Environmental Responsibility

At VAL we're reviewing our response to our environmental policy and have come up with a new action plan - others may find it useful - but equally I'd welcome comments if we've missed anything...

Thematic areas we've prioritised are below:

Energy 

  • Carry out an energy audit to look at heating and lighting systems –  prioritise actions where can energy be saved by behaviour/ low cost measures (payback <1 yr)/ medium cost (payback 3-5 yrs)/ longer (payback >5yrs)
  • Look at purchasing renewable electricity, and/or getting cheaper electricity/gas prices to help fund other environmental initiatives
  • Identify energy saving items can be installed as part of building refurbishment
  • Cost/benefits/practicalities of a mini turbine
  • Set clear energy criteria on any ‘white good’ or electronic good purchase for VAL
Water
  • Check water use, how do we compare against office benchmarks. Prioritise where actions can save water by behaviour, maintenance, low cost measures (e.g. hippos if appropriate, valves)
  • Drink tap water instead of water cooler ( cost and energy use)
Transport
  • Develop a travel hierarchy for work related travel – low carbon options prioritised, mileage rates paid.
  • Install a shower to encourage active travel
  • Look at costs/benefits/ potential use of a pool car/bike/tandem
  • Look at becoming site for a city electric car or car club.
Resource Use   
  • Reduce photocopying/printing consumption of paper - Introduce individual photocopier codes – report individual use; default double side printing/copying
  • Look at re-use of waste paper – one photocopier draw of paper printed on one side for re-use/drafts
  • Paper re-use – scrap notepads
  • Set criteria for purchasing decisions – energy use, water use, lifespan, recycled materials
  • Bulk purchase of tea, coffee, biscuits to reduce packaging
  • Stop buying plastic cups, let people use glass.
  • Is there IT equipment we don’t need?
Waste  
  • Check waste disposal options of our current waste provider against other contractors (mixed waste and paper) – use any savings for other environmental investments.
  • What else could we be recycling – plastic bottles, toner cartridges
  • Compare options (practicalities) of vermiculture bin vs composting for food waste
External
  • Identify potential green space, e.g. green the back wall?
Awareness        
  • Simple, consistent messages to change behaviour – occupants and visitors, on energy, water, transport, other resources used.
  • Regularly report what has been done – what money has been saved, how much carbon saved.
  • Champions in each team to promote, support, feedback other ideas.

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