After staff at KWL were asked to vote on company values, a plan emerged to transform the firm into a zero-carbon organisation, with new company-wide initiatives and training to achieve targets.
Mally Findlay, the firm’s performance and quality manager, who heads up the environmental group, said: “Caring for the environment received one the highest scores as voted by our team members. Understanding the importance of this, the KWL environmental group has implemented a series of initiatives to achieve zero-carbon status.
“With the Investors in the Environment (IIE) accreditation scheme, we had already maintained the Green Level Award since 2015 and employees have now been tasked with finding key ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
“This consists of working towards high-level criteria and targets followed by an official audit. It demonstrates our commitment to minimise environmental impact and sets a standard for similar businesses.
“This includes generating our own electricity using solar panels on our roofs, reducing print within the office and converting to LED lighting. This activity alone has improved the energy performance of the building to B42 which is a ‘good’ rating.
“We have also considered the other impacts our business has on the environment; 99% of employees live within the HU postcode area, therefore reducing the travel footprint, a cycle to work scheme is used by office-based staff, investment in hybrid and electric vehicles, continually reviewing materials we purchase in exchange for harmless substances, implementing a paperless document management system and we have been able to reduce waste going to landfill to just 6%.
“In the last 12 months we made a reduction of 53% across the business by making savings on utilities, as well as waste, fuel and carbon emissions.
“To keep achieving this year on year we have tasked members of the environmental group to find new improvements, and this involves a concerted effort from every employee at KWL.”
Roger Grannon, chief operations officer at KWL, said: “The UK target for net-zero greenhouse gas by 2050 won’t happen on its own. We all have a part to play, as the Government said; a moral obligation to leave the planet in a better condition than we inherited.
“This short-term cost is an investment in our future and the team at KWL – from directors through to the front-line workers, is on board with the environmental challenge, each year looking for ways to improve our rating.
“I personally completed an environmental qualification and joined the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). The reality is that doing the right things for the environment is generally good for business – if we can reduce the amount of waste we produce, our waste disposal costs reduce; if we reduce the amount of gas/electric/water we use, utility bills reduce; if we travel fewer miles, fuel and wear and tear bills reduce; print less, buy less paper/ink/toner, and so on.
“We just need to keep coming up with ways to continue this and ultimately it makes KWL a more sustainable business.
“It is our responsibility to set standards across the industry and we feel our core values reflect our ability to do so; appreciating our people, caring about the environment, an unwavering commitment to customer services, acting responsibly and supporting the local community and economy.”
As a holder of the Green Level Award, KWL is classed as a green leader, helping to set the standard for other businesses.
Green plan sets construction industry standard
Features from the latest print magazine, Spring 2021
- The couple who came through the care system and started their own tree felling business
- How Alistair Burnett combines his passions for numbers and computing at Reality Solutions
- A (virtual) tipple with Mark Savile, of Raven Hill Brewery – the beers that celebrate adventure
- Getting on the road in style with 8 Ball Camper Conversions