"Green living in the office"
Green Business Check List Introduction The environment and the environmental challenges facing our society are becoming increasingly „hot‟ topics. Yet whilst negative future predictions are often given, there is a strong growing movement of positive environmental action, especially within our county of Nottinghamshire. As a business organisation in Nottinghamshire you can be part of this positive environmental movement by making sure that you operate your business in a green and sustainable way thus contributing to making Nottinghamshire a greener and better place to live. As well as the shared social benefits of operating in a green way, there are a range of other benefits that you will experience by acting in an environmentally friendly way including: Save money Meet public / consumer expectations Meet supply chain requirements Create a competitive edge and increase your company profile The Check List The aim of the Green Business Check List is to get your organisation thinking about what you can do to behave in a greener and more sustainable way. If during the check list process you have more Yes‟s than No‟s, then you may be interested in applying for the Green Guardians Environmental Business Award. If you have mainly No‟s or if you feel that your business could become a lot greener, then the final section has some details of where you can find support. Please ‘think before you print’ this checklist - consider completing it electronically instead. Environmental Policy / Governance / Accreditations Have you calculated your organisation’s carbon footprint? If you have not already calculated your organisations carbon footprint click here. Do you have an environmental policy? If not, there are a range of organisations that can provide you with advice – details are enclosed at the end of this checklist. Have you communicated the environmental policy to all employees? It is important to clearly communicate your environmental policy to all employees in order to ensure that it is effectively fulfilled. Do you have or are you working towards BS 8555? BS 8555 is a guidance standard for Environmental best practice. Do you have or are you working towards ISO 14001? ISO 14001 is a series of international standards on environmental management. Do you keep updated on relevant environmental legislation? http://www.netregs.gov.uk/ provides free environmental guidance for small businesses including up to date environmental legislation. Y/N Do you encourage your suppliers and clients to act in an environmentally conscious way? Use your power as an organisation to green the supply chain by encouraging your suppliers and even clients to create an environmental policy which they adhere to. Have you set up a ‘Green Team’ or ‘Eco Champions’ team in your company? By getting your employees involved and part of the greening process, they will feel valued. Energy Do you produce your own renewable energy? e.g. wind turbine, pv solar panels, wood burning stove? Installing renewable energy technology such as Solar photovoltaic, Wind turbines or Solar thermal hot water will help your business lower its carbon footprint. To help with the cost of installation the DTI have grants available from the „Low Carbon Buildings Programme‟ Y/N Have you switched to a green energy supplier? If you are not in a position to produce your own renewable energy then why not help lower your carbon footprint by switching to a green energy supplier, such as: Good Energy Ltd, Ecotricity Ltd, and Green Energy (UK) plc. Do you use energy saving light bulbs and do you keep light covers clean? An energy efficient light bulb can cut energy wastage by over three quarters. That's a saving of up to £9 a year for a typical 100W bulb, or £100 over the bulb's lifetime. Do you encourage employees to turn off the lights in empty rooms and at the end of the day? If not, then start now as not only is it better for the environment but it can also help your business save money. Do you make use of natural light by keeping windows and skylights clean and clear? Don‟t turn lights on in the middle of the day if you have sufficient natural light coming into your office; to make the most of natural light, keep your windows clean and clear. Have you invested in sensor lights? Sensor lights are ideal for certain areas of your office that are visited for short times but regularly, e.g. archive area, toilets etc. Do you remind staff to switch off computer monitors, photocopiers, etc (not just on standby) when away for any reasonable length of time and certainly at the end of the working day? A great way to remind employees to switch off monitors and computers is to make them have a screen saver that says “Turn off the computer if you are not using it”. The screen saver could be programmed to come on if the computer has not been used for 5 minutes. Do you advise employees only to fill the kettle with water they need? Over-filling a kettle wastes water, so why not put a reminder note near the kettle advising them to only boil what they need? When you absolutely need to purchase new electrical equipment, do you buy electrical appliances with the best energy efficiency ratings? When purchasing a new electrical appliance have a look for the energy efficiency logo, and check to see its energy efficiency rating. Click here for further information. Do you monitor your energy bills? For example through www.saveonyourbills.co.uk? Monitoring your organisation‟s energy bills is a great way to see if you can save money and reduce your energy use. Does your organisation’s energy performance meet the criteria of the Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme? The Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme (EEAS) is the leading independent emission reduction award scheme in the UK. Information Communications Technology Do you have a green IT infrastructure? There are now over 1.1 billion computers in operation worldwide, collectively producing about one billion tonnes of CO2 through their electricity requirements. E-waste is a serious headache too, with computers, mobile phones and electronic gadgets now accounting for 5% of the world's garbage. Is your website powered by renewable energy? Show your green credentials by having a website powered by renewable energy, green service providers include www.green-hosting.co.uk Do you encourage employees to compress large documents? This helps to save space on the server. The bigger the server, the more energy is required thus contributing to an increase in energy use. It would also be beneficial to regularly archive old electronic documents or even delete them if they are no longer relevant. Do you encourage employees to regularly delete old emails? Large email inboxes can also play a big part in clogging up the server. Encourage employees to delete unnecessary emails. Do you recycle your company’s mobile phones? Only when a company mobile phone is no longer in working order (as opposed to upgrading the phones purely due to new technology being available), please consider recycling it. At the same time as recycling your phones, you can help to raise essential funds for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. For further details about the recycling scheme, please contact 0115 958 8242. Do you have a policy to comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive)? Are your staff aware of how to deal with electrical waste? If an electrical item is no longer in working condition and can not be fixed, then the WEEE regulation requires the item to be collected, treated, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Y/N Heat Have you insulated your office? A poorly insulated work place will waste heat. If you own the building you should insulate it as much as possible. If you rent the building, speak to the owners to see if they will insulate it more effectively. Have you fitted draught proofing on windows and doors? Draughts can make the building very cold and thus waste heating, therefore review where there is a draught and take appropriate action. Have you set the thermostat at 19°C – the recommended maximum working temperature? Did you know that heating costs rise by 8% for every 1°C increase so during the winter set your thermostat to the recommended working temperature of 19°C and turn it down even lower if staff are too hot. Have you set a timer for your thermostat so that it only comes on when necessary and to be switched off when not needed? There is no need to heat the office 24/7, instead set the timer so that it comes on one hour before staff arrive and goes off before staff leave for the day. Do you ensure that employees shut windows and doors when the heating is on? There is no point opening windows if the heating is on. If employees are hot, turn down the heating or switch it off completely before opening a window. Do you keep radiators free of office furniture? Make sure that furniture does not block the radiators as heat will otherwise be wasted. Have you fitted radiator reflector panels? These can be fitted to hep reduce heat loss; you can buy them or even make your own using tinfoil and cardboard. Do you open windows instead of using fans or air conditioning? Y/N Water Do you regularly check and fix any leaking taps? Over the long term a leaking tap can waste a significant amount of water so make sure that someone in the office regularly checks all taps. Have you inserted ‘flush-bags’ into your toilet cisterns? Some toilet cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. To reduce the amount of water released each time you flush use a „flush-bag‟ available from Severn Trent Water. Or alternatively use a brick or full plastic water bottle which will reduce the flush volume – up to a litre a flush. This can also help your business reduce costs if you are on a water meter. Do you harvest rainwater to water your office plants? If you have the facilities to do so install a water butt and harvest the rainwater for office plants or your very own wildlife garden. Water butts are available from a variety of retailers including Severn Trent Water. On a bigger scale you could harvest rain water in order to supply your work places toilets. Stationary Do you buy recycled stationery and promote this on the stationery? By using recycled stationary you will be supporting sustainable markets for recycling and sending out a positive environmental message to your staff and customers. Do you have paper recycling bins and is the paper actually recycled? Provide employees with paper recycling bins close to their desk and either encourage individuals to empty at the end of the day or recruit a champion who will do this for the company. Do you promote ‘Think before you print’? Have it as an email footer and remind employees by putting a note (using scrap paper of course) on the photocopier and printer. Do you have a printer that can print on both sides? If you don‟t have a printer that can print on both sides, then consider investing in one once your lease for the existing one is up for renewal or when your existing one no longer works. Do you encourage employees to use both sides of the paper? Even if you have a printer that can print on both sides, you will need to encourage and remind your employees to use the facility. Do you use scrap paper to write notes, rather than use Post It Notes or a note book? Encourage employees to use