The inescapable truth is that we all have to act responsibly to slow down
the effects of climate change. We all have a responsibility to make our
own small contribution to the global effort and to reduce our environmental
At Dom & Geri, we have an aim of becoming a carbon neutral organisation, but that is only the first stage. Ultimately we want to have a positive carbon impact, but that is extremely challenging because so much of what we do day-to-day effects our carbon footprint, often without us knowing it.
That’s why the positive things we do are usually only to offset the carbon impact we can’t avoid, rather than making a positive contribution. But recently we have undertaken a thorough audit of our processes in order to establish where we could reduce our carbon footprint, and we wanted to share these ideas with you, to promote best practice and to maybe spark some ideas you may be able to implement in your own home or business.
Our environmental self-audit
In assessing our environmental impact we had to undertake a root and branch study of our operations, to establish what negative impacts we were having. It is amazing what you can discover when you analyse your business in a different way, and this was a hugely successful exercise. We looked at:
- Our manufacturing processes
- Our materials
- What equipment we use
- How we store materials
- How we dispose of materials
- How we ship products
- How our supply chain works
- What happens to our products after we have shipped them and they have been used
What we discovered
We found that many of our materials can be recycled, whilst some can’t, yet. We found that some of our suppliers had good green credentials themselves, whilst others didn’t. This all adds to our impact as an organisation.
So, we have streamlined our operations and firstly looked at the ‘quick wins’ we can implement easily to improve our green performance.
- Wrapping paper – We have found that the wrapping paper we produce (using Canon paper) is recyclable. This is easily established using the ‘scrunch’ test, ie. if you can scrunch it into a ball, it can be recycled. Furthermore, we sometimes receive damaged paper from our supplier, but instead of throwing this away, we have started a scheme whereby we supply this to a local nursery so the local kids can use it.
- Banner paper – Just like our wrapping paper, our premium quality printed banners are recyclable too.
- Ink cartridges - We can now recycle our ink cartridges using https://www.emptiesplease.com/. The aim of this is to help charities raise funds whilst we also become greener in the process.
- Recycling – Further materials that can be recycled include our boxes, banner tubes and paper envelopes. We are also sourcing new bubble wrap and tape suppliers to find recyclable materials, and this will mean that in the future ALL the materials that are shipped in our boxes, including the boxes themselves, will be 100% recyclable.
- We all like a coffee at Dom & Geri and we are now using Nespresso coffee pods, which use recycled materials. Plus, we use the Nespresso recycling collection.
- Our milk is delivered in re-usable glass bottles and we use a local supplier to cut down on unnecessary transport (and therefore fuel emissions) and to boost the local economy.
- Our staff are now using their own re-usable water bottles, rather than buying individual plastic bottles.
- We are using DHL as our main courier because of their ‘green’ credentials and how they promote Green initiatives.
- We also use Royal Mail because of their excellent carbon record and their work in trying to reduce their impacts.
Sometimes our orders become damaged in the packing process or the roll runs out mid-print. Instead of discarding these as waste, we are trying to send on the half-printed order to the customer for them to use for free. This is where our 'Jackpot ticket' paper was created. Even banners that are half-printed and can't be used in their normal way, can still be used and framed by the customer, or the image can be cut up for crafting needs, as the materials are still photo quality paper.
We think these are great examples of ‘thinking outside the box’ and finding ways to eliminate waste and promote re-use where possible. We will continue to work on other initiatives, and we can even go further and join schemes to plant trees to help offset the remaining carbon impacts that we simply can’t get rid of. There will always be an element of energy use which we can’t reduce, for example, but we can help plant some trees to make sure the right gases are being released back into the ecosystem, and therefore we have a net zero carbon impact.
That is the next step for us, but so far, we really hope you can be inspired by what we do to maybe look at how you work too, because every little contribution is making a big difference.