We really are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and positively contributing to local communities and heritage. How do we do this?
Our own 'greener' office - where better to start but with our own office, nestled in Harewood Estate.
There is no point in 'talking the talk' if you don't 'walk the walk' yourself! We of course only use recyled paper and envelopes and even paper made from elephant poo for one of our books, Garden Explorers!
We do lots of simple things that help reduce our carbon and social footprint; reuse printed paper and envelopes, drink Fairtrade tea and coffee and organic milk, compost our tea bags and coffee grounds and switch our equipment off when we leave the office.
Even this website is socially and environmentally virtuous! It is hosted on a carbon neutral server, and was built by a fabulous social enterprise of young people in Tower Hamlets called Gateway Media. The project helps young people not in education, employment or training back into work and the profits go back into the community.
Reducing our road miles - being a national consultancy that covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland (at the moment, but happy for work from Scotland too!) one of our key concerns about environmental impact is our travel. In 2007 we committed to reduce our mileage by 50%. We achieved this and also carbon offset some of the mileage we did incur. We have also been using 'Smart' ways of working such as Skyping, telephone meetings and online file sharing.
New for 2011 we now add carbon offset of all travel to our quotes and proposals as an optional extra for every client.
Better buying - we work with our clients to meet their needs for environmental sustainability. Possibly even more importantly, we work with our suppliers to make sure we can meet this need. We have a list of trusted suppliers with whom we work to develop their products in this way. For example, we have worked with community venues to expand their offer to include organic locally sourced catering for conferences. Another example is working with designers to source low impact print products and alternatives to print such as downloadable resources.
Where possible we buy from companies that use 'closed loop systems', for example, the banners we buy once finished with can be sent back to the supplier to be unwoven and remade into new banners.
We offer our clients an exclusive recommendation service - we can recommend suppliers and products to suit your needs. This saves you a lot of leg work! We don't get any payment from the suppliers for this - it's just part of the service!
We can also offer a range of products direct, see our resources section for a small selection of what's on offer.
Supporting small businesses - we have a prompt payment policy which helps to support the economy but especially small businesses such as caterers, freelancers and designers. We feel that this is an ethical approach to doing business.
Supporting communities and the sector - we volunteer professional consultancy time to help support communities and the sector. Kate Measures gives her time and professional advice as a Director of BGEN (Botanical Gardens Education Network).