Our environmental impacts 2007-2008
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 .
There has been a significant increase in emissions, which can be explained by the addition of a new member of staff and the expansion of our offices into a supplementary room (office energy usage as a percentage of total CO2 emissions increased from 19% in 2007 to 32% in 2008). Due to different project commitments, Brook Lyndhurst staff travelled outside of London a lot less in 2007/2008 than in 2006/2007.
CO2 emissions for 2007/2008 totalled 13,800 kilograms. Turnover (gross) for the same period was £877,647. We emitted 0.0157kg of CO2 for every pound earned compared to 0.0124kg of CO2 for every pound earned in 2006/2007. This equates to 1,174kg CO2 for each employee compared to 1,050kg CO2 in 2006/2007.
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, cycle or walk to work in 2007/2008.
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 9.37 tonnes of CO2 (6.78 tonnes on daily commutes and 2.59 tonnes on other travel related to work outside London) . This is broadly in line with last year’s figure of 9.34 tonnes of CO2. However, it does involve one more employee and is based on the entire year, rather than the 10 months of the 2007 figure.
Brook Lyndhurst encourages employees to work from home when appropriate, cutting out the need for transport to work completely. From July 2007 to June 2008 employees worked from home for a total of 185 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 delivery. We had eighteen stationery orders in 2007/2008.
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 17 mono and 3 colour printer cartridges (1.77 per person) – this was 1.4 per person for the previous year; 16% of stationery products had a recycled content (21% last year); and we bought two laptops (compared to four desktop computers, a small business server with main computer, a toaster, a kettle and a microwave in the previous year) .
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 office energy usage between July 2007 and June 2008 was 8,466 kWh. This equates to 4.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions . This is double last year’s figure of 2.2 tonnes, but this covers a 12-month period (rather than the 10 months of initial monitoring completed last year), and we extended our office by an additional room and one additional staff member.
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.
We recycle paper, cans and plastic with Paper Round a private recycling company. One of our goals from the 2006/2007 Sustainability report was to begin recycling glass and Tetra Pak containers. We now use Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commercial recycling service for cardboard, Tetra Pak and glass. We didn’t dispose of any computer equipment during this period nor did we return any electrical equipment to suppliers (when a replacement one was bought) as per the WEEE Directive.
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.
Brook Lyndhurst began monitoring food waste in June 2008 and will include figures on this in next year’s report.
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 [...]