Through SME Climate Hub we have pledged to be net-zero by 2040. We aim to leverage all of our capabilities and knowledge to minimise our environmental impact across our supply chain, optimising both our process and that of our clients. Ultimately, we are working towards protecting the planet. We have already begun our journey but we have plans to achieve so much more.
Everyday our business is making small steps to further our journey to carbon neutral.
Our latest Resource Efficiency audit highlighted core recommendations that can be applied to reduce our carbon footprint. These include: replacing our gas boiler, optimisation of motors and the potential to switch to a renewable energy supplier. In total, these recommendations could help save 1.78 tonnes of CO2.
The removal of our fleet and utilising external haulage companies has allowed us to keep transport emissions to a minimum.
We use visual reminders to ensure machines are turned off when not in use. We’ve also installed energy-efficient heating system, office insulation and new energy-efficient lighting in both the offices and outside. This has resulted in a 5% reduction in electricity usage for 2022.
We have installed an automated water system to monitor water flow and detect a leak to trigger an automatic shut off of supply. This has resulted in a 52% water reduction compared to 2021.
We will ensure regular testing of water PH by operators to adhere to the consent.
We’ve recently switched to recycled office paper which contributes to: 100% less wood used, 72% less energy and 83% less water. Beyond this we will investigate options to switch to paperless works orders through tablets and a comprehensive CRM system. This has resulted in a 21% reduction in paper use in 2022 compared to 2021.
We use eco-friendly cleaning consumables that include soluble sachets with a bottle for life. We have also changed to washing up sponges that are 100% biodegradable and compostable to avoid releasing plastic particles into the sea.
By working with Leeds Wood Recycling, we rescued 40 cubic yards of wood from the waste stream and saved 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2022 alone. In addition to this, our partnership has enabled 41 volunteers to be trained, and created 16 paid jobs in total.
We have regular zero-waste lifestyle updates from Zero Waste Leeds, Leeds City Council and other local organisations. We also work closely with CHC Waste Management. Our Baysek tooling is now fully recycled, with waste from this being incinerated and energy used to generate power from a turbine.
With noise exposure having a dramatic impact on wildlife and biodiversity, we aim to reduce this by taking part in regular noise surveys and staying up to date with relevant legislation.
Preventing climate change can only be achieved through a collaborative approach, and that is why the education and passion from our employees is critical. Each of our employees embody our sustainable ethos and we consistently look for training opportunities to upskill our staff our best environmental practice to propel our business forward.
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For any materials we are unable to use we ensure to send through responsible recycling partners to avoid sending as much waste to landfill as possible. We have just begun our partnership with CHC Waste Management, their expertise will enable us to increase our recycling rates and build up a plan to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill in the future.
In addition, we work with Leeds Wood Recycling to properly dispose of our broken pallets. This social enterprise helps to divert waste from the landfill with their wood collection service, and by running a reclaimed timber shop and offering volunteer training opportunities they help marginalised people from a range of backgrounds learn new skills. With the added bonus of helping the environment.
We are constantly re-inventing the way we think about our operations and how we can move to a carbon-neutral future, even considering the smallest of details.
All of our materials are sourced with sustainability in mind. We ensure the cardboard we source is FSC-certified, meaning the forest where materials have been sourced from is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity.
In 2020, we worked with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Green Gain to conduct a full audit of our 4,620 m2 premises and operations to understand where improvements can be made to use less resource and become less carbon-intensive. The audit has left us with a range of recommendations that we can now action to move towards a greener future including optimisation of motors and solar panels.
From 2021, we have achieved Social and Environmental Impact Certificates from Leeds Wood Recycling. Last year, this was due to us successfully diverting 40 cubic yards rescued from the waste stream and 2 Co2 tonnes saved. Beyond this, it allowed 16 paid jobs to be created and 41 volunteers trained to scale the business and help other organisations recycle more.
We invested in a waste compactor from Riverside Waste Management Machinery alongside eight 1,100 litre wheelie bins enabling us to scale our cardboard recycling processes. This new model enables us to process 345kg of materials daily, in a fraction of the time, saving resources and energy. Our previous method used 300kg of baler wire annually and with this introduction, it has been reduced by 100%, alongside an 80% energy use reduction (3,432Kwh). Beyond this, we have recovered 624 working hours annually.
As a business we have removed the use and selling of virgin-grade plastic switching instead to eco alternatives or plastic that contains a minimum of 30% recycled material.
In 2016, we installed LED lighting throughout our facility to deliver increased energy efficiency and durability, due to the prolonged lifespan of the bulbs.
We chose to convert our existing heating system to one that consumes less energy. The new ceramic heaters applied in our warehouse direct heat to the operators rather than trying to heat the entire warehouse, utilising less energy.
With the movement towards electric, annual gas consumption reduced from 3,006kg to 0. Beyond this, these forklifts provide zero carbon emissions, a reduction in noise pollution, a cleaner environment for staff and goods and are less likely to require maintenance.
With the implementation of Solupak’s soluble sachets we are helping to limit our plastic pollution. The sachets have been developed to eliminate single-use plastics with a bottle for life. Only small, concentrated sachets are shipped, meaning less space and therefore emissions in logistics. Solupak also shares our values and work to high eco-and-ethical standards.
We recognise that as a business our sustainability focus needs to encompass all aspects of our operation. To address our environmental impact and achieve our sustainable goals, we must take a far-reaching and proactive approach to truly have the most positive impact we can. To manage our environmental responsibilities in the most effective manner, our company has been accredited with ISO 14001. ISO 14001 is a criteria for environmental management and sets out a framework to ensure our impact is being accurately measured with an effective improvement plan in place.
Our sustainable agenda is not only about minimising our internal impact, it goes on to include enabling our clients to lessen their packaging and supply chain impact and promote their strong commitment to the environment. Our holistic approach to packaging means we are able to identify multiple areas for efficiency gains and where clients can minimise waste. Whether it’s product design for a perfect fit or manufacturing with responsibly sourced materials, we provide our clients eco-friendly alternatives that offer a competitive edge.