old envelopes and letters as scrap paper; not only will it will also help you save money but it will also help the environment. Do you recycle printer cartridges? You can recycle your print cartridges whilst simultaneously raising essential money for charities including Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust; for further information please contact us on 0115 958 8242. House keeping Do you buy ethically-sourced organic tea and coffee? When purchasing refreshments for staff and visitors consider brands which are ethically-sourced and organic. Organic products have been produced without the use of chemicals which, when they enter the water systems, harm the environment and wildlife. Does your canteen serve locally-sourced organic food? By using locally-sourced organic food in the staff canteen not only will you be helping the planet, but you will also be helping the local economy and provide positive steps to keep the workforce healthy. Do you buy recycled toilet paper? Y/N Y/N Y/N Do you use environmentally-friendly cleaning products? Some cleaning products contain harmful chemicals which, upon entering the water system, can harm the environment and wildlife. However, there are some excellent cleaning products which do not contain these harmful substances; details provided at the end of the checklist. Do you have a collection point for Aluminium, Glass, Plastic Set up a recycling collection point at work for items such as aluminium, glass and plastic which may be found in staff lunch boxes and the staff kitchen. If you do not have a recycling bin at work for these items, then see if someone will take them home to their own recycling bin. Do you have a composting scheme? Set up a composting scheme to get rid of everything from grass clippings to tea bags. Ask your local authority if cut-price composting bins are available. Once the compost is ready use it for container planting or if your office has an outdoor recreational area why not create a wildlife area using native plants and your very own compost. Do you purchase second hand office furniture? Before you purchase any new office furniture, consider whether you really need „new‟ items; instead you can purchase or even salvage second hand office furniture and equipment. Do you donate unwanted office furniture or recycle through freecycle or charity shops? If you have any unwanted office furniture make sure that it goes to a good home and donate it to a local charity or put it on Freecycle or Realcycle. Do you donate ‘ends of line’ or other unwanted items to the Unique Scrap Store? The „Unique Scrap Store‟ is a not-for-profit social enterprise which operates by collecting industry's usable, safe and clean waste products and offering them for sale at low cost for arts and play projects. If your business has any suitable end of line items that it could donate for free please contact the Unique Scrap Store on 01636 670700. Travel and Transportation Do you have a business travel plan? If you do not have a business travel plan then why not check out The National Travel Wise Association which provides sustainable travel resources including a travel plan resource kit. Do you have suitable facilities so that people can cycle to work? A great way to encourage your employees to cycle to work is by providing them with suitable cycling facilities such as: Secure cycle locks Shower and changing facilities Suitable lockers There are also a variety of tax incentives for employees who cycle to work; further information is available on the CTC website. Do you encourage / promote lift share and car sharing? If public transport or cycling is not suitable for some members of staff then promote lift sharing. If for example staff live in a similar area then encourage them to give work colleagues a lift to help reduce congestion on the road. If members of staff do not live near each other, there are a range of lift share websites (some listed at the end of this document) Rather than travel to meetings, have you invested in suitable technology for conference calls etc? It might not be necessary to travel to all meetings so it could be worthwhile investigating alternatives such as conference calls. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust corporate supporter Questmark Ltd provide a range of audio teleconferencing equipment. Y/N Do you use a pedal-powered courier service for local delivery? If you need a letter or parcel to be delivered, then consider using www.pedalexpress.co.uk, an East Midlands based pedal-powered courier service. Wildlife and biodiversity If your organisation owns land, do you manage it in a considerate way for the benefit of wildlife and biodiversity? Managing land in a considerate way can help to create habitats for a diverse range of species. For example, consider mowing some areas of grassland less frequently thus benefiting species such as the Blue Butterfly which have declined in significant numbers due to loss of traditional wild flower grasslands. If you do own a significant amount of land, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust can provide you with land management consultancy. Our conservation team can provide you with a complimentary 2 hour consultation and one report; all further consultancy will be charged at a standard rate of £250 + VAT per day or part thereof. For further information please call 0115 958 8242. Have you created a wildlife area around your office? Even if you only have a concrete courtyard, you can still create a wildlife area by planting some native plants and flowers in plant pots. Not only will this be beneficial to wildlife, but it will also create a tranquil area for you and your colleagues. For further