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Local Companies Heed the Call to Reduce Environmental Impacts on World Environment Day
Release date: 14/06/2006
Members of the local Green Business Network (GBN) have been pledging to reduce their environmental impacts following the UK initiative led by the Environment Agency call for them to "Promise the Earth for World Environment Day". The Day, officially held on 5 June, has come and gone, but its legacies will last for years to come.
GBN’s own contribution to World Environment Day consisted of attending a “Networking Matters” seminar to stress the business benefits to companies of sound environmental practices. Accompanying GBN chief executive Sarah Williams was Ellen Maunder of Grundfos, who delivered a presentation detailing what her company has done both over the past few years and what it had done for World Environment Day. Essentially, Grundfos employees participated in the promise pyramid advertised on the Environment Agency website and in a very short time have saved: 2.2 batteries, 0.2 hours of volunteer time, 68.8 kg of carbon dioxide, 6049 litres of water, 14.2 plastic bags.
GBN members from a variety of businesses – small and large, government bodies and other organisations have provided feedback on the measures they’ve taken, which will not only benefit the environment, but will also save them money. Here’s a selection of their actions that other companies can learn from and use to reduce their own environmental impacts.
- The Environment Agency’s Bedford Office has removed all individual desk bins from its offices, leaving just one communal bin per floor; increasing the number of recycling bins for paper, plastics, cans, cardboard and batteries; and introducing a wormery on the roof of the building for food waste from kitchens. The overall impact of the above has been to reduce its residual waste sent for disposal to less than 1kg per day for an office of over 50 staff.
- Cambridge Dynamics Ltd, together with sister company Defuma, has renegotiated its contract for waste disposal to allow recyclable materials to be collected separately.
- Adroit Associates has fitted a Motoflow to both its vehicles, reducing the fuel use by over 12% on one of its cars (and also CO2 emissions).
- Pictons, solicitors in Luton, has a paper/cardboard & plastic recycling initiative, which has reduced waste costs by over 50%; it encourages staff to re-use old A4 lever arch folders (the company gets through a lot); implemented a double-sided printing and photocopying scheme, which has reduced paper usage by up to 50% in some areas of the office; added a statement to its autosignature encouraging clients not to print emails unless absolutely necessary; turning off all monitors at the end of the day, and turning off all non-essential lights around the building.
- Conquest Sales and Marketing is reducing its impact by journey planning, re-using the blank sides of scrap paper, refilling ink cartridges, recycling paper and turning off standby lights after work. In addition, staff wear warm clothes in winter rather than over-heating the office.
- In the next two weeks, Chiltern Future Energy will install Bedfordshire’s first roof mounted micro wind installation on a property in Heath & Reach in South Beds.
- HotRot Composting Systems Ltd’s composting plants are diverting considerable amounts of organic waste from landfill and creating useful products in the meantime.
- D A Wood Energy has helped many clients receive the benefits of purchasing green energy, often saving them up to 30% on their bills and contributing to reducing their CO2 footprint on the environment.
- Castlebar Catering Supplies Ltd is promoting degradable products for catering purposes, ie plates etc made from pulped reed, degradable cups, tumblers & packaging made from paper etc, not oil based products.
GBN is committed to helping businesses in Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes and neighbouring areas to save £250,000 this year by cutting down on water, electricity and gas use and by reducing the amount of waste they produce. The organisation, supported by funding from Envirowise and Bedfordshire County Council together with membership subscriptions, offers companies the opportunity to take advantage of free or low-cost training and advice and to share best practice at networking and other events.
For more information about membership, please visit www.gbn-bedfordshire.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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