How to be more environmentally conscious as a business Posted on: February 3, 2020 by Jason Davis Want to know how to become a more environmentally friendly business? Sometimes we can’t all plant 1,000 trees or make our product range environmentally friendly… But we can take advantage of carbon offsetting and even mitigating schemes to tackle the amount of carbon we all emit into the atmosphere. As a business, we’ve done just that. Below, we talk about both schemes we went ahead with last year and our plans for the year ahead. Carbon offsetting in 2019 Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for you or your organisations production of carbon dioxide with a CO2 saving scheme elsewhere. Some methods to compensate for your emissions include forest or other ecosystem restoration projects. This is exactly what we did in 2019 – we funded a Reforestation project in Panama to offset the equivalent of 14 tonnes of carbon. Details of the project CO2OL Tropical Mix will be introducing sustainable timber production by reforesting degraded areas of land with native tree species which will be gradually converted into mixed forests. As well as providing a sustainable source of timber and cocoa cultivation, it will ensure a healthy eco-system stays in tact that can protect the habitat of local wildlife and endangered species. Impacts and benefits: Over 3.5 million trees have been planted 15% has been declared a nature reserve, protecting the forest and animals living there ‘Bridges’ created by restoring connected forest land areas Knowledge transfer on sustainable forest management technologies 150 local jobs have been created 15 endangered species on the red list have found a habitat Carbon mitigation in 2020 This term is sometimes confused with carbon offsetting. Carbon mitigation is a system which helps stop someone/somewhere else producing the amount of carbon that you produced as a company. Essentially, you are compensating for your own activities that produce carbon. This year, we’re working with Gold Standard who will help provide more efficient cooking and heating within the poorer regions of China. Details of the project The project encourages a switch in fuel, using cleaner cookstoves that use excess agriculture residues, renewable wood, or improve the efficiency of coal consumption. By reducing coal consumption and using renewable substitutes, the stoves considerably reduce carbon emissions and improves indoor air pollution for families. Over 128,000 stoves have been sold in three provinces since the start of this project. Impacts and benefits: 450,000+ tonnes of coal saved that would have otherwise been used 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided every year Households save between $1,500 and $2,000 on fuel over the stoves five year lifespan Households save between $37 and $50 for every $1 spent on the stove Saved funds can be used towards food, clothing and medical supplies Why should we care about recycling and CO2 emissions? The events industry is notoriously plastic heavy, often with highly non-recyclable PVC graphics that end up in our landfills and oceans every year. By recycling as much as possible and taking responsibility for our carbon emissions, we’re helping to create a low-carbon economy. What are we doing about it? Offsetting and mitigating our carbon emissions with the Panama reforestation and efficient cooking in China projects isn’t enough. We take steps to ensure we’re as eco-friendly as possible within our organisation to align with our environmental objectives: Environmental Impact and Risk Mitigation “To understand and minimise the effects that the company has on the environment, and manage them to reduce impact.” Recycling bins have ‘littered’ (excuse the pun) our offices to increase our recycling of paper as well as reducing our waste. For customers, eco-friendly displays are available – we recommend calling us to find out more about this. What can you do about it? The base units of your old pop up banners are made of aluminium, and are widely recyclable. If you can’t recycle these yourself, we can for you! A trade in scheme is also in place to take in your old display in exchange for discounts on future orders. The PVC graphic on most pop up banners are not easily recyclable, this doesn’t mean they can’t be used for other purposes. There are plenty of ways you can upcycle your banner: Use as a temporary screen Donate to local craft clubs or schools to use for crafting Donate the base to someone who could use it with another graphic Cut down the PVC into strips for door curtains Turn into tote bags to giveaway as promotional items Banner recycling scheme We have been working hard to find a recycling partner that can recycle our banner graphics, we are pleased to announce that we have now found one! We can now recycle your existing displays as well as pop up banners from our new eco-friendly range. Find out more about our new recycling scheme. We’re on the start of a journey to make the events industry more eco-friendly, but there’s still a long way to go! Are there any other banner upcycling ideas you can think of? What are you doing to help the environment? Let us know – we’d love to share your ideas and stories!