With almost weekly and repeated warnings from scientists, the Extinction Rebellion protests continuing across London and the Greens making recent gains in the English local elections, it’s fair to say green and environmental issues are moving up the agenda at an unprecedented rate. So, we thought we’d talk a bit about what we’re doing to fight climate change at this critical time.
While we're not the biggest employer around, we all have a responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of our actions. In February the Society was awarded a Silver Award by the Suffolk Carbon Charter in recognition of the efforts we have made in recent years. The panel were impressed with our clear commitment to sustainability with the installation of air source heat pumps, LED lighting and recycling, as well as the solar panel array fitted at Freehold House.
We've also appointed internal 'Green Champions' to suggest improvements to reduce our environmental impact, support our sustainability policy and action plan and promote awareness of sustainability and environmental issues throughout the Society. Additonally, we’ve committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 10% and also to increasing our recycling rate by 10% over the next two years.
We have already:
- Installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of our Head Office
- Installed low energy LED lighting within our Head Office and across several branches
- Installed energy efficient air source heat pump units (to provide heating and/or cooling) at all sites
- Contracted a confidential paper shredding and recycling service
- Installed recycling collections at all sites for paper, card, plastics and cans plus glass recycling at Freehold House
- Discontinued use of disposable plastic cups
- Strongly discouraged unnecessary printing and taken steps to make processes paperless, where possible – including the introduction of ‘paperless by-default’ voting, which will save us printing 30,000 voting packs of which 90% end up in the bin