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Go Green - Case Study - Britannia Row, Wandsworth

WASTE CUT BY 40% AT BRITANNIA ROW

BACKGROUND:
Britannia Row hires and provides sound equipment and skilled engineers to events and shows throughout the UK and abroad. It has been working with Go Green Plus on a range of environmental initiatives including the implementation of recycling schemes, introducing the purchasing of sustainable products, reviewing the travel policy and improving energy and water efficiency.

All employees have an individual responsibility to help meet the requirements of the company’s Environmental Policy which includes managing and disposing of waste in a responsible manner, encouraging suppliers and distributors to participate in environmental best practice and taking into consideration environmental factors when planning and implementing works and processes.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The company has introduced a number of environmental practices into its business. A range of materials are recycled, including paper, glass, plastic, cardboard, ink cartridges, wooden pallets, electrical equipment and furniture. Mixed recycling bins are available to all staff and recycling is collected on a weekly basis. Desks and office furniture have a longer life at Britannia Row, being used as benches or storage once they have outlived their intended use.

Natalie Scarfe, Britannia Row’s Admin & Health and Safety Manager, says staff were quick to get on board. “We have a lot of young people who just got on and recycled. A lot more people are doing it at home so it makes sense to do it at work as well,” she says.

Introducing the recycling scheme means less ending up in landfill. “Before we started our bins were regularly overflowing. Now they’re never full and we’re looking to use just one bin in the near future,” adds Natalie. She estimates that the waste going to landfill has been cut by 40%.

The company has switched from using plastic cups to Vegware cups and staff change them less frequently, and message pads are created from used printed documents. The purchase of a new photocopier that prints double sided and has a black and white/ colour selection button is aimed at improving efficiency. All features are designed to decrease wastage of toner and paper. Staff are encouraged not to print unless they have to and when meetings are held a PC screen is used to provide agenda details, rather than each individual printing out sheets of paper where practical. Where possible, products are purchased in accordance with the company’s environmental policy. This includes buying recycled, sustainable and ethical products, such as paper, coffee, and using concentrate for cleaning products.

Britannia Row has introduced a cultural change into the company, with the ethos not to be wasteful, but it has also adopted a simple, easy system. Suppliers that deliver products in too much packaging are quickly switched to those who produce less. But the company is not stopping there and is in the process of looking at energy efficiency and water saving devices.

The help from Go Green Plus has been invaluable, adds Natalie. “Go Green Plus has been amazing. Our adviser is very good at keeping in touch, providing helpful advice and additional resources. Some of the work has taken a bit of time but it is hugely rewarding” she says.

This service is provided free of charge to businesses as it is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.