The Cadbury global Purple Goes Green initiative aims to achieve a reduction in the company’s net carbon emissions of 50 per cent by 2020. Matt Bardell, environmental manager for Cadbury Britain and Ireland, outlines the changes that the company has made at its Bournville office and how staff are playing a key role.
The environmental programme at Cadbury has been in place for about 15 years, and corporate responsibility has always been at the heart of our business. The Purple Goes Green initiative, launched in July 2007, set out a clear vision for our company to tackle climate change.
We are working to shrink our carbon footprint by cutting our energy use, reducing excess packaging and managing our water consumption. We have also set out a number of commitments for our offices, and the redevelopment of Bournville Place in Birmingham is a good example of how the company and its staff are making a difference.
The original dining block at Bournville, built by the Cadbury Brothers in the 1920s, was at the forefront of design at the time and created an eco-blueprint for us to build upon. The initial aims of the refurbishment were to produce an energy efficient building and the design team were directed to apply modern, green thinking, using the building’s natural properties.
This approach was followed across all areas of the fitting out – from the energy efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, to the use of solar controlled glass, carbon neutral carpets and recyclable furniture. But the changes don’t stop there. We wanted to instil the energy saving ethos behind the office refurbishment in our colleagues too, and change the way we work.
Key changes that we have introduced include centralised print pods, which save between 10 to 15 per cent of paper a year. Printers are automatically set up to print on both sides, and all mono printers use recycled paper. Recycling bins are located across the office for paper, plastic and paper cups. LCD screens, which consumer less energy, are used on desks, and state of the art video conferencing has been introduced to cut down on travel between sites.
We recently held an educational roadshow with EDF Energy, designed to spread the message that small, often cost-free changes can make a lasting difference to the environment. Over 600 staff took part in the day, which included a number of interactive games and exhibits to encourage people to reduce their energy use both at home and work. For example, if you leave your computer monitor on overnight, it wastes enough energy to microwave six dinners.
Birmingham emits approximately 6,807,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. If everyone reduced their energy consumption by ten per cent, the resulting emission saving would be the equivalent of taking 734,421 cars off the road.
We all have a duty to change our working behaviours to reduce the energy that we use, and to pass this on to our friends and family at home.
Generally, growing environmental awareness means businesses are pushing carbon responsibility up the boardroom agenda but knowing which action to take can be a challenge.
The next Thrive session, Carbon Responsibility in the office-based sector, will help business people focus on what can be achieved with the right strategy.
The forum at the ICC on April 23 from 6pm will include guest speaker Dr Catarina Cardoso from the Carbon Trust. She leads the financial and professional services sector programme and previously worked as head of WWF-UK’s climate change programme and for the European Commission as a Policy Advisor on the Environment.
Catarina will briefly cover the current regulatory framework in the UK and outline how the Carbon Trust is helping business reduce carbon emissions. The focus will then be on the office based sector and what we can be done to reduce our carbon footprint and accelerate the move to a low carbon economy.
Martin Dyer, NEC Group Site Development Manager, will be outlining the NEC Group’s response to these challenges and how carbon considerations have influenced design, construction and operations of their facilities.
There will be a small charge for attendance. To book a place or for further details contact Isabel Drabble at Birmingham Forward on 0121 632 2203 or e-mail Isabel@birminghamforward.co.uk