Our environmental impacts 2006-2007
We recognise that we do have an unavoidable impact on the environment but wherever possible we mitigate our impact through our choice of work, suppliers, travel, partners, etc. Our location in serviced offices continues to be an obstacle to accurately measuring our carbon footprint. However, we can monitor employee transport as well as our energy usage in the office.
We began monitoring in September 2006 and will use the same method to provide year on year comparisons for our future sustainability reporting. CO2 emissions for September 2006 to June 2007 totalled 11,545 kilograms. Turnover (gross) for the same period was £934,932. We emitted 0.0123kg of CO2 for every pound earned and 1,050kg CO2 for each employee.
By using public transport wherever possible, by cycling and by working locally we aim to “tread lightly”. Over 90% of our employees used public transport, cycled or walked to work in 2006/2007. We calculate our collective CO2 emissions for both the daily commute to work as well as any travel outside of London (related to work). This was equal to 9.34 tonnes of CO2 (5.82 tonnes on daily commutes and 3.52 tonnes on other travel related to work outside London) .
Brook Lyndhurst encourages employees to work from home when appropriate, cutting out the need for transport to work completely. From September 2006 to June 2007 employees worked from home for a total of 170 days. In addition, we source our stationery locally and keep our number of stationery orders to a minimum in order to avoid the impacts of unnecessary deliveries. We had eleven stationery orders in 2006/2007.
Energy efficiency and recycled content are key components of our selection criteria for purchasing any new stationery or equipment, e.g. printers. In terms of the ‘nitty-gritty’ in this period: we used 146 reams of paper (13.3 per person); 15 mono printer cartridges (1.4 per person); 21% of stationery products had a recycled content, although this rises to 68% when printer cartridges are removed from the calculation; and we bought four desktop computers, a small business server with main computer, a toaster, a kettle and a microwave .
As we live in serviced offices we cannot make low energy consumption choices, e.g. the use of energy efficiency light bulbs. However, we minimise our energy use by switching off lights, monitors and other equipment when not in use and only boiling as much water as needed when making tea. We continue to lobby our office provider for green tariffs (unsuccessfully).
To raise awareness, we have placed Carbon Trust posters in high traffic/common areas of the building (e.g. kitchens, toilets etc) reminding other people to do the same. Our total energy use between September 2006 and June 2007 was 4,218 kWh. This equates to 2.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions .
Waste & recycling
We recycle all paper waste: we use paper on both sides and then fully recycle; we reduce the need for printing lots of documents by using an electronic library and sharing; we reuse old envelopes and then fully recycle; and we avoid the use of excessively packaged products. Wherever possible we try to use rechargeable batteries.
One of our goals from last year’s internal Sustainability Report was to encourage the reuse of plastic bags. To that end, we set up a plastic bag holder near the office door for employees to use when going out for lunch/shopping etc. We also found a plastic bag recycling depot near to the office where employees may take any excess bags.
We didn’t dispose of any computer equipment during this period, although we did return one kettle to the supplier (when a replacement one was bought) as per the WEEE Directive for electrical equipment.
Our office is not metered; water costs are included in service charges (where our use is limited to a kitchen sink and toilet facilities). However, we do encourage water conservation through the posters we have put up in kitchens/toilets and by our own behaviour.
We source all our milk from a local, organic dairy, and return the glass bottles for reuse. We use Fair Trade tea and coffee sourced from a local organic food store. Office supplies of biscuits and snacks also tend to be sourced from this store or other local, organic and/or free trade brands.
I had the pleasure of joining some 300 researchers and academics from around the world a couple of weeks ago to discuss the latest thinking on persuading consumers to use less energy. The BEHAVE2014 conference took place in Oxford at a time when it is increasingly appreciated, by businesses, governments and civic society, that any [...]
We had a conversation in the office the other day about herd behaviour and the difference between football and cricket crowds. Why is it that spectators at a football match can occasionally get aggressive and abusive, but spectators at a cricket match tend to act more like naughty schoolboys: boisterous but essentially good-natured? It’s a [...]