CML Green Initiative – Where to start…

When someone mentions that we should be doing more to save the planet, it is often met with a groan (do I really have to separate my food waste?). In a commercial setting, it can be hard to gain momentum with new green initiatives, and harder still to motivate everyone to get on board. It can feel like a monumental task.

Perhaps it is seeing Greta Thunberg on the news that has inspired us, but several colleagues at Caltag Medsystems are serious about making a change.

The first meeting of the “CML Green Initiative Committee” was held last week to discuss ideas and to put action plans in place to improve our carbon emissions. Headed by Trish, the committee comprises of Hannah, Helen, Camilla, James, Cara, and Nikki to ensure we represent each department of our company. As a result of the meeting, we now have some practical solutions which we can start to work on:

Waste audit

Although we currently have recycling and food waste bins, they only help if people sort their waste. In order to understand the scale of the problem, each member of the Green Initiative will be performing a “waste audit”, by checking the contents of bins in their department and reporting the results at the next meeting. This will help us to identify any issues, and to present solutions.

Paper usage

One of the biggest areas of waste we identified is printing. The waste audit will inform if we need to provide more recycling bins, but ideally we are aiming to reduce the quantity printed to begin with by:

  • Implementing electronic signatures (certificates, contracts, training logs, letters etc.). We’ve already made steps to start this, which will avoided lots of printing
  • Ensuring all printer default settings are set to double sided and B&W, and to check each person’s default settings.
  • Reminding staff to be conscious when printing, i.e. THINK before you PRINT.
  • If single sided printing has been used and the document is not sensitive, keep the paper and use for notes/rough paper.
  • Reducing the number of available general waste bins to prompt recycling.
  • Switching to recycled/FSC certified paper and ensure paper is not supplied in plastic wrapping

Kitchen and food

Caltag Medsystems provide free fruit for its employees, but there is concern that most is sourced outside the UK, increasing the carbon footprint associated with shipping goods. Going forward, a conscious effort will be made to buy UK sourced fruit where possible, and fruit in season. We will also buy unpackaged fruit i.e. without plastic.

Certain materials are not recycled by our waste providers, but there are specialist services to recycle these materials. In addition to our normal recycle bins, we will be getting:

  • Recycling bag for “stretchy plastic”
  • Crisp packet recycling box

Building

Other than recycling, there are lots of other areas we have identified for improvement.

  • Turn off lights in rooms/labs not in use.
  • Ensure all computers are powered down overnight
  • Request owners of the Whiteleaf Business Centre (where we’re based) to change to 100% renewable energy supplier (for example, Octopus Energy)
  • Encourage building owners to put solar panels on the building
  • Eco loo roll (bought in bulk) and bars of soap instead of plastic dispensers
  • More indoor plants

Awareness

Our sales and marketing team often collaborate with local charities. We hope that we can use this to also help the Green Initiative:

  • Support environmental charities when we do a corporate sponsor event, coupled with planting a tree.
  • When we raise money for local charity, choose an environmental one.
  • Use web site and social media platforms to publicise/raise awareness – hence this blog! 🙂
  • When on business trips, choose trains over planes or use an airline with carbon offsetting
  • Cara is a wiz at home-made eco-friendly alternatives, including cleaning products, soaps, etc. She has also volunteered to run lunch time eco sessions to exchange ideas on how we can also be more eco-friendly at home.

Anything Else?

Have you implemented any of the above at your workplace? Is there anything practical that we’ve missed? We’d love your feedback! You can contact us here: www.caltagmedsystems.co.uk/contact.php

It’s great to see so many colleagues interested in being more green, and the support we’ve received from the company. Hopefully this is the first step to a greener Caltag Medsystems!

CML Green Initiative – Where to start…
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