For those of you with an exceptional memory, you will recall back in the summer of 2012 in Issue 21 of Value User we published (on page 54 in case you’d forgotten) an article titled “Heap & Partners – Doing well by doing good.”
In that article we laid out our plans for our 3Ps program (People, Planet & Profit) together with a goal of becoming the first company in our industry to be carbon neutral. Today Heap & Partners are proud to announce that we have now achieved that goal. Following our most recent independent carbon assessment and receipt of our Woodland trust certificate the company is now officially carbon neutral.
Managing Director David Millar said ‘We are incredibly proud to have achieved carbon neutrality. It has not been an easy journey. In fact we had been aiming to hit neutrality in 2016 to help mark the company’s 150th anniversary but due to the complexity of offsetting a growing business it has taken 9 months longer than the original 4 year plan. However it has been worth the effort.”
Our journey started with the commissioning of a green action plan that took six months to research and publish. That action plan became the guiding document for our Planet ‘P’. It came up with a series of 36 possible projects to lower the company’s carbon footprint. These projects ranged in size from the very minor; like placing air cleaning plants around the factory; (NASA actually recommend the Areca Palm as one of the best oxygen producing and toxin removing plants) right up to much larger and more ambitious projects such as solar power, electric vehicles and replacing the old oil fired boilers with air source heat pumps.
Some projects had a major impact such as replacing 1200 light bulbs with LED lights, which halved the company’s electricity bill. Others were less ambitious: such as composting tea bags rather than throwing them away, and using the compost on the roof garden.
The projects have continued with four electric car charge points being installed at the head-office this month to help with the growing fleet of electric hybrid cars the company now runs.
Having significantly reduced the company’s carbon footprint (by more than half) with these projects the remaining 220 tonnes of carbon the company still produces has been offset by joining the Woodland Trust and signing up for an annual tree planting scheme. This scheme plants woodland within the United Kingdom, thus benefitting the whole country. David Millar said “The cost of this tree planting has been more than offset by the increased profits from our carbon footprint reduction. Reducing carbon is another way of reducing the costs of the business. If you use less electricity or generate more of your own electricity, it does take a capital investment, but delivers a very real increase in the bottom line. After all that’s why we have the Profit ‘P’ in our 3Ps program!”
The People ‘P’ in our 3Ps program has also delivered a significant improvement in staff retention and happiness with their six days paid volunteering plus numerous other schemes. Indeed of the very few staff to leave the company over 60% either return to the company or ask to return. One other benefit is to the local charities who have written to the company to thank them for their efforts. If the staff use their volunteering time to raise money for charities then the company will match those funds.