The world is forever changing, and not always in a good way. As individuals and as a business, we know we need to recognise our negative impact on the environment. And we know we must take responsibility for those actions while adopting greener ways of being, doing - and printing! - to avoid further harm to the planet.
But with great responsibility comes great overwhelm, right?! Especially with the ambitious global goal of being net-zero by 2050 hanging in the air. Where do we begin, how do we make a difference, and how can we do it quickly?
Well, we figured the best place to start the pursuit of planet positive is at the beginning (smart, we know!). But in all seriousness, you wouldn’t set out on an unknown journey without a Sat Nav, would you? And so, before putting the wheels in motion, we put together a roadmap…well, an Impact Report.
This includes an analysis of our previous year’s C02e output (identifying key focus areas) and sets out our ecocentric plans and projects for 2023/24. Keen to keep the bigger picture in mind, the report also summarises our longer-term ambitions for navigating a greater, greener future as a carbon-balanced business.
Progress Over Procrastinating
What we do know for sure is that change will not and cannot happen in a flash. The journey to becoming net-zero (though pressing!) is more tortoise than it is hare. It’s a case of taking a series of small, considered steps that, when combined, add up to big, notable leaps of advancement.
We’re also aware that while we have a direction in mind, our route might change along the way. There will be some tests, trials (and hopefully triumphs!) as we continue to define, develop and implement sustainable strategies and positive processes.
But having an initial roadmap means we can start taking action and link it to specific objectives. That means we can measure it, manage it and ensure all our global-warming-tackling troops (that’s our teams, partners, suppliers and customers!) will stand by our side in the fight against climate change.
Above all, making some form of progress must be better than sat procrastinating, right?!
Three’s A Magic Number
So, how do we plan to reach destination carbon-balanced? Well, we’ve identified three key areas where we can continue to make achievable progress (no matter the pace!), hitting some ambitious yet attainable targets in the process AND realising year-on-year improvement.
This means focusing on steps we can take to directly sweep up our Co2e footprint, clean up our approach to waste management and get our green on when it comes to power management and offsetting any unavoidable emissions.
Cleaning up our sustainability act starts with reducing our carbon footprint. To do so, we’ve studied our most recent C02e output report analysis to identify high-emission-expelling business activities that we can work on driving down and quick-to-fix waste areas where we can immediately hit the brakes on excessive energy usage.
And we’re pleased to be making notable tracks in this area, with the introduction of our Gold Power initiative, enabling machinery and appliances to be switched off when not in use, resulting in a glowing improvement in value of kW/h per £ sale across all our sites.
We’ve also got extra picky with our plastic use by removing the likes of plastic cups and business card holders from our sites and replacing plastic materials in our packaging with eco-friendly alternatives.
Recycling to our maximum capacity both on the print floor and within our office space remains a top priority. From separating waste materials so they can be recycled responsibly and effectively to donating waste paper to local charities, we’ll never see good waste, well, wasted!
And that’s just for starters. Next up, we’ll deploy our efforts to replace old equipment with new, more efficient models when lifespans are reached and dispose of obsolete equipment responsibly. Plus, we’ll be switching to LED bulbs across all sites and re-evaluating travel policies with car-sharing and alternative modes of transport in mind.
Where energy use is essential, we’re focusing on cleaner sources to power our productivity.
As energy contracts come up for renewal, we’ll be looking for greener alternatives and researching the feasibility of generating our own power through the likes of solar panel installation at our sites. Likewise, when replacing company vehicles, hybrid and electric models will be preferential.
And finally, if we can’t reduce or transform our operational carbon footprint, we’ll be aiming to offset it. This spans materials and production to delivery and waste, with a carbon balancing program that offsets our CO2e footprint and invites our partners and customers to do the same.
As part of our ongoing offsetting efforts, we work with the World Land Trust via its ‘Carbon Balanced’ and ‘Plant a Tree’ programmes. Such environmental initiatives enable us to offset the unavoidable emissions that we produce by contributing to efforts to protect carbon-rich habitats and supporting the reforestation of previously lost areas.
Getting Greener With It
While we know we can’t possibly achieve carbon-balanced status alone or overnight, we’re also aware that we can’t rely on someone else to do the work or save the planet for us.
We all need to play our part in the fight against global warming, combining our efforts to fend off the worst impacts of climate change and, ultimately, contribute to the global net-zero-by-2050 target.
As such, you can expect to see us getting keener, greener and cleaner with our innovative print practices, ensuring what we put out into the world has a positive impact on both people and the planet.
Take a look at our Impact Report to learn more about our PP-wide ESG commitments, progress made so far, and our continuous-improvement ambitions for the future.