Earth Day 2022: reviewing our Environmental Plan progress
Today is Earth Day 2022 with this year’s theme being “Invest in our Planet”. The theme this year in part focusses on the role of business, on companies shifting towards more sustainable practices. This seemed a good time to look back at our Environmental Plan from early 2021, to see both what progress has been made within the company towards our goals and of course to look at what still needs to be done.
Environmental Plan Progress
New Roof and Solar Panels
The first 2 stated aims of the environmental plan involved a new roof and solar panels installed at the company’s headquarters. Work began on the new roof in the Spring of 2021 with the roof due to be replaced in 2 halves. Whilst the weather prevented the work being done on 2 consecutive weekends as was the initial plan, it was completed by the end of March. As well as the noticeable reduction in heat loss from the roof reducing the energy required to heat the building, the roof’s completion allowed the installation of solar panels.
In July 186 320W solar modules were installed on the roof. These panels generate approximately 90% of the energy used in the building, reducing Tekeurope’s carbon footprint by an estimated 16.5 tonnes a year.
Electric Company Cars and Van
The move towards electric company vehicles began in 2021 with all company cars being replaced by electric models. In addition to this, car charging points have been installed on site. These offer convenient car charging options for staff and visitors to the building whilst utilising energy from the solar panels in order to do it, reducing the vehicles’ carbon footprint.
Using an electric company van presents a number of challenges. Whilst electric charging points are becoming more prevalent around the country there are still issues regarding the range of the vehicle and the additional planning for journeys required. However research is ongoing into the viability of this and we hope to make the change in the future.
Aim to become a paperless business (where possible)
Whilst much progress has been made, there is always more than can be done.
Many staff are now operating a hybrid working model with the majority of time spent working from home. This leads to a reduction of printing and paper based communication with this being replaced by electronic methods.
For overseas shipments invoicing now takes place electronically (where couriers offer support for such a system). The company has also invested in new tablet PCs and scanners for the warehouse. This will allow tasks such as stock checking to take place without the need for paper based lists.
An ongoing effort has been made over the last year to reduce the company’s energy usage. With this in mind new LED lighting has now in both the office and warehouse areas.
Despite producing noticeably more light the new fittings are considerably more energy efficient. In addition the warehouse lighting is fitted with motion sensors, ensuring energy is only used when it is necessary.
In October 2021 Tekeurope once again renewed its ISO 14001 accreditation. ISO 14001 concentrates on environmental performance, it helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.