information, visit the wildlife gardening section of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust website. New premises / Expanding your business Have you conducted an ecological survey at the very beginning of the process? Before even drawing up plans it is important that an ecological survey is conducted by a qualified ecologist to determine what species are present on the site. Even brown field sites and old buildings may host a range of wildlife including protected species such as newts or bats. A range of qualified ecological consultants are listed in the resources section at the end of the check list. Y/N Y/N Have you ensured that the new building is as environmentally friendly as possible? For example does the design take into consideration the orientation in order to maximise sunlight and warmth? Have you incorporated renewable energy? Low flush toilets? A green roof? Have you ensured that the building material is ethically sourced? For example when using wood look for the FSC stamp of approval to make sure that the wood is sourced from a sustainable forest. Have you used as much recycled material as possible? Using reclaimed or recycled material has a lower environmental impact than using new raw material. Corporate and Environmental Social Responsibility Do you only invest in environmentally-conscious companies? Use your investment portfolio to only support business organisations or industries that operate in an environmentally-conscious way. Have you joined the Wildlife Guardians Corporate Involvement Scheme? Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust‟s Wildlife Guardian‟s scheme goes from strength to strength and includes a range of activities which your business can become involved in. For further details please go to Have you helped provide funding or in-kind support for environmental projects? There are a range of fantastic environmental projects taking place across Nottinghamshire including those being led by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Such projects require support in many ways including financial donations, in-kind support and even expertise. To find out about what projects you could help Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust with, please call 0115 958 8242? Has your business taken part in Nottinghamshire Greenweeks? Every year a group or organisations including local authorities, business organisations and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust host „Greenweeks‟ in Nottinghamshire. For three weeks of special events and activities, Greenweeks celebrates the achievements of local people who are helping to make our bit of the world a cleaner, greener, healthier, and safer place. Y/N The Green Business check list is only a starting point; there will be a range of other activities that your business can undertake in order to reduce environmental impact and to act in an even greener and more sustainable way. If you have any suggestions of additional actions to add to the check list, please contact us at email@example.com The section below provides examples of where you can seek further help. Environmental Business Support / Where to get started www.carbontrust.co.uk – The Carbon Trust provide can help your business to reduce carbon emissions. The website also has a useful carbon footprint calculator. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk - The Energy Saving Trust provides a free consultancy service, which is funded by DfT, for organisations with energy bills greater than £50,000 per year www.Envirowise.gov.uk - offers UK businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact . http://www.knowledge.hsbc.co.uk/green+business – A knowledge centre which provides details on how to effectively create, manage and promote environmental best practice for all aspects of your firm. Regulations / Governance etc http://www.berr.gov.uk/ Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, helps ensure business success in an increasingly competitive world – has sections on sustainability. http://www.netregs.gov.uk/ Environmental Business Services / Consultancy www.endsdirectory.com – A one-stop guide to environmental consultancy and other services www.sherwoodsea.org.uk – A Newark based multi-disciplinary consultancy providing expert advice and solutions to the private and public sector www.loreus.com – A Nottingham based environmental consultancy organisation which provides training and software solutions www.slrconsulting.com - An international multi disciplinary consultancy providing worldwide environmental sciences and engineering expertise, now with an office in Nottingham. www.groundworkebs.co.uk - Groundwork Environmental Business Services (ebs) provides practical support, advice, information and training to companies on environmental business issues. www.globalactionplan.org.uk/services.aspx - Global Action Plan helps all kinds of organisations to bring about practical environmental action by bringing employees together to make simple changes to their working practices. Ecological Consultancy www.bsg-ecology.com - They undertake ecological work throughout the UK and have offices in Bakewell, Oxford, Northumberland and Monmouth. www.fpcr.co.uk - leading integrated design practice working extensively in the UK. Core skills include architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, master planning, ecology, environmental impact assessment, and urban design. www.emec-ecology.co.uk – a specialist ecological consultancy which seeks to provide the highest quality of service, tailored to the needs of its clients. www.landscapescienceconsultancy.co.uk – A multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy