Name: Lee Guest
Business: Northumbria Gas Ltd
Please explain, using specific examples, how you are making genuine effort to reduce the environmental impact of your business and improve your sustainable practice?
The company I work for are big believers in protecting the environment for future generations. One of the biggest ways we do this is to source materials from manufacturers that have green credentials in line with our own. Worcester Bosch is our only boiler supplier. Worcester I believe that the brand is leading the way in design of heat pump technology and their gas boilers are ‘hydrogen ready’, allowing them to burn a 20% blend of hydrogen. They have also made the packaging on their boilers environmentally friendly with no polystyrene and corn starch, biodegradable plastics, and have launched an eco-scheme called Green Heroes which we have signed up to. Alongside this, we separate all of our waste for more efficient recycling and are running new software which allows us to plan our routes more economically, leading to a noticeable reduction in fuel usage. We are also launching our new ‘Climate positive’ service plans which are explained below.
How are you helping your customers become more sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment? Please provide at least one example.
This week my company is launching what we believe to be the first ‘Carbon positive’ service plan in the UK. The average home in the UK annually produces around 2.7 tonnes of Co2 in heating alone- the same weight as a blue whale’s tongue. We have launched a service plan whereby we purchase carbon offsets and plant trees to counter the effects of this Co2 (plus a bit more), therefore each customer signed up to this plan has a ‘Climate Positive’ impact. Multiply this over a few hundred customers and the savings are 540 tonnes of Co2 offset per year. We hope to upscale this project with the help of grants and supporting companies.
Please provide details of a project you are proud of which made use of sustainable products and/or processes – what was the problem for the customer and how did you solve it? What products did you use and why? What was the end result?
Going back to our service plan above. I believe the biggest threat that our world faces today is global warming and environmental impact from human behaviour. I find that both my team and our customers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to change our behaviours and reduce our carbon footprint. The feedback I get whenever the discussion inevitably comes up, is that the means to reduce the impact are uneconomical. Whether that be electric cars- often seen as too expensive (and doubts remain about the effects of rare metals found in the batteries), solar PV- often seen as a long-term investment with no government incentive, or heat pump technology- which are not suitable in the average UK home without spending vast amounts of money. People are, therefore, confused and frustrated when their financial purse is already stretched. This is why as a team we have launched Service Plant, the ‘Carbon positive’ service plan. Not only does it cost the customer less than the cost of a cup of coffee each month but they don’t have to do anything either, we sort it all for them. The end result is that 2.7 tonnes of Co2 has been saved per customer. We plan to upscale this and the effects could be enormous. I also end up having the climate discussion with customers and find that we have many answers that they don’t have therefore they go away having a better understanding on how they can reduce their footprint moving forwards.
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