NCC Environmental Services (NCC) is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices in line with our vision of “Real Growth for People, Planet and Business”.
NCC is dedicated to developing excellence in proactive interventions and management practices that find the balance between resource consumption and resource conservation so as to ensure a sustainable future for all through leading real growth business options.
The above statement is all good and well, but how do we put what we say into practice? Come and see inside our green office.
We recycle more waste than we throw away. On average, we fill two black 'wheelie' bins in 1 week with general waste – you’ll admit that, for an office of approx 70 people, that is pretty good going. We recently had to purchase another wheelie bin (to make 5) to keep up with the recycling that the office and our staff generate. Staff are encouraged to bring their recycling from home to the office if they do not have a recycling regime in their neighbourhood.
We are hoping to not have to buy another recycling 'wheelie' bin, not because we don’t think recycling is important, on the contrary, we would only like to put one black 'wheelie' bin of general waste out a week, and use the other for recycling. The measure of our success in this regard is not that a large amount of recycling is being generated, but rather reducing the amount of all types of waste, while keeping the percentage of general waste lower than that of recyclable waste.
Not only do we make sure that what we do use is disposed of in the correct way, but we also make sure that we reduce our resource use. This includes water, energy and other resources. As a simple office, water-use is mostly from washing activities, toilets, cooking and green areas. We reduce our water-use by installing water-saving devices in our bathrooms. Our garden watering schedule is strictly controlled, to not only reduce water but also to adhere to local by-laws.
Energy is a big issue in all organisations, and one we care a lot about. Burning of fossil fuels is inefficient and contributes greatly to climate change, so we want to reduce our energy use at every opportunity. We have energy efficient lighting, motion sensors which turn lights and aircons off when offices are vacant and we use natural lighting wherever possible.
We try to buy green where possible, looking into every aspect of the ‘green’ product. With such a wide team, together we have a comprehensive knowledge of what is really green and what is green-washed. Recently we underwent a lengthy process to find the best paper to print our company brochures on. We believe that we made the right decision at the end of the day. More regarding our paper decision in 'NCC's Green Head Office: Part 2'.
Going the Extra Mile
As an extra measure, and more for our own pleasure than anything else, we have our own veggie garden growing in a previously unused patch of land running along one side of our office. When the garden started we were unsure whether anything would grow there but we have been pleasantly surprised by the bounty coming from the garden. It may be due to the rich vermicompost we get from our two worm farms which compost our organic waste. If only the veggie garden would give us more time in the day, instead of more Thyme.
For more info on our Green Office, see the below video, created for Green Office Week 2013.