based in Lincolnshire Environmental Recording and Reporting www.trucost.com - Trucost is an environmental research organisation working with companies, investors and government agencies to understand the impacts companies have on the environment Energy efficiency and Heat www.saveonyourbills.co.uk - A free gas and electricity comparison service to find the cheapest energy supplier for your home or your business. http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/energy/startsaving/starterpack.htm - Carbon Trust energy saving guide Renewable Energy www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/about/s2faqs/ - Grant programme for the installation of renewable energy. www.ecotricity.co.uk - The world's first renewable energy company, the largest alternative electricity supplier in Europe www.good-energy.co.uk - Supplier of renewable electricity to homes and businesses www.greenenergy.uk.com – Supplier of renewable electricity to homes and businesses Green ICT www.icthubknowledgebase.org.uk/greencomputing - An online article about green ICT providing hints and tips http://www.greenpowerconferences.com/corporateclimateresponse/documents/sustain_it_2008/greenict_eb.pdf - green ICT research report www.green-hosting.co.uk – Green web hosting provided by a Nottingham based ethical company www.donateapc.org.uk – A free 'matchmaking' service for individuals and organisations to donate un-needed hardware (computers, printers etc) to UK charities, not-for-profit organisations and educational establishments www.ethicalconsumer.org/downloads/Buyers_Guide_Computers.pdf - An ethical and green guide to buying new computers http://www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/275207/1631119/?lang=_e – WEEE guidance www.questmark.co.uk – Video conferencing specialist based in Nottingham Water www.stwater.co.uk/server.php?show=nav.5795 – Save a flush bag from Severn Trent Water www.stwater.co.uk/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.3196 – Water saving products from Severn Trent Water www.interflush.co.uk - A kit which fits on top of your WC siphon and connects to the front mounted flush handle. Only flushes when the handle is held down, releasing the handle stops the flush (when pan is clear). Only uses exactly what water is needed. Any less and the toilet would need flushing again. www.stormsaver.com – Rainwater harvesting specialist based in Nottinghamshire Housekeeping - Local food and drink www.petinauk.com – Nottingham based supplier of fair-trade beverages www.redearthorganics.co.uk – Local veg box scheme www.rivernene.co.uk – Local veg box scheme www.trinityfarm.co.uk – Local veg box scheme www.edenfarms.co.uk – Local veg box scheme www.veggies.org.uk – local eco friendly catering company - Eco friendly cleaning Products from local suppliers www.natural-house.co.uk – Nottingham based company which produces and sells eco friendly cleaning products www.ootw.co.uk/m4notts.shtml – Shop in Beeston that sells eco friendly cleaning products - Composting kits www.recyclenow.com/compost - low cost compost bins www.worm.co.uk – Nottingham based company selling stylish compost bins along with a range of other products Waste and Recycling www.wrap.org.uk - Helps to create markets for recycled resources, with main focus on plastic, paper, glass and wood. www.veggies.org.uk/page.php?ref=797 – details of recycling Tetra-Pak in Nottingham www.inspirerecycle.org - showcases products made by small UK companies using recycled materials. Shows what can be done and that sustainable design isn‟t just for big companies. www.junkk.com – website providing ideas about how one mans junk could be another person‟s treasure www.uniquescrapstore.com – Donate unwanted ends of line to this social enterprise in Newark Travel www.travelwise.org.uk – An organisation which can help you create a sustainable travel plan www.ridewise.org.uk – A Nottinghamshire based community enterprise committed to providing practical solutions that make cycling an enjoyable and safe form of everyday transport www.liftshare.org – The lift-share team aim to help bring about sustainable change by encouraging individuals to travel together. www.mylifts.com – A free interactive car-sharing service offers a environmentally friendlier way to travel. www.freewheelers.co.uk - Linking drivers and passengers to share the cost of travel... Saves you money, helps other people and reduces pollution. www.carplus.org.uk/carsharing/uk-schemes.html - Lists useful websites for sustainable transport Green Business newsletters, blogs and miscellaneous resources etc www.global100.org – A Global list of the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World www.wbcsd.org – An industry think-tank offering newsletters on various topics including Sustainable Livelihoods, Energy and Climate News and Sustainable Mobility. www.greenclips.com - A fortnightly newsletter on sustainable building design and related government and business issues. Although focused on the building issue, this is worth following for developments in sustainable design generally. www.ethicalcorp.com - An independent publisher and conference organiser, launched in 2001 to encourage debate and discussion on responsible business www.climatechangecorp.com – An independent news website, dedicated to providing high quality news and analysis on climate change to companies around the world www.businessgreen.com – A multimedia publication for firms intent on improving their environmental credentials. www.guardian.co.uk/environment - A broadsheet / multimedia news source providing in depth coverage on environmental issues http://gogreen.theconsortium.co.uk - A blog about eco-friendly business and office practices