SWM Environmental Impact Report 2016/17 and 2017/18

Date of the report

February 2019

Author of the report

SWM

Purpose of the report

The aim of this report is to demonstrate good practice as a small business by producing an annual environmental report that covers the main impacts we have, how we are managing them and securing any potential costs savings or other benefits. This primarily includes our office energy use and emissions from business travel.

This report provides detailed analysis of our emissions in 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years, as well as a summary of trends since our first published report in 2011/12.

This report has been written by Andrew Darler, who worked with us for six days to help us complete the report for the last two years, improve the process and provide a series of independent recommendations to SWM which we will know endeavour to take forward.

Key Findings

  1. Emissions from heating and powering SWM’s office space continue to make up over 70% of annual emissions, with the rest coming from business travel.
  2. It is difficult for SWM to make reductions in office emissions because control is largely with the building owner, Groundwork UK. However, there will soon be an opportunity to make reductions as SWM is likely to move to a new office location in 2019/20. It should make the most of this opportunity by ensuring a move to an environmentally efficient office.
  3. Emissions from business travel continue to rise because of increases in the use of cars and taxis. Controlling this type of travel should be a priority for SWM in 2019/20.

Recommendations

Choosing a new office

  • SWM is likely move to a new office location in 2019. It should make the ability to measure its own emissions a consideration in the selection of the new building. At a minimum, the building should be able to provide overall building energy usage, as well as the number of people using the building so that SWM can accurately estimate its own usage.
  • When selecting a new office location, SWM should use building energy efficiency, public transport links and use of renewable energy tariffs as selection criteria.

Travel habits

  • Ensure car and taxi travel is only ever used as a genuine last resort with a target to reduce car travel in actual terms and as a proportion of overall business travel.
  • Where travel by car is essential, investigate car-sharing as a way of making it more cost effective and reduce emissions per person. Where car-sharing is used, ensure this is recorded on travel expenses so it can be accounted for in future reports.

Office habits and procurement

  • Small changes in printing habits can bring huge benefits. Only print when necessary. Make a business-wide effort to design documents around greyscale printing (i.e. design graphs to be clearly understood in black and white), as black and white printing is more environmentally friendly. Change printer settings to ‘draft’ quality and greyscale by default and only change when required for specific documents.
  • Consider recording the procurement of office items such as ink cartridges so that waste can be measured and managed.
  • When calculating the cost of new equipment, always calculate the projected savings of low energy choices across its expected lifetime (these savings may make up for any extra cost in the initial purchase).

Commit to making low energy use a primary consideration when replacing existing equipment or purchasing new equipment.

Links and contact information

Please contact SWM on 0121 237 5890 or at enquiries@swm.org.uk for more information.

Downloads

SWM Environmental Policy Report 2016/17 and 2017/18