Investors in the Environment is a national accreditation scheme designed to help organisations reduce their Carbon Footprint and therefore their impact on the wider community. As a result, businesses are also able to reduce their own risk through lowering their reliance on key raw materials such as oil and gas. Businesses also save money on costs and can attract customers with a strong sense of social impact.
To achieve the Green Award, businesses must have an environmental policy that commits to legal compliance and has identified the areas of environmental impact. Alongside this they assign responsibility for environmental action to a key member of staff – known as the Green Champion.
They then have to measure at least 6 resources on a monthly basis, including Gas, Electricity, Water and then other resources such as paper, waste, and business travel. Once this is established, they complete a carbon footprint analysis and are expected to set annual reduction targets of at least 2% along with SMART action plans to help them meet their targets.
Employee engagement is a key part of the accreditation as it is far easier to achieve the goals set if everyone is working towards them. We ask our members to take part in activities such as zero waste week, green week, and committing to a paperless office. There is also the opportunity to get involved with external activities such as litter picks and volunteering at local nature reserves. They are expected to keep them informed of the impact the joint efforts are having on the overall carbon footprint.
Around 30 people came along to share the success of local businesses who are working to reduce their environmental impact each year.
Introductions were made by Ella McManus, Business Advisor for the Investors in the Environment Central region, before Wendy Baird gave a presentation about Eco Cuppa, the fantastic initiative she is promoting to reduce the use of throw away cups in the U.K. Members were also given a cup to take home with them to help in their pledge to reduce waste.
The awards were then given to the businesses that had achieved the criteria set.
Next, we heard from Chris Beattie, Director of WEGO – a clean logistics firm in Nottingham. We heard about his vision for a cleaner delivery process in the city centre. His plan is to consolidate all deliveries on route to the city into one electric vehicle and then use cycles to complete multi-drop deliveries. This would help to reduce congestion and pollution.
Finally, businesses were awarded with exemplary certificates. Various categories included overall achiever, green champion and great green star. These are awards are given to businesses that have gone above the set criteria and have exceeded the expectations of the Investors in the Environment standard.
There was a nice informal atmosphere at the Riverside Gallery event and it was great to see like-minded businesses networking and discussing future projects that will benefit everyone. We look forward to recognising even greater achievements next year.