Woosh Washrooms

You’re serious about sustainability but don’t know where to start – Steal and improve…Here’s how.

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.

Carpets for the environmentally conscious office…

Landlords looking to up the value of their commercial properties should pay close attention to the green factor when choosing an eco-friendly carpet for their offices.

‘Eco-friendly’ is on everyone’s lips these days. Fierce competition among designers and manufacturers has placed carpet design in the forefront of sustainable flooring innovations. Whether it be area rugs, wall-to-wall installations or fully customizable carpet tiles, carpet manufacturers in the UK are putting an emphasis on recycling and natural materials with limited environmental impact, and the beneficiaries of this green endeavor don’t stop at the planet.

Landlords and property agents looking to up the value of their commercial properties and attract carbon-conscious tenants should pay close attention to the green factor when choosing a carpet for their offices.

 

What to look for in an eco-friendly carpet?

 

The most environmentally friendly carpets are made from natural, renewable fibres; this includes organic wool and cotton, jute, bamboo, sisal, seagrass and coir. That being said, looking at the ‘made of’ list doesn’t guarantee a 100% eco-friendly carpet. Indeed, some carpets have been treated with insect and flame repellents that will cause some of the worst (dangerously invisible) off-gassings.

These off-gassings usually come from the carpet backing, so be sure to look for backings that have been sewn or glued using non-toxic adhesives low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) Some of the best carpet backings or pads are made from non-synthetic latex, camel hair felt, or untreated wool. A CRI Indoor Air Quality label is what you want.

Tessera loop pile carpet, Forbo

If your carpet isn’t made from sustainable materials, it can still be eco-friendly if it is recycled. Some are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles – you’ll find them under the name of PET carpets, or P.E.T carpets  (polyethylene terephthalate.) Some advantages to PET fibres include stain and abrasion resistance and low moisture absorption. Other rugs are made by recycling old, used carpets, provided they are in suitable condition to be recycled.

 

Who manufactures eco-friendly carpets?

Interface

In 1994, Interface started the first carpet tile recycling initiative. Known as ReEntry, the program now involves separating the carpet from its backing and recycling more product into new Nylon fibre. Interface is also on a ‘Mission Zero’ to completely eliminate the company’s environmental impact by 2020.

On-line, off-line carpet collection, Interface

Desso

Desso’s innovative Take Back™ programme ensures that worn-out carpet tiles are recycled into new carpet products. Defying the cradle to grave model, Desso’s ambitious initiative follows the Cradle to Cradle® approach pioneered by Professor Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough.

In addition to its carpet manufacturing, Desso is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by increasing its use of green electricity and covering its roof by 25,000 m2 of solar panels.

Take Back™ programme, Desso

Milliken

Specialised in minimising waste during its manufacturing process, Milliken focuses on the use of recycled materials in lieu of petroleum and other oil-based components. Milliken’s eco-friendly carpet uses an ECONYL® nylon yarn made from equal parts post-industrial and post-consumer recycled fibres. In addition, the company uses 90% recycled polyurethane for its Comfort Plus® range of lightweight, carpet tile backing.

Arctic Survey commercial carpet, Milliken

Forbo

Forbo recycles old carpet, fishing nets and plastic bottles to manufacture innovative eco-friendly carpets such as the Coral entrance flooring collection. Forbo’s Tessera tiles contain over 58% recycled content by weight, while their Westbond tiles have a minimum of 70% recycled content in their backing. Forbo’s carpets are also easy to clean thanks to a system called Dry Fusion which requires less water and fewer chemicals to perform.

 


Coral entrance flooring, Forbo

Recycling is one of several other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right flooring for your office. An invaluable tool in the landlord’s toolbox, office flooring is an important decision.

Written by Elissaveta Marinova of Re-public.
Source: Re-public Space Ltd.

5 Ways YOU Can Help Save The Earth

Are you concerned about the earth? We are too. 

We need to face the facts, take joint responsibility and find ways to form good habits that will help save and preserve the beautiful nature of the planet we call home.

This is a simple Woosh list to make you earth’s new eco superhero:

Conserve water:

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. Wasting water is one of the biggest contributors to making The Earth feel little sad. How can you help? Fix that drippy tap that has been annoying you since the year 2000, don’t wash dishes under continuously running water, don’t over water your lawn- here in the UK we get enough rain to sink a ship- lets use it to our advantage. Use a water collection system in your garden, in times of need- use that supply for watering your lawn. You knew this one was coming, it’s an oldie but a goodie… turn off the taps when brushing your teeth! We are supposed to brush our teeth for 2 minuets, if we all leave the tap running whilst doing our teeth this wastes 6 litres a minuet! So 24 litres per person per day- in other words a lot of wasted water- and that’s just on our teeth.

Compost:

Think about how much food we chuck a year. Reducing the amount of solid waste you produce means less landfill (equals happier Earth). 18 million tonnes of food goes to landfill every year. If we could even compost half the food waste we’d be doing a grand job. Not only does this reduce nasty landfill, the compost also helps our garden grow green and lush.

Plant a tree:

This is so simple. Like Nike says; “Just do it”!

Energy save:

Turn off lights when you’re not in the room (said every dad EVER!). You may be afraid of the dark, but your sofa isn’t (nor is The Earth). Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use. Instead of turning them off after use, just unplug. Make this a habit.

Recycling:

Putting cans and bottles into a different bin really can make a difference.  If an office building of 4,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 200 cars off the road.  Check out our article on reincarnated sanitary waste and find out what we do with our sanitary and nappy waste here.

So there we are…5 Ways to help you become a true Eco Worrier.

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