As part of our environmental programme, we wanted to commit to projects that created real improvements. As many of our offices are in managed buildings, certain aspects of energy usage such as heating and air conditioning are beyond our immediate control, and can only be addressed in the longer term.
However, we knew that we could improve our environmental impact in more direct ways and committed to the following projects:
Reduce our paper consumption
As part of this project we implemented paper reduction policies across all offices, which included:
- Double-sided default setting on all printers
- Accounts and tax returns scanned and sent as email rather than hard copy
- Online filing of business documents
- Document scanning to introduce paperless audit files
- Where possible, replacing individual copies of reference books with an online reference library
- Introduction of a secure client extranet for posting documents
- An immediate reduction in paper usage. In the first quarter of the project, one office achieved a 40% reduction in paper usage and we expect to achieve a firm-wide reduction of 50% in due course.
- Reduced hard copy storage requirements as a direct result of the scanning facility available on all the machines.
- One office has completed the transition to become a paperless office with others soon to follow.
Reduce our electricity consumption
Computers and printing equipment are a major consideration in any office environment, and typically account for around 15% of all the electrical energy being used in UK offices. As part of this initiative, we introduced new policies and new technologies to reduce our electricity usage. These included:
- Replacing 150 laser and colour printers and 26 photocopiers in all our offices with 24 multi-function devices
- Reinforcing “switch-off” policies whereby the last people out ensure that all equipment is turned off and not just left on standby
- Reviewing lighting in all offices and installing energy-efficient bulbs and, where possible, proximity sensors to avoid lights being left on unnecessarily.
- The introduction of multi-function devices has reduced our usage of electricity, paper and toners and is expected to create cost savings of £100,000 a year.
- A laser printer kept on standby is estimated to use around £21 of electricity a year. Replacing all printers with multi-function devices will save almost 17,000 kWhr of electricity a year, which is the annual electricity consumption of 3-4 houses.
- The old desktop printers were either donated to local schools or charities or sold to members of staff, with the proceeds paid into the Menzies Charity Foundation.
The implementation of our recycling policy means that all offices now have recycling facilities for paper, cardboard and plastic waste.
- Recycling points installed at all offices.
- Dedicated staff members ensure recycling is implemented using local facilities, and we are now looking at single supplier across all offices.
The success of our environmental programme is down to the continued commitment of our staff.