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World Earth Day, now in its 50th year, was established to increase environmental awareness and accountability and to call for bold, creative and innovative solutions.
As a people (and therefore planet!) first organisation Webhelp has established a strong “Webhelp 2020 Our Greener Future” initiative to inform our organisational direction and encourage all our people to consider the environment. We thought today would be the perfect time to share some more of our positive news on how we are addressing climate change, extinction prevention, sustainability, community action and education.
Lowering energy consumption to prevent climate change
Reducing electricity consumption is the single most impactful way that businesses can help lower carbon generation and reduce climate change, and we have invested over £500k on energy management projects since 2010.
By educating our people on energy use and implementing actions like efficiency upgrades, consumption management systems, led lighting and automatic sensors we have now have saved over 13 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy across our UK sites. Incredibly, the carbon saved is the equivalent to running 1,556 homes for a full year.
Extinction prevention – supporting our local bee populations
The bee is officially on the verge of extinction, with all 20,000 species now on the endangered list. The humble bee is critical to our planet’s ecosystem, as without them many plants could not reproduce. They pollinate most of the fruit, vegetables and nuts we eat and it’s estimated that one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat depends on honey bees for production!
To help combat this decline, Webhelp have adopted over 240,000 honey bees to support hive colonisation for the benefit of our planet and ourselves. Educational engagement sessions are run throughout the year with a special Meet the Bees initiative and there is also a sweet tasting side benefit, as our busy tenants pay their rent in delicious honey.
Supporting clean travel options
We know that electric cars are better for the environment, they produce less greenhouse gases and pollutants, improve local air quality and are cheaper to run and maintain than their petrol and diesel counterparts. At Webhelp, we want to support the use of electric cars at our premises, and have installed Electric Vehicle Charging points at our sites in Dunoon & Rothesay. They are freely available to our people and everyone in the local community.
We are also offering free Fuel Efficient driving courses to our people who drive traditional cars, to help them do their part too. Cleaner travel (and healthy exercise) is also being supported by our webBike pool scheme, which is free for all our employees in Falkirk & Rothesay, with expansion plans already in place for other sites. And finally, our First Bus Commuter Club offers discounted bus travel to employees in Scotland, helping lower their costs and promoting sustainable transport.
Before the lockdown, our dedicated environmental team were active in engaging with local primary schools, educating new generations on the importance of supporting a greener future and sharing important messages on climate change prevention and why looking after our planet should be a priority for everyone. Putting our words into action, Webhelp volunteers were also out in the community at Spring Clean Up events, clearing debris and rubbish from our local parks.
Better Waste Management
Together we are tackling landfill waste by removing plastic cups from all our UK sites (reducing waste by 240,000 cups per year!) and offering small appliance recycling. In 2019 we took the step of switching to 100% recycled paper across all our sites across the United Kingdom. We have adopted a first to last principle of waste management on site, following a reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, recover and finally dispose scale, which is illustrated below.
We believe that by working together with our people, schools and local communities we can make a better future for us all, and are looking forward to introducing new and innovative environmental initiatives in 2020 and beyond.
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