A conscious approach to minimising environmental impact
The Group strives to minimise the impact and potential impact of its business operations on the local, national and global environment.
- Assess and manage the environmental impacts of our operations
- Meet and where appropriate exceed relevant legislation, regulatory codes of practice and other requirements to which the company subscribes
- Prevent pollution by exercising proper control over our activities
- Where practical reduce waste by conserving energy, water, paper and other resources, particularly those which are scarce or non-renewable
- Reduce waste going to landfill through waste reduction, re-use and recycling.
Our main office of operation (Gateshead facility) is UKAS certified to ISO14001:2004, which independently verifies and demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.
We are transitioning to ISO14001:2015, which will become fully effective during 2018.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Our KPIs are monitored on a monthly basis, which assist us in meeting our overall environmental objectives.
We met our targets and objectives for our Gateshead facility in 2016, which included:
- Waste minimisation - Landfill uplift was reduced from one uplift per week to one per fortnight (50% reduction), this has continued throughout 2017
- Adopting the ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ initiative - All waste is segregated by staff using appropriate bins or areas specifically designated i.e. the area containing the cardboard crushing machine
- Energy reduction - We monitor our energy usage on a monthly basis. Gas and water usage remained consistent from 2015 throughout 2016. Electricity consumption increased in line with recruiting more staff as the business grew
- Minimisation of excess packaging by following product packaging specifications and procedures that also ensures the quality of the product
- Minimising the use of harmful materials by following the COSHH procedures
- Reducing waste paper through setting up an electronic filing systems and not printing non-essential emails. Office paper is recycled and confidential documents are placed in locked containers which are collected and recycled by Shred-it, a registered recycler. In addition, all staff are encouraged to ensure any printing that must be undertaken is set to double sided to save paper
- Used cartridges from ink-jet printers are recycled by sending them to a company specialising in the refilling of such cartridges. All proceeds from the re-filling of cartridges are held by the North East Ambulance Service charity
- We use environmentally friendly cleaning products for our office, which do not negatively affect the environment or air quality
- Our suppliers are requested to demonstrate that they operate in an environmentally friendly manner. This is monitored using a supplier appraisal questionnaire and verified through supplier audits
- All appliances (computers, printers, photocopiers) are maintained to manufacturers’ specified standards and undergo annual PAT testing which ensures their efficiency and safety. If any appliance cannot be repaired or is beyond economical repair we always purchase the most energy efficient rated replacement.
Where we cannot reuse or recycle, waste materials and substances are disposed of in accordance relevant EU and UK directives and local authority regulations. For example, in 2016 waste care was used on two occasions to remove expired stock, empty chemical containers and fluorescent tubes.
Our current recycling partners are:
- ‘Aim to Recycle’ for card, plastic, paper and metal cans
- W+S Recycling for WEEE and metals including some hazardous waste
- Air Ambulance for ink cartridges
- Specialised hazardous waste carriers are organised as and when required.