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Like every other business, our operations have an impact on the environment. We have adopted an environmental policy since 2003, and in 2006 we made the commitment to become carbon neutral. We achieved this in 2007. We reduced our carbon footprint by 37% through a mix of efficiency reductions and the purchase of renewable electricity and in 2008, our continued investment in reducing our emissions resulted in a 5% reduction.
As our own performance has improved, we have increasingly focused on encouraging our clients and suppliers to follow our lead.
Reducing our carbon footprint
In 2008, Chime became a member of the Prince’s May Day Network, convened by Business in the Community (BITC). The Network is the UK’s largest group of businesses committed to taking action on climate change. As part of the Network, we have made a number of pledges to reduce our carbon footprint and to engage employees, clients and suppliers in our efforts. We hold ourselves accountable by reporting back to BITC each year on our performance against the pledges.
Under our May Day pledges, we committed to a 5% reduction per employee of our carbon footprint in 2008. This followed the 37% reduction we achieved in 2007 through both efficiency gains and the purchase of renewable electricity. We have met this target and have set 2008 as a new baseline against which we will measure our performance. Our aim is to make continued improvement and embed environmental consideration across the business. To achieve this we introduced 30 ‘Minimum Standards’, which all Chime companies must meet. Each company reported performance against these standards – a process that will be repeated annually. To improve performance, our corporate responsibility agency, Corporate Citizenship, is working with our companies to help them better understand their individual impact and how they can meet the challenge of further carbon emission reduction. Some emissions are of course inevitable, and we retain our carbon neutral status by investing in off-setting projects. These change each year and are chosen by our employees. In 2009 we support a waste heat recovery project in India, a hydro efficiency project in Peru and a methane capture project in Germany.
Our employees have played a major role in reducing our carbon footprint. We have expanded Chime’s Climate Change Champions network as our business has grown. Our Champions are responsible for engaging and inspiring colleagues to take carbon reducing measures.
|Our ‘squander monster’ internal ad campaign is refreshed annually and acts as a call to action for employees to reduce our carbon footprint.|
The second annual Green Day was also a big success in 2008, with new activities including a second hand ‘swap-shop’, a bicycle clinic at our three main London offices and a fair-trade/organic ‘cake-bake’. All 50 Chime agencies took part.
Not only have employees helped Chime to maintain its carbon neutral status – individual behaviour has also changed. A staff survey showed that as a result of Chime’s environmental initiatives, 81% were ‘more aware of green issues’, 75% were ‘more energy efficient at home’ and 76% ‘recycled more’.
In November 2008 Chime took part in Transport for London’s (TfL) ‘a new way to work’ programme. TfL surveyed staff travel habits, and provided an action plan for reducing travel emissions. The survey revealed an environmentally conscious workforce, with almost a third of employees either walking or cycling to work. This was one of the highest percentages amongst organisations TfL surveyed through the scheme. As a result of TfL’s recommendations, we will be further improving facilities for cyclists at our offices.
Having introduced a ‘green’ supplier list and embedded environmental considerations into all procurement decisions across the Group, in 2008 we focused on engaging directly with suppliers to improve their environmental performance by setting up consultative meetings.
Through this consultation, we have reduced the environmental impact of suppliers. Accord, our stationery supplier, has reduced its level of packaging, moving from standard packaging for all deliveries to packaging that fits products ordered. Accord’s delivery travel emissions have also reduced by changing to standard delivery days for Chime companies, switching from all orders being delivered based on a time-since-order basis which resulted in vans arriving at our premises sometimes twice a day.
Our environmental commitments are conveyed throughout our communications to our clients, including our website and CSR Report. Our environmental credentials are now included within client pitches/proposals.
Many Chime companies work with clients to take action on the green agenda. For instance, Corporate Citizenship helped over 20 clients in 2008 to address environmental impacts, with the ClimateSMART offering, which helps organisations reduce their carbon footprint, still in great demand. We are now in the process of developing a new cross-Chime environmental offer.
We have also introduced a ‘Greener Way of Working’ to ensure environmental impacts are considered in all client work, covering issues such as business travel and meetings. To reduce business travel, we installed video-conferencing at our three main offices, and our IT department has trained employees on the technology, as well as tele-conferencing and webinar facilities. Video/tele-conferencing and webinar facilities have reduced travelling to client meetings when possible. When travel is the only option, we continue to work with our travel agent to ensure the most direct route is used. We have set standards for the use of First and Business class travel. All companies now use environmentally friendly paper and ink and take documents to client meetings on USB sticks rather than multiple paper copies.
Our aim is to be a leader in the communications sector on tackling climate change. For example, Christopher Satterthwaite is working with the Marketing Society with the goal of mobilising our peers to join BITC May Day.
Continue to minimise the Group’s environmental impact in terms of energy, water and waste
Make further reductions to our carbon footprint
Manage the environmental impact of our business travel minimising emissions where possible
Reduce the environmental impact of commuter travel through staff education, new initiatives and physical improvements to our offices
Use our learning to date to work with more of our suppliers to reduce their emissions and improve their environmental performance through their own efforts and their own supply chains
Ensure the way we work with clients has the least environmental impact possible
Share our experience and knowledge to help our clients to take action on climate change