We’re working to cut waste, reduce carbon and take pressure off the world’s sources of virgin timber by changing the way we use paper.
Between October 2018 and September 2019 we calculated that we used 13,000 sheets of paper. With an aim of reducing usage by 10% each year, we have adopted strategies small and large to achieve our reduction targets:
Team members are encouraged to ‘think before they print’
Printer settings have been switched to double sided
Paper sourcing has changed, ensuring that wherever possible we use recycled paper or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper
Most importantly, we are looking to eliminate the need for print altogether. Our Bureau team, for example, is moving towards electronic billing with utility suppliers where possible
It’s easy to think of reducing paper consumption as a low impact exercise, but it’s a vital part of protecting natural resources and reducing carbon emissions. A 2013 European Environmental Paper Network report found “that paper has a very significant impact on the climate and that its ‘vapour trail’ accounts for the equivalent of more than 7% of global GHG emissions, which is higher than aviation emissions.”
Waste Not, Want Not
Optimised Energy’s paper reductions are part of a much broader range of waste management actions. We are now recording the amount of waste we produce, splitting the data across four waste streams: confidential, mixed recycling, food and general waste. We are then using the data to take further actions. The food waste from our Bristol office, for example, is being collected by GENeco, a local sustainable waste business, which uses a biomethane-powered waste collection vehicle to collect food waste from across the Bristol region. It then delivers the waste for processing into biomethane and biofertilizer.
“Even apparently small actions can add up to making a significant difference,” says Optimised Energy’s Head of Operations, Roy Bidder. “Since we started recording our paper and other waste data, we’ve been able to manage significant levels of waste out of the business, reduce our use of resources and reuse more of the waste we do generate. And the greater the focus we place on reducing waste, the more our people are finding new ways to contribute.”
Responsible consumption is just one of the commitments in our Sustainability Report, produced as part of our commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. You can read the full report here.