At Better Equipped we want to ensure we are operating in as sustainable and environmentally responsible way as possible, and we recognise the duty we have to avoid, reduce or offset activities of our business which may impact on our environment. Below is a summary of some of the things we do to try and do the right thing. We know there is always more we can do, and we are working on a number of initiatives over and above those highlighted below.
We have teamed up with a specialist company to both offset carbon now by helping to fund a number of carbon reducing projects around the world and at the same time planting trees to help offset and take in carbon in the future…..
- Offsetting 21.19 tonnes of carbon each month via sponsoring live projects such as wind farms in Taiwan, alternative energy projects in India (to remove reliance on coal), upgrading cooking stoves in Ghana and protecting existing forests in Peru (to name just a few). So over 254 tonnes of carbon offset in a full year via sponsorship of live projects.
- Sponsored planting of 298 trees per month for future carbon capture benefits, that’s 3576 trees planted in a full year. A focus is on planting mangrove trees which are extremely efficient at taking in carbon (four times as much carbon per acre than tropical rainforests) and we know their root systems provide nurseries and shelter for tropical fish, so a win win.
We have been trying to do many of the right things regarding packaging for many years such as using biodegreable air fill pockets and reusing cardboard boxes, but as technology is changing new options become available to us to make further improvements….
- Our Cardboard boxes are made in UK (from FSC certified responsible sources and a high percentage of recycled board).
- Used cardboard boxes (those we receive from our suppliers) are shredded for cushioning/box fill material in order to reuse this resource and avoid using any new resources. This shredded cardboard can be further reused or recycled.
- For any excess cardboard we have on site, we pay a specialist company to collect it for recycling.
- All air flow/filled pillows (the green cushions we use in our packed boxes to keep products safe in transit) are made in the UK & are biodegradable (so break down into biomass and water). We’ve used these for quite a few years now and love this as a solution rather than using traditional plastic air filled pillows.
- We have had to use traditional plastic bubble wrap for a while to ensure the laboratory glassware we supply can be protected in transit and arrives in once piece. Recently we have used bubble wrap made from 50% recycled plastic but our plan is to move to biodegradeable bubble wrap in the second half of 2021
Paper & Printing
Over the last few years we have massively reduced the amount of paper we use and the amount of printing we do…..
- Catalogues are printed in the UK and use FSC certified paper from responsible sources.
- We’ve reduced by 50% the quantity of catalogues printed and sent for delivery since 2019.
- Our catalogues are delivered in recycled and recyclable plastic wrap.
- We stopped printing customer orders and remittances in 2019.
- We stopped placing copy invoices in envelopes May 2021.
- We plan to stop printing picking lists for use by our warehouse team by the end of 2021.
- We will have digital recording of supplier invoices rather than printing by end 2021.
Our electricity consumption is fairly modest, it’s lighting for the warehouses and office, and power for computers, our air fill machines, rechargeable battery operated forklift and cardboard shredding machines. We use LED lighting to reduce the amount of electricity we use in our main office and warehouse and will replace lights with LED bulbs when they need replacing in our smaller warehouse.
One of our two warehouses uses electricity from 100% renewable sources, our 2nd warehouse will switch to renewable electricity in 2023 when the existing electricity contract expires.
We don’t currently have solar power on our site but will review this as an option in 2022.
Team Members commute
- We prefer to recruit from the local area and as such our start point for recruitment is always our local area.
- We encourage car sharing (pre & post Covid).
- We have cycle to work scheme in place and secure internal parking for team members bikes.
- Some office and sales team members now work from home on a permanent basis.
Click here to download our Bees in the Environment information sheet
or visit www.betterequipped.co.uk/sustainability