Since Charter Savings Bank began in 2015, we’ve been mindful to do as much as we can to operate as sustainably as possible and to ensure we’re taking steps to cut down on the amount of waste we produce.
We continue to raise our game in 2019 with our newly built head office in Wolverhampton, which is packed with things to help us lower our impact on the environment even further.
We’ve made recycling a top priority
Three new bins have been installed on every floor of our offices: one for mixed recycling, one for cardboard recycling and one for other waste.
They’ve made an immediate reduction in the amount of waste we send to landfill.
Our people are committed to recycling too, as we no longer have bins at the side of our desks. Instead they’re able to take a short walk to the closest recycling point, taking time to consider the amount of waste they’re creating as they place it into the correct bin.
We now have greener offices
Our new offices have some added colour with the addition of some amazing plants. There’s method in the beauty though, as they’re known to not only support the environment, but to support us too.
In our new head office, the second floor alone has no fewer than 120 plants and, as well as making our offices look great, they can improve air quality and even trap pollutants, helping us to breathe more easily.
Here’s a great read from the Royal Horticultural Society on some of the benefits that house and office plants have on the environment. It’s a fascinating read and something that has really inspired us.
We’ve removed single-use plastic cups
In 2018, we provided large reusable water bottles to everyone at Charter Savings Bank and the wider business. We did this for two reasons: to encourage our people to drink more water throughout the day, and to remove the single-use plastic cups from our water towers.
We’ve not used a plastic cup since, and our reusable water bottles are the perfect prompt to fill up on H20 responsibly.
As if that wasn’t enough of a benefit, we’re now spending more time at the water tower – a great way to mindfully spend 5 minutes away from our desks.
We’ve given all our people reusable coffee cups
Although we were careful about the cups we previously used, we’d always planned on replacing them as they’re single-use, and can only be recycled in commercial composters, making them a little harder to dispose of.
With that in mind, we made the decision to remove them from our tea points, and we’ve given everyone who works with us a Charter Savings Bank reusable cup, which can be used over and over again!
Win-Win – takeaway coffee could be cheaper whether at work or out and about as most coffee shops recognise the value of re-usable cups, offering a discount while making a huge difference to our impact on the environment.
We reuse our coffee grounds
After a hard day’s grind, our canteen can have anything up to 1kg of coffee grounds left over (we like coffee) and we make sure we do everything we can not to waste them.
Firstly, our grounds are delivered to Brompton Cookery School where they’re used to help keep unwanted pests away from their home-grown produce – who knew?! Any leftover grounds are then delivered to local gardeners to use in their greenery.
We’re particular about sourcing our products locally too, and everything we sell in our canteen is fair trade. We do this because we believe in paying a fair price to the people who work hard to produce great products which, in turn, feed and water our great people.
We achieved ISO-14001 accreditation
We’re really excited to have been awarded ISO 14001 accreditation in November 2018.
It’s a big deal for us - it recognises that we’re managing our environmental policy effectively, and that we’re able to provide assurance that our impact on the environment is being measured.
This means we’re able to do even more to improve our environmental impact in the future.
We’re educating our people
In May, our people were encouraged to take part in #Learningatworkweek, during which our most popular session improved our knowledge of green living.
As well as exploring ideas for reducing our environmental footprint, we covered topics like plastic pollution, upcycling and recycling.
Did you know that every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans? Take a look at Surfers against Sewage for more great stats and insight.
We asked for advocates
It’s plain to see that everyone at Charter Savings Bank is passionate about helping great causes, demonstrated by the many fantastic ways we support our chosen charity: Socks & Chocs. In 2017/18 we ran, walked and baked our way to raising nearly £100,000, with many more events already underway this year.
In 2018 we challenged our people to get passionate about reducing their footprint on the environment, and our monthly Environmental Committee was born.
Each year we deliver several changes, and every single part of the business is represented in the committee – helping to contribute to our fantastic advocacy culture.
Our people have access to alternative foods
You can see from the awards we’ve won that we have lots of opportunities to celebrate at Charter Savings Bank, and we often do it with an all-company lunch.
Each time we do, we take the time to ensure all of our people can take part, making sure we have lots of dietary requirements covered.
As part of World Environment Day, we’ve arranged an all-company vegan lunch and we’re ensuring any packaging it comes in is from sustainable sources. Many people are talking about how having less meat in your diet has a positive impact on our environment, so we thought it would be great to raise awareness of this and give everyone an opportunity to try some delicious vegan food.
And it doesn’t stop there. Our fridges are stocked with alternative options to dairy, and on top of that our baristas serve a fabulous Oat Latte!
There are so many small day-to-day things that we can do as individuals to help the environment - we hope our list has given you some inspiration on how you can join in.