Leading the Green Revolution 

Leading the Green Revolution  1 2

[prev] …problem to address; we know that people in the UK are using the resources of three planets, and we only have one. The business impact and carbon footprint is a huge part of that, so working with hundreds of businesses to help reduce their emissions will help the planet! If we can engage with businesses and encourage staff to have better behaviours, then they can take those good behaviours home with them too. A positive knock-on effect and a WIN-WIN for all!

I enjoy working with people, and I enjoy making a difference, so that equals one happy and enthusiastic Kim! (Wait, did I just talk about myself in the third person)? When you are working with businesses that enjoy making change happen, that’s another business or staff member brought into the cause. Every single business that makes changes (however large or small), makes a difference to the planet. This reinforces my belief that the iiE scheme and what we are doing is AMAZING, and tops up my enthusiasm for the next business we talk to. I do have to reel my excitement and amazement in a little sometimes, and I struggle not to high five everyone on stage at the iiE Awards, or hug green champions that I don’t know very well!

I think we are close to our aspirations in a lot of ways, and I think we realistically still have a long way to go in others. But unless you have a goal you can’t work towards it! So I think the goal is PERFECT, and is such a positive thing to strive for. Peterborough is leading the way with environmental ‘goings on’ in more ways than most other towns and cities, but we need to make it more visual and integrated so that the average Peterborian sees the efforts people and organisations have gone to over the years, as well as the reinforced goals and overall vision of where we are heading. Maybe we should all be asking this question a lot more: What does a FUTURE smart city look like? We might have slightly different pictures in our minds, but the overall outcomes will still be similar, and we can all take steps to get there. PECT, Peterborough City Council and the Environment Capital Board have got a great model to help Peterborough focus on its aspirations. For example, there is a ‘Zero Waste’ principle, and iiE conduct a ‘Zero Waste Week’ every February to help work towards this principle. There is a ‘Sustainable Transport’ principle, and iiE are working with Travelchoice and other organisations to help businesses create travel plans. There is an ‘Equality and Fairtrade’ principle, and iiE is supporting Peterborough to become a Fairtrade City, by encouraging businesses to support and promote Fairtrade. There are a lot more principles, and we have action plans around them to help Peterborough towards its goals!

Our vision is to make sustainable practices the complete ‘norm’, and to put sustainability at the heart of current business practices and developments. iiE member, IKEA Distribution, is a good example. Not only is its green credentials too long to list in this interview, but it puts sustainability at the core of its business plan and decisions! There are more and more businesses, large and small, getting to this level, and it’s a joy to see. I will be happy once we have blanketed that level of best practice across the UK.   

Kim’s top tips for ‘greening your business’

  • Have Senior Management buy-in. Green initiatives will work much better if you have support from above.
  • Create a Green Team (if you can). We are better together than on our own, and the more the merrier for ideas and getting things done.
  • Measure your resources! I am not just talking about collating bills, I am talking about extracting your usage from your bills into a spreadsheet and looking at the monthly and annual comparison! It doesn’t take long and you will start to see anomalies that can help you see where your quick wins would be.
  • Set yourself some long term and short term realistic goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Don’t try and do everything at once because that can be de-motivating when you are already busy.
  • Give yourself 2-4 hours a month to connect with staff, then take your steps. Whether it’s putting a compost caddy in the work kitchen, to installing Solar Panels, give yourself a realistic timeline!
  • Be confident with it. You are the advocate, and you have a good ethical and moral standpoint! You might have to sound like a broken record for a while but it will soon reap rewards. Your parents had to show you how to tie up your shoelaces more than once, you may have to talk about this ‘green stuff’ more than once before people truly understand the meaning behind it.
  • Celebrate and share success. No matter how large or small. The more often environmental issues are spoken about, the more the practice will become the norm! Add achievements to your internal or external newsletters, on your intranet, and on your social media. It takes minutes but you are engaging with more and more people that count! Remember, you can gain MORE business by advocating your achievements AND be promoted as a more ethical and trusted brand to your customers, staff and partners! Don’t let your efforts go to waste! (There is definitely a pun in there somewhere)!

iiE members and their achievements
Here just some of the local members’ achievements:

  • Shield Technologies. Reduced travel by 53%, and use less than one ream of paper per year, plus paperless on internal systems.
  • Queensgate Shopping Centre. Reduced energy use by over 45% over the last 5 years. Zero Waste to landfill.
  • IKEA Distribution. 18% of water saved even with a 60% increase in staff. Zero Waste to landfill and cost positive on waste. Yes, they now MAKE money on their waste!
  • Cross Keys Homes. Reduced gas use by 65%, saving over £20,000. Installed PV panels on over 4,000 homes.
  • Axiom Housing. Staff and residents recycled over 5,000 Christmas cards, resulting in over 17 trees being planted as part of a Woodland Trust and M&S initiative.
  • City College Peterborough. Reduced water use by over 62%, saving over £3,000.
  • Walters Ltd. Reduced waste to landfill by 86%. Diverted 428m3 of waste.
  • Buckles Solicitors. Reduced energy by 12%, saving over £4,000.
  • Produce World. 800 solar panels installed in Yaxley. 180,000kW of energy produced annually.
  • IPM Global Mobility. Reduced energy consumption by 26%, saving over £1,500.

Find out more
For more information and to become an Investors in the Environment member, call 01733 866436, email or visit Plus follow iiE on Twitter @iiEUK and don’t forget to tweet your green pledges with #GoGreen2015.

Leading the Green Revolution  1 2

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.

Register an Account