Trying to get an entire company to go greener

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sleepyowl
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Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261583 sleepyowl
Thu May 31, 2012 9:33 am

I work for a major fashion chain, but recently got elected as area employee rep & I am determined to get them to go greener I have a gob on me & have already got a few suggestions rolling around but have introduced some greener measures into the store & I am looking to roll them out to other stores, most will cost the company nothing & will save the company money. So far so good. Things that I have rolled out into our store;
Reusing bags from people who have brought an item back (as long as they are in good nick)
Asking people if they need a bag
Installing toilet hippos
Getting people to turn off all lights, tills & computers not in use

If anyone else has any other ideas please let me know
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chickenchargrill
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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261585 chickenchargrill
Thu May 31, 2012 10:16 am

Have you got recycling points for staff wherever they have breaks?

I'm assuming you already reuse hangers. But what happens to the end-of-line unsold/ruined stock? Maybe there's something that can be done there.

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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261589 gregorach
Thu May 31, 2012 11:02 am

The really big, important thing to do would be to institute an energy monitoring / benchmarking / targeting program. This basically involves getting a really good detailed understanding of how much energy you're using, where, when, and what for. You can then compare this against standard benchmarks and use it to set improvement targets. Unfortunately, It's been over 15 years since I last worked in energy management and I can't remember the name of the organisation which produces all the resources and research I used to use, and Google's useless on the topic... (Thanks, SEO consultants - you've broken the internet!) I think it might have been BRE - and even if it wasn't, they're probably worth a look.

The best place I can find right now for an overview to start is here: http://www.monitoringandtargeting.co.uk/. Depending on what sort of meters you've got, you may be able to access half-hourly meter data, which can be incredibly useful if you've got the software to deal with it. (These people provide excellent software for this sort of thing.) A proper monitoring regime is pretty much essential, as it not only tells you where you are now, it enables you quantify the impact of any changes that you make, which is very important for getting management buy-in.

In the retail environment the largest categories of energy use are usually HVAC and lighting, so those are the most important places to start looking for improvements.
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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261614 GeorgeSalt
Thu May 31, 2012 4:41 pm

sleepyowl wrote:I work for a major fashion chain, but recently got elected as area employee rep & I am determined to get them to go greener I have a gob on me & have already got a few suggestions rolling around but have introduced some greener measures into the store & I am looking to roll them out to other stores, most will cost the company nothing & will save the company money. So far so good. Things that I have rolled out into our store;
Reusing bags from people who have brought an item back (as long as they are in good nick)
Asking people if they need a bag
Installing toilet hippos
Getting people to turn off all lights, tills & computers not in use

If anyone else has any other ideas please let me know

Has the company gone for ISO 14001?

The initial Environmental Aspect and Impact Assessment that you go through for that will identifiy those areas where the biggest difference can be made. That's very important for getting managament buy-in as most of these are cost savings. Employee engagement for environmental improvement needs to link to some of the big ticket improvements (energy reduction) but also needs grassroots small-scale projects that might not make a big direct improvement but encourage thinking in the right way - canteen waste recycling, etc.

Half-hour meters are great, but even better is an instantaneous consumption meter. Once you establish the minimum baseload (all end-of-day switch offs done) you have a figure that unless it's achieved noone goes home until the rogue switch is turned off! That really focusses the mind on not leaving unnecessary electrical items switched on overnight.

Most of my really quick hits require a wee bit of investment (motion detector light switches in storerooms, etc), but one that is free is to check the temperature of airconditioning in the IT server room. It's usually set around 16-17C in my experience, but almost all IT equipment is optimised for 21-24C. That's about £400/year saving by raising the set-point temperature for the average office server room. You do need to check with the IT equipment manufacturer first (there are some pieces of kit that need lower temperatures).

Another useful target to set is if you know the weight of rubbish collected, setting a maximum target for "general waste" either as an absolute figure (kg) or as a percentage of all waste. "General waste" is everything that isn't being collected for recycling or re-use (so not paper, card or plastic packaging if it is collected seperately and recycled). Don't include hygiene waste in these figures as it isn't relevant (and I usually find that it's missing from 80% of business waste stream surveys anyway).
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sleepyowl
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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261636 sleepyowl
Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:29 am

chickenchargrill wrote:Have you got recycling points for staff wherever they have breaks?

I'm assuming you already reuse hangers. But what happens to the end-of-line unsold/ruined stock? Maybe there's something that can be done there.

We do have recycling, but that has more to do with the shopping centre than the company, we do reuse hangers, unsold stock gets put as a managers special when it no longer registers on the till & damage stock gets sent off to a charity that recycles the material & makes something new that they can sell
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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #261676 Thomzo
Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:47 pm

Do you have any packaging or used display materials that could go to the Scrapstore instead of being thrown away?

What about a crock for tea-bags to go into someone's composter?

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Re: Trying to get an entire company to go greener

Post: #262090 the.fee.fairy
Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:33 am

Try suggesting that they go for the ISO 9001, or 14001. It's a proper accreditation that they can then use on literature and advertising.

I took the FedEx hub at Stansted through it (because I was gobby at the Employee meetings...). It's worth pointing out any way in which your company is seen as negative by the green crowd, then see if you can find any premises within the company who are working towards being green and take it from there.

I mentioned it in a meeting with the CEO of the hub. I explained that I felt that the FedEx brand was being tarnished by their green credentials - they are an airline and therefore in one of the most polluting industries. If they could prove that they were taking measures to offset the issues then they'd get a higher rating.

About a week later I arrived to find a mysterious piece of paper with details of the Indeanapolis (pretty sure that's not spelt right...) hub, who are as green as a green thing - they have a green roof, water recycling etc. The piece of paper included a contact email. I emailed the address given and was told what they were doing. I never knew who the piece of paper came from, but it was mighty handy for convincing the hub to become more green.

Usually, the higher-ups are quite keen on any initiatives that raise the company's profile. It's the regular workers who are more sceptical (the employees around me had the cheek to complain that the paper cups were being taken out of the coffee machine - even though they were all given ceramic mugs..). They're the ones to convince more than the leaders.

Pitch the idea keeping in mind that people might not take the whole 'be green' idea too seriously, but they will like the idea that the company's profile can be raised by gaining accreditation. If you can convince them that 'ultra-greening' one premises can get them free press coverage then they might go for it.

Try getting some proper costings and looking at how being greener will be more efficient and increase productivity (something simple like keeping the front doors of the shop closed means that any heating/aircon will cost less and make the workers happier and more efficient at their workstations). I think we bought the recycling stations for about £3000, and it included recycling for paper, cans and printer cartridges. Then look at how much the company will get back every year for recycling things - I can't remember how much we got back for sending our recyclables, but I do remember that it was worth sticking a whole pallet of used tyvek envelopes onto a plane with the other cargo to be recycled in America (nowhere in England recycled them at the time), so I convinced the company to basically use any empty space to bale up the envelopes and send them on a flight. The money we got back from that was more than the cost of baling and sending. Although it dos jar with people that the envelopes were flown, they were put in a space on a flight that was carrying cargo anyway, and it was better than sending the lot to landfill - tyvek is designed to not be biodegradable because of the job it has to do!

Printer cartridges are a great place to start. Recycling printer cartridges brings in almost instant money for the company, so if you can convince them to organise cartridge collection and sending, then they can see the money coming in.

Sadly, it is about money for most companies - how much will any initiative cost and how much will they get back from it.


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