For the past 10 months Fifteen have been working with Investors in the Environment (iiE) to achieve a Green Award in their accreditation scheme. iiE is a nationwide scheme designed to help businesses save money and the environment by improving their energy efficiency and reducing their environmental impact. iiE provide support to make businesses greener and ensure they get recognition for their green initiatives.
There are 3 accreditation levels that organisations can work towards from taking simple steps to becoming fully sustainable. The accreditation proves that businesses have implemented an environmental management plan and sets achievable targets to establish continual improvement.
Fifteen are one of twenty businesses that took part in the 2015/2016 iiE Nottingham Trent University programme. We were assigned four business students who calculated our baseline carbon footprint and suggested recommendations that would help to reduce our impact on the environment. We supported our student group by attending their recent showcase event at the University where the students presented their recommendations. This has proven to be a successful partnership and we would thoroughly recommend this pathway for any business taking part.
Fifteen chose to go for the Green Award, which is the highest achievable level accreditation. To start, we had to undertake an environmental impact assessment audit from which we had to set targets for improved efficiency for resources such as energy, water, raw materials and adopt a travel plan. We had to take quarterly resource measurements and report back to iiE. We used this as a stepping-stone to write a new environmental policy, calculate our carbon footprint and demonstrate a minimum 2% improvement in energy efficiency over our baseline figure.
Key areas that we have made changes in to reach our targets are:
• Recycle ink and toner cartridges
• Recycle batteries
• Switch to FSC paper for office printing
• Reduce the number of printers being used in the office
• Encourage double sided printing
• Reduce page margins on documents
• Install more paper and card recycling bins in the office
• Introduce recycling bins for plastic, cans and glass
• Ensure that all meetings are pushed to electric first (telephone/skype/screen sharing)
• Adopt a travel plan to use public transport and car sharing for commuting to work and any face-to-face meetings
• Switch off policy for electrics and air conditioning
The awards presentation evening, hosted by Ella McManus, Environmental Management Programme Coordinator, was held at The Embankment in Nottingham on Tuesday 19th July, where all the businesses from this year’s programme were gathered to celebrate our joint success in achieving accreditation. The guest speaker, Mallem Baker (Respectful Business Blog), presented us with our award.
“It was a very enjoyable evening and was great to have a chat with other like-minded businesses to share our ideas and achievements. It’s been a challenge, but we now have a firm plan in place to make a positive change. The accreditation will play a big part in helping to raise our profile, win new clients and give peace of mind to our existing customers.” Michelle Moss, Lead Creative (Green Champion)
Congratulations to all the other award winners.