CML Green Initiative
At Caltag, we're committed to being an environmentally responsible company.
In 2019, we established our Green Initiative and, since then, we've been reviewing and improving every area of our business: from the office to the lab and even the staff facilities.
Previously, under every desk was a plastic bin. In every plastic bin, there was a plastic bin bag…
Now, whilst we still have multiple bins, they have become more centralised within our office. This is not only good for the planet, as it increases company recycling levels, but it also gives us all healthy breaks from our screens.
The recycling bins we actively use are:
Soft plastics bin
All soft plastics from product packaging materials, food packaging, etc are collected in this bin and taken to our local supermarket to be recycled.
Mixed plastics bin
For all those 'hard to recycle' waste plastics e.g. plastic gloves, pens, bubble wrap, etc.
We use a company that collects, recycles & repurposes them. They also plant a tree for every collection box purchased!
General recycling bin
This is the standard recycling bin. Nothing special but still important to have.
Food waste bin
All food waste is collected and put out to compost.
Normal waste bin
Unfortunately, we still have some things going to landfill. But we conduct waste audits to see what can be done to reduce this
Other notable items we recycle are batteries, printer cartridges, cardboard boxes, and coffee pods!
Our Green Initiative Leader, Cara (who is a 'My Green Lab Ambassador'), also keeps an eye on recycling programs for items that we cannot currently recycle with these bins and organises regular collections.
From the amount of energy required to power this increasingly digitalised world to the electronic waste from broken tech equipment, the environmental impact of the tech industry is of concern.
With the introduction of our Green Initiative, we also ensured that equipment and switches were turned off when not in use.
Our computers have not only been replaced with more energy-efficient ones, but we now also use them in more environmentally friendly ways:
- Hyperlinks are sent in internal emails rather than attaching files to reduce the carbon footprint of the emails.
- Regular email clear-outs are conducted to reduce energy usage storing unnecessary data.
- We make the best use of computer programs available to us, e.g. signatures are added to PDF documents electronically to reduce our paper usage.
We've also found a great company that collects broken tech equipment and other electrical waste for free. They safely and reliably destroy any data found on hard drives or other media, and clean, test, and reassemble each component into a working system. They then resell this IT equipment for business or personal use, and all profits from retail sales go to a UK charity.
We are implementing initiatives to be "greener" in the labs too:
- Plastic consumables have been replaced with reusable glassware.
- Non-contaminated items are recycled within our many recycling boxes.
- Old equipment is donated to local schools.
Most notably, our Green Initiative Leader, Cara, recently found a new loving home for our unused flow cytometry machine: a charity in Gibraltar that needed it for their efforts to combat marine environmental issues.
Carefully selected supplies
To reduce waste and CO2 emissions from transport vehicles, we buy in bulk as much as possible.
Items such as hand soap, washing-up liquid, and floor cleaner are bought from a fellow Buckingham-based retailer, just a short walk away, who refills our empty containers time and time again.
Our toilet paper is bulk bought, made of plastic-free materials and packaging, and, for an extra ethical bonus, 50% of the profits the company we buy from makes are donated to clean water and sanitation non-profit organisations.
Although we cannot stop the use of paper completely, we make sure that we purchase FSC-certified paper that is packed in recyclable packaging.
A few extra little efforts we have made:
- Our packaging filling has been changed to biodegradable polychips.
- Our water bottles are reusable and are refilled with the drinking water in our kitchen. We also have biodegradable bottle brushes to keep them clean.
- We offer a cycle-to-work scheme.
- We have placed plants around the office to improve the air quality, which is also a bonus for our mental health!
- A bin for batteries is coming soon!
Help us to continue improving
Whilst we have made good progress, we are always looking for ways to improve: we regularly share ideas on how to be more environmentally friendly via a group messaging platform (allowing change to happen faster than arranging whole staff meetings in person), but we would love to hear from you!
If you have any suggestions for further things we could do or want to share what sustainability efforts you're making, please get in touch with us on LinkedIn or Twitter @CaltagMedsystem.
Evoking real change must be a group effort to make a difference!
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