5 actions we’re taking to reduce our carbon footprint

17th Feb 2022 by The Maltings

We take a deep dive into how we’re developing our methods so that we can operate as a 'greener' business.

As a business dealing primarily with paper and IT hardware - and plenty of it! - every single day, our environmental impact and our company’s carbon footprint is always at the forefront of how we conduct business.

That’s why, looking at everything from our recycling methods through to the types of bins and lighting we use, we’ve been drastically improving and developing how we operate at The Maltings Document Storage Solutions and The Maltings Secure Shredding.

But what does that actually look like? In this piece, we explore what we're doing as a company, and the tangible steps any business could take to improve their environmental impact and reduce their carbon footprint.

In brief:

  • Recycling everything that we can
  • Reducing all waste types where possible
  • Introducing electric vehicles into our fleet
  • Switching lights, heating and water to low energy alternatives
  • Achieving the relevant ISO accreditations

#1: Recycling everything that we can

We’re careful to recycle all the paper and cardboard we can from within our offices, but we also recycle all the leftover material from our clients’ destroyed documents.

Incredibly, based on the volume of tonnage we recycle each month, this is the equivalent to taking 300 cars off the road! (See below).

Just by saving 3.61 tons CO2E for every ton of material we recycle, we’re helping to offset the harmful pollution created by lanes upon lanes of heavy traffic.

You can work out the impact of your own waste reduction practices with the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Calculator.

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#2: Reducing all waste types where possible

Recycling is key, but just by correctly separating waste at the start of its life cycle - in the office, in communal areas, in bathrooms for example - or by reassessing the external providers who handle your waste, businesses can stand to save extraordinary amounts of money.

Lewis Foster, Buildings & Facilities Manager within the Resource group, is a driving force behind our new waste reduction and management system.

“In a year, we’ve successfully cut our waste bill in half. We’ve also changed to using a local waste provider - which means reducing the carbon required in handling our waste.”

This is money you can reinvest cleverly to enhance your sustainability directives even further.

“We’re reinvesting what we’ve saved into the purchase of 150 new segregated waste bins for The Maltings Document Storage Solutions and other Resource businesses - which will only help to save further costs,” Lewis explains. “For The Maltings Document Storage and Shredding specifically, we’re investigating using plastic pallets around our warehouse and storage spaces to reduce the amount of wood waste we produce; again, another quick and easy way to improve our ecological footprint.”

#3: Introducing electric cars into our fleet

If, like us, you’re a business that relies heavily on the constant transportation of stock or items, it’s critical to look at how you can reduce some of the unnecessary pollution from necessary travel.

By introducing an electric car or van into your fleet of work vehicles, you could save approximately 158.4g CO2/km per year* - and they’re cheaper to run, too! According to Citroen, their Berlingo Electric car costs 2-3p per mile to run on average, which is less than £2 per 40 miles**.

We’ve recently added the electric Mercedes eVito van to our fleet (above) to offset a portion of our carbon emissions and to help the drive towards greener methods of transportation.

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ABOVE: Electric car charging points at The Maltings

#4: Switching lights, heating and water to low energy alternatives

Storage spaces are unique in the sense that there’s regular footfall - when staff arrive to store new boxes, for example, or come to take some away - but it’s not regular enough to warrant having lights on all the time.

“That’s why we’re currently in the process of switching our lighting from standard flick switches to low energy consumption lights using motion-sensor technology,” states Lewis, Building & Facilities Manager at Resource.

“This will drastically reduce any unnecessary time the lights spend being ‘on’; it’s the same thinking we apply to heating throughout our offices, which are on timers and thermostats to reduce energy wastage.”

In our Maltings location, you’ll also find sensors on taps - so you’re only using the amount of water you need - and LED lighting throughout. These ‘little’ differences are what add up to make a huge impact altogether!

#5: Achieving the relevant ISO accreditations

ISO Accreditations are how businesses ensure quality and consistency in their processes; they’re part of why customers trust us with their confidential data and sensitive materials.

ISO 14001 is now recognised globally as the most important environmental standard. It actively controls the way businesses and other organisations manage their environmental footprint, because companies need to develop a robust framework to follow their policies, processes and rules.

By implementing an environmental management system - or EMS - that’s bespoke to our business, we’re able to manage our environmental responsibilities in a way that drives sustainability and lower environmental impact. That's why we hold all the relevant and up-to-date ISO Accreditations, including Environmental Management BS EN ISO 14001:2015.

Why reducing our environmental impact matters

However you look at it, climate change is a significant threat to the wellbeing of our planet. Spend enough time ‘doom scrolling’ or watching the news and it’s easy to feel like we’re on the brink of extinction; rising sea levels, erratic weather and increasing temperatures are a daily source of worry.

But while large-scale structural and societal changes are most definitely needed, the old adage of ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ has never been more true. When lots of individuals, organisations and companies all put changes into their processes, we can collectively make a bigger difference.

It doesn't take much to start an action plan for better, more sustainable working practices - and today is as good a day as any to begin.

References

*Average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans increased again in 2019

https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/average-co2-emissions-from-new-cars-vans-2019

**Pros and cons of running an electric van

https://www.admiral.com/magazine/guides/van/pros-and-cons-of-running-an-electric-van

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