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10 ways UK Vending Ltd became a more environmentally-friendly business

According to research from the Carbon Trust, an average office-based business wastes £6,000 per year by leaving equipment on at weekends and bank holidays. The message is clear – being more ‘green’ brings many business benefits. Here are some practical steps we take to be a more environmentally-minded firm

1. UK Vending know what environmental regulations apply to our firm. Breaking the law can carry serious penalties – not to mention the adverse publicity that can generated. So we found out if we were meeting our legal obligations by using a free online assessment tool at www.netregs.gov.uk

2. UK Vending assessed what environmental impact our business is having and looked for ways to limit this. Bringing environmental management standard ISO 14001 into our business is helping us. We benefit from established knowledge that can help us make our processes greener. As yet we have not achieved the accreditation, but we are trying. Already we know that we are do conform with the requirements – we have just not yet been audited. We already do have ISO9000:2000 and Investors in People. Please visit us at http://www.ukvending.co.uk to see how we look after as much of the world as we can.

3. UK Vending maximise our energy efficiency. We close all doors and windows when it’s cold outside and we draught proofed and insulated our premises. Turning down the heating by a couple of degrees even helped us reduce our bill. We make sure lights, machinery and equipment are switched on only when necessary. We have energy efficient light-bulbs. We ensured that we have the most efficient heating system and water boiler. We also made sure our production processes are more efficient in their use of energy.

4. UK Vending looked for ways to reduce our water use and we tested for leaks. According to research by ‘Envirowise’, a dripping tap can waste up to 5,000 litres of water per year, costing up to £700. Simply changing a washer can solve the problem. We made sure to gain the support and assistance of our employees in this and all other measures. They committed to the initiative – that is what we would expect of them – they are pretty great.

5. UK Vending  encourage staff to cycle, walk, use public transport or share cars to work. Under the government’s ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, employers can loan bicycles to their staff as a tax-free benefit, provided the bikes are used mainly to commute. By registering and buying a bicycle from an approved supplier, we found we can reclaim VAT on bike purchases and give employees the chance to buy a bike over an agreed loan period. Several staff share cars to and from work. Public transport is not good where we are so we are lobbying via the Maidstone Chamber of Commerce, our MP and our Councillors for some improvement.

6. UK Vending buy more environmentally-friendly vehicles. We want cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. We have to deal with reality and let our fleet change from what we have to what we want. However, we have begun with initiatives that take vehicles off the road and mean that our deliveries are greener and we even found a business benefit in doing so. We continuously look at ways we can reduce the number of our vehicles that are on the road and where we do have vehicles we are changing them as we can for the least harmful we can buy.

7. UK Vending recover and recycle. Even simple measures can be effective. For example, we use the blank side of redundant documents or stationery instead of binning them. We only print documents when necessary. We never send letters when emails will do. We re-use padded envelopes and other packaging we receive. We make sure our waste is suitably separated so that metals and paper can be recycled. The vending industry generates waste – for us and for our customers we subscribe to all the state of the art schemes to ensure we can dispose of our waste in the most efficient ways possible and in ways that generate energy and which are not harmful to the world we live in.

8. UK Vending dispose of waste properly. We’re legally obliged to store waste securely and prevent it causing pollution or harm. We make sure the person collecting and disposing of it does so at a site that is licensed to accept the type of waste our business generates. Our waste, wherever possible, is separated and disposed of in the most energy efficient way and the least harmful way. We monitor constantly so we are always up with the latest innovations in this very important area.

9. UK Vending make our products more environmentally-friendly. Where possible, we sell goods that can be reused or recycled when obsolete. We use environmentally-responsible materials and recycled packaging at every opportunity.

10. UK Vending buy green. Obviously price and service levels are always going to be governing factors, but, where a viable option exists, we buy environmentally-friendly products. We always ask our suppliers for a list of green products and services they offer. UK Vending Ltd has already existed for forty one years – we are working for the next forty one healthy years doing as little harm as it is possible to our environment.

UK Vending environmental motto: “Up to the best environmental standard – at any price”.

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