Thursday, 29 April 2010

Eco systems

Whilst many are jumping on the 'Green' bandwagon, it is important to remember that this is not merely a marketing tool to sell more things to more people, it is a social responsibility that we all should bear. From CEOs to low level staff, we should all be aware of our personal and collaborative impact on the environment. Radical steps can be taken to streamline efficiency and reduce waste, but small changes in our behavior can equally pay dividends.

Here at to the point, we fully acknowledge that, the very nature of our work as a graphic design consultancy involves recommending the use of printed materials where appropriate and, as a company, we may not be as eco-friendly as those businesses who enforce an entirely paperless workplace. We do, however, recognise our accountability for our part in how our environment has changed over the years. We have already helped many of our clients reduce their impact on the planet by recommending recycled stocks and employing digital media over printed materials when appropriate. More recently however we have turned our attention to our own working practices and have taken steps to adjust our own behaviours. Simon (our MD) has asked me to drive our green initiatives forward and invest time in reducing our impact and improving our behaviour and awareness. We now continually target areas in which we can improve and work to be as green as we can possibly be. It is important to note that this is not an overnight process and should not be seen as something that can be solved instantly and then forgotten. We continuously evaluate our ways of working and endeavor to improve upon them.

What we have already done
  • We now produce our monthly newsletter digitally to reduce our print output.
  • We have upgraded all computers and screens to new energy saving work stations: Mac minis and iMacs
  • We have set up all computers to automatically shut down at the end of the day so they are not left on standby accidently.
  • All computer screens are set to go to sleep within under 10 minutes if not being used, and computers sleep after 20 minutes if not being used.
  • Halogen light bulbs have all been replaced with a low wattage energy efficient variety.
  • All staff take public transport, cycle or walk to work.
  • Individual bins have been removed to promote taking waste to the recycling points in the studio.
  • We now recycle more than ever thanks to the new Better Bankside scheme
  • We use double sided printing for all internal documents – reducing our paper output by 50%.
  • Whenever possible we supply our presentation document as an interactive PDF rather than a printed document.
  • We have invested in a better conference call system and remote access software to avoid travel to UK and overseas client offices unless essential.
  • We have invested in a complete digital project management and accounts system to reduce paper consumption.
  • We have purchased glasses for water so no more plastic cups in the water dispenser.

We continue to look for new ways to improve our environmental impact – any ideas (big or small) or working practices that may help us make a difference would be very welcome, so please post your suggestions below.

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