What goes around, comes around.

As a business, we take very seriously the impact our activity has on our environment. These days of drought, forest fires, global warming and deforestation are huge issues and throw in that we seem to love dumping waste in landfill where ever there’s room to do so, we have a big problem. We cannot and must not continue to damage our environment in this way.

We manufacture most things without thought as to what will happen at it’s ‘end of life.’ Clothing, batteries, food, white goods, vehicles and a host of ‘stuff’ is used and then disposed of. Little thought of repair, recycling components or reusing materials that just keep on going! If you think of the ‘Circular Economy’ of a tree, a seed gets nutrients from the earth, grows producing leaves and sometimes fruit that animals (and us humans) consume, trees turn our carbon monoxide to oxygen, their leaves fall and add nutrients back in to the earth. No waste.

As businesses, we need to consider what we can do to extend the life cycle of products, reduce single use items and minimise waste wherever we can. In a fully circular economy, we prevent waste at the design point. We must,

1. Eliminate waste.
2. Circulate products and materials (reuse copper and metals from mobile devices and computers.)
3. Stop polluting (think of the plastics in the oceans and chemicals from cleaning.)
4. Regenerate sustainably (forests etc)

Resources like copper, coal and oil is starting to run out. Alternatives must be found and invested in. Solar power isn’t used nearly enough and although huge amounts of cash is spent on nuclear, hydro and even wind power, it’s the sun which produces the most energy. Just like the example of the tree, we need to use produce and manufacture products which can be returned to the earth or reused without causing damage or producing the greenhouse gasses produced by fossil fuel.

In our business we’ve tried to make changes where we can. Vehicles are as fuel efficient as possible, regularly serviced and tracked to prevent excessive mileage, Dochub and Chrome books have replaces massive amounts of paper, we’ve looked at chemical free ways of cleaning and try to prevent toxic and damaging chemicals from entering the water course. We constantly discuss ways of eliminating single use plastics, where possible with our suppliers. The recent pandemic wasn’t kind to the environment with everyone seemingly splashing virus killing cocktails of chemicals across every surface available. There were better ways which didn’t cause harm, maybe, if another Covid type of disaster comes along, we’ll have learned valuable lessons?

We’ve eliminated aerosols, single wipe cloths and mops are microfibre and washable, unlike the old ‘string type’ which turned black quickly and smelled awful. We’re looking at the detergents we use and considering options as they’re not nature friendly and these has to be effective options that don’t ‘cost the earth’ either. We’re also looking at concentrates rather than ready to use sprays, in single use containers which take up space, run out quickly and need regular delivery, not great for CO2 emissions. Dozing systems are available but we’ll need to invest in training to get them used safely and efficiently.

Just like purchasing a cheap washing machine which breaks down quickly and needs replacing or repairing, cleaning equipment is important and we do spend a lot on buying quality so it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. The good stuff really does last many years more and is therefore ‘greener’ and more cost efficient.

One thing the Covid pandemic did do for the good was get people meeting virtually and this has continued where possible in our recruitment, training and day to day discussions where the mobile phone just isn’t enough. Supplier meetings are just as good on Google Meet or Zoom and client reviews are excellent and more productive without spending time travelling and producing CO2.

Let’s all make a decision to recycle, reuse, reduce or eliminate waste where we can. We’re going to do our very best to do just that. Our environment deserves it.