Voluntary Action Leeds
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:
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- Identify potential green space, e.g. green the back wall?
- 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.