The Environmental Challenge
4 February 2021
We have all seen the increase in single use plastics since the start of the pandemic; with our Covid Secure office we too are conscious of the negative impact these necessary steps are having on our environmental initiatives.
Rather than simply accept this, we have been working on new measures to lessen our environmental impact to strike a better balance. Here are a few of the things we’re doing at Wilsons – they may be small changes but everything we do counts towards our overall goal.
We have implemented PaperCut technology on our printers and issued all team members with a personal print fob. This not only increased security as no documents are left sitting on a printer, but one of the primary aims of PaperCut is to reduce printing levels by changing a user’s printing behaviour.
Rather than having all jobs print out when the user hits the ‘print’ button, they select which of their jobs are to be printed when they swipe their fob at the printer. Anything not printed in 48 hours is deleted from the print server. We have implemented monitoring, quotas and virtual charging too, as these are a good way of drawing a user’s attention to their habits. Highlighting the environmental aspects of their activities is another good way to modify a user’s behaviour.
Check out PaperCut
With such frequent hand washing, we are using far more bottles of hand wash than usual. This is a good thing in terms of stopping the spread of the virus, but not great for single use plastic consumption. Charlotte has kindly trialled the ‘fill’ hand soap at home and it’s proven to be such a success, we’ll be moving to this in the office now too.
It’s an environmentally friendly solution, vegan and produced by a local family business – it ticks so many boxes for us!
Check out Fill
We were really disappointed that having moved away from the use of paper towel dispensers to air hand dryers, we’ve now had to revert back to paper towels. Whilst most of the team are working from home, those in the office felt more comfortable using disposable paper towels as some reports indicated that air dryers could potentially disperse airborne droplets. We struck a happy balance by switching to a more environmentally friendly paper towel and, as only one person uses our washroom at any one time to ensure social distancing, the option of the air dryer is still available.
Hand Sanitiser Refills
Each team member is provided with hand sanitisers for their desk, as well as having these available next to each printer and dotted around Wilson House. These are all refilled using our bulk bottles, rather than each small bottle being disposed of when it’s empty.
We have removed the individual waste paper bins from each desk and now have central waste bins in each department – one for recyclables and one for general waste. The team now recycle the vast majority of waste and our cleaner is delighted with the change too, as he has far less bins to empty!
We will continue to monitor environmental impact and welcome every suggestion to keep things moving in the right direction.