Sustainability is a key element in our business as it should be in every modern day business.
By implementing environmental strategies and resource consumption policies and investing in our workforce and local areas, we aim not only to dramatically reduce the effect that our company has on the environment, but also to improve and enhance the lives of local people through our support of various organisations.
Recycling is a very important part of our strategy and includes:
- Paper/ cardboard waste recycling
- Resin recycling - the resin compounds that are used in the water purification process for pure water window cleaning are shipped back to the suppliers and recycled after we have used them
- Rainwater harvesting - by collecting rainwater in huge water butts at several sites, we are able to vastly reduce the amount of mains supplied water that we need to purify for our pure water window cleaning services
- Waste / unwanted goods recycling - during our tenant/ landlord cleans and house clearances we segregate the waste materials and recycle accordingly. Unwanted furniture etc that is still in usable condition is donated to a local charitable organisation, The Furniture Mine, who help to reallocate the furntiure to those most in need. (Please click on the recycle logo above or go to www.staffordshire.gov.uk/furnituremine/ if you would like more information on how you could help in this area.)
We have already mentioned recycling above but in addition to this we can adapt our working methods in a variety of ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
- de-ionisation rather than reverse osmosis - for our pure water window cleaning we need to purify large amounts of water. This purification can basically be done by either reverse osmosis or de-ionisation methods. We opt to go for de-ionisation using a specialised resin which removes the negatively and positively charged ions in the water to leave a pure, neutral water. The effectiveness of the resin gradually diminishes as it 'soaks' up the cations and so is sent off to be recycled and is replaced periodically. This is a more expensive method compared to reverse osmosis systems but more environmentally friendly as reverse osmosis relies mostly on filtration systems of various kinds. The problem here is that a lot of waste water is produced - depending on the system used you could get 1 litre of waste water for every 3 or 4 litres of pure water produced which is then just tipped straight into the drains.
- reduced transport emissions and use - organising work in an efficient and logistical manner ensures that not only the amount of man hours spent travelling is minimised (along with labour costs) but also the amount of fuel consumed as a result is also minimised. The type of vehicle used is also of considerable importance. In the past we have favoured LPG conversions but with diesel engines now becoming more and more environmentally friendly as a result of tough government stipulations, we will be looking to use Euro 5 and Euro 6 compliant vehicles in the future
- email v paper - we now use emails and attchments as our preferred method of 'communication' with regards to many business activities such as the sending of invoices and quotations and also with regards to many marketing strategies where pdf's and links are used as substitutes for the sending of letters and brochures. Not only are there huge savings to be made on paper, envelopes, postage and printing, but the amounts of paper used as a result are decreased dramatically.
- working with like minded suppliers - while we don't have the 'clout' or the luxury of being able to pick and choose only the most environmentally friendly clients to work for, we can take a more proactive role in the choosing of our suppliers of consumables and work equipment. By looking at suppliers' own sustainability / environmental policies and practices we can satisfy ourselves that the businesses we use are like minded and adopt a proactive role in this area. For example, being able to send back resin to the supplier in order for it to be recycled is a key factor in the choosing of said supplier. And companies that send out huge boxes that you could fit an armchair in while the actual product itself could easily fit into a jiffy bag, are not the type of business we want to deal with!
On both a personal and a business level, there is little more rewarding than being able to help your local area and the people living within it, even if it's in a very small way.
As a company we have always looked to employ, train and create opportunities for local people. By training employees in a range of disciplines we not only create a versatile and flexible workforce for the company, we give these people valuable skills which can be carried with them through their working lives. Through our decade long working partnership with Aspire Housing Association (part of the Aspire Group) this commitment has now been taken to a new level.
The Aspire Group is committed and passionate about its role as a housing business and also the improvement and investment in the local community as a whole, from the visual aspect right through to the social aspects and welfare of residents. Its passion for creating jobs and opportunities for local people is shown in 'PM training', a part of the Aspire Group which deals with preparing people for work, apprenticeships and workforce development. The success rate of placements is phenomenal and its training services are consistently award winning and we will have no hesitaition in sourcing our future employees through PM training as a result.
If you are interested in PM training and how it could benefit your business, click on the logo directly below or go to www.pmtraining.org.uk.
All profits made at PM training are re-invested through its' charity, the Realise Foundation, which helps to re-generate local neighbourhoods and provide even more training and opportunities for local people. There are various ways in which you as a person or as a business, can help or donate to this charity and more details can be found on the Realise Foundation website at www.realisefoundation.org.uk or simply click on the logo below.
Even our website is 'Green!'
Our website host, 1&1, is keen to implement environmentally friendly policies in its work and has its own Green Program. Some information about the 1&1 Green Program:
On 1 December 2007, 1&1 Internet started to supply all European data centres and most office locations with electrical power from renewable resources such as wind, water, or solar energy. 1&1's past and present electrical power provider Stadtwerke Karlsruhe will supply both its own 'green' power and will buy additional energy from other suppliers within the Renewable Energy Certificate System, RECS. 1&1's involvement helps to save about 30,000 tons of CO2.
Data centres utilize economical hardware and software:
1&1 not only desires clean energy, but also wants to use as little energy as possible. Thus, for example, for many years 1&1 has used highly efficient power supplies with less than 20 per cent heat loss and omits any unnecessary components within its servers. As soon as the outside temperature falls below 10 degrees, 1&1 cools its data centre using open-air coolers that work without energy-hungry compressors. Software too can help save electrical power - based on a Linux platform, 1&1 has developed its own operating system that enables the data of up to 10,000 customers to fit on one server and thus saves valuable resources.