20-26th September 2021) is Recycle Now’s annual flagship event which is a celebration of recycling across the nation.
Now in its 18th year, it’s the one week of the year where retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media come together to achieve one goal: to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often. This year the theme is ‘Step It Up This Recycle Week’, encouraging every single one of us to change small everyday habits in order to help the battle against climate change.
Have you analysed your work practices lately?
Where could you make changes that would help?
- Are there recycling bins in your office?
- Do you still print emails?
- Are you keeping paper copies where you don’t need to?
- Do you have a recycling collection?
- Does your shredding company recycle waste?
- What is your merch made from?
- Are you supplied with green energy?
- Do you supply reusable cups, glasses and cutlery to discourage use of disposables?
- Are your cleaning products concentrated?
- Have you checked that all your suppliers are sustainable?
We took a look at ourselves and were pleasantly surprised!
Admittedly, we don’t have recycling bins in our office but we will address that when everyone is working back in the office again.
Due to a fortuitously broken printer, we started our paperless journey in 2011. It was never replaced, so we have been totally paperless since 2015. No one prints off emails or keeps any paper copies of anything unnecessarily.
We still receive paper copies of some documents that need shredding: our supplier is local, so we keep carbon emissions low but we’re unsure of whether they recycle so we’re looking into it as this goes to print.
Like most businesses during lockdown, everyone has been working from home which has significantly decreased the need to travel and the level of energy usage in the office. We’ve even taken on three new staff who will be permanently based remotely, cutting energy usage and carbon emissions from travel even further.
Even when we are in the office, our kitchen is stocked with plenty of cutlery and crockery to ensure that no one is using any single use plastic options.
About three years ago, we heavily reduced the amount of branded merchandise we supply. While I know there are people out there who will miss our boomerangs (yes, really!), we decided that the world really didn’t need us supplying plastic pens, stress relievers, rulers and calculators. When the conference and exhibition world get back to some form of normality, we will be focusing on more sustainably produced branded give aways. Watch this space.
Help us to continue making improvements
While we can make as many changes as we like internally, unfortunately, it’s much harder to encourage others to follow our example.
A small number of large organisations (including PWC, Royal Mail and Tesco) still insist on sending paper copies of references, despite the lack of security, speed and accuracy implications. If you are one of these and you could see your way to working with us electronically, everyone would be very grateful, not least the planet!
We have had one recent success though: HSBC insisted on sending us paper bank statements until, after years of pestering, they finally agreed to supply them electronically. That was only in May this year!
If you have any other ideas about how to make a business more sustainable, we’d love to hear from you. We are always looking for ways to improve. Please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.