Woosh Washrooms

What do we mean by steal and improve?

Research what other industry leaders are doing. Find out if it’s working (because at this point in the sustainability crisis, no matter who you are, it’s all still a work in progress…). Consider whether it applies to your business. Then replicate and or improve that methodology/practice.

Firstly, get your resources right.

One of our very informative resources was attending the third annual sustainability event; edieLIVE. A great event which combined exhibitions, seminars, advice clinics and included shared results from other businesses implementing sustainability and ways to measure how it can benefit your business.

Our intention was learning as well as market research. That’s essentially what edieLive was about (in our opinion anyway). edieLive was perfectly aligned with our ambitions as a supplier wanting to find more ways of being environmentally savvy with our products and the service we offer. For us and our customer’s peace of mind.

Head of Environment, Oliver Rosevear, and Sustainability Manager, Jodi Wheatley represent Costa Coffee. 'Making Circular Real: Driving internal engagement on resource efficiency.'

Seminar speakers came with detailed case studies and analytics of how they prioritised where to start when it came to their contribution to being more sustainable. Some started with their energy use, others with the onward journey of the waste they or their consumers produced.

What we could all steal (Uhm... replicate.)

An awesome example was from Tesco's Energy Manager, Rebecca Douglas. Rebecca gave a detailed overview of Tesco’s approach to reducing their energy use on a massive scale.

Rebecca Douglas, Energy Manager for Tesco, talks about energy behaviour change in retail.

Rebecca shared the concept of ‘energy profiling’ across their stores. This can also apply to ‘waste profiling’. They analysed where they can make the most impact on reducing their energy use and as a result, ended up saving money.

Rebecca did reference the small matter of implementing the behavioral change with staff on the ground (in this case, the bakery staff) over the six week trial.

They managed to gain more control and support by engaging with staff in implementing increased reporting from their management staff on this process alone. It worked.

Experiment until you get the right figures.

As a result, Tesco reduced their bakery’s energy use by 12%.  According to Rebecca, they will now be rolling this out across 768 stores with a predicted 9% annual saving on bakery energy consumption alone. A good start right?

From left to right: Rebecca Douglas (Tesco), Dr James Robey (Capgemini), Dr Bernd Leven (Vodafone) and George Richards (JRP Solutions).

Conclusion

Any business, large or small, can adopt this approach. This is where the roles of Facilities Managers, Heads of or even Directors can adopt the concept of ‘energy profiling’, ‘waste profiling’ or even ‘consumer/staff behaviour profiling’.

Collaborate on where your business needs to start first and where you can make the most impact. Get the buy-in from the top, engage with your teams, report and then replicate as you work down the priority order (rinse and repeat). Just like we’re told to do the hardest bits first in pretty much any project.

Our takeaway: Start with where you’re able to make the most impact (from the top down).

You can register to attend edieLIVE 19-20 May 2020 here.

If you'd like more advice on reducing your carbon footprint, check out The Woosh BLooprint. The BLooprint covers water management systems, waste management and the processes that are out there including the waste-to-energy project.

Illustration from Chapter Four of The Woosh BLooprint

Is this something you think you can implement in your business?

If you’re a business about to embark on the journey to sustainability, leave a comment below - your story could inspire more businesses to do the same.