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At the CQI head office, we take matters of sustainability seriously. Hear from our Office Manager, Roger Ariis, as he shares how we have embedded an ethos of environmental responsibility in our ways of working.
When I joined the CQI three and a half years ago, I was pleased to see a certain commitment to sustainable practices that I had not experienced in previous organisations. There were recycling bins, which was already a vast improvement. Staff were encouraged to print only what was strictly necessary, and to switch off lights in meeting rooms when not in use.
However, it was the office move at the beginning of 2021 that allowed us to flex our green muscles and create a more environmentally friendly space.
Working towards a more sustainable office
Firstly, we felt strongly about not sending anything to landfill unless it was absolutely necessary, so we set out to reuse as much of the existing furnishings as possible: operator and meeting room chairs, reception lounge furniture, meeting room tables, staff lockers and storage cupboards, computer screens, small electrical appliances and a number of accessories including the synthetic Christmas tree! What we could not fit in the new space, we recycled or donated to schools in Kent and London through Business2Schools.
"Sustainability is not simply a tick-box exercise, it is something we are committed to..."
LED lighting was fitted throughout the space, most of it connected to motion sensors, and new eco-friendlier kitchen appliances installed to help save energy.
We further improved on the waste segregation front by fitting dedicated bins for glass, coffee cups, mixed dry recyclables, organic as well as generic waste. Our waste is collected and processed by First Mile, who are committed to zero-to-landfill waste collections. At the end of 2021, they awarded us a silver certificate for achieving a recycling rate of 75% and offsetting 0.95 tonnes of CO². Needless to say, we are aiming to improve on both accounts.
Having successfully navigated a long lockdown by adapting our processes and eliminating the need to print documents, we now mandate that staff only print by exception, in an attempt to remain as paperless as possible. Looking at our procurement process is likely to be the next area of focus.
And yet, what is the positive impact of the above in measurable terms? How much do our activities still contribute to the global CO² emissions? And where can we still improve? In an attempt to answer these questions, we have a project underway aimed at identifying our current impact. With the help of an online platform, we will analyse data related to energy consumption in the office, as well as our impact while home working and commuting.
Of course, sustainability is not simply a tick-box exercise, it is something we are committed to, so this project is ongoing as we look to continually improve and take advantage of all sustainability opportunities.
Are you interested in sustainability? Find out how to join the CQI's Sustainability Special Interest Group today.