Richard & Associates Join 10:10
“It wasn’t the Exxon Valdez captain’s driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours.” Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990
In line with the idea that “if we don’t think about future generations, then they will never forget us”, we have decided that it is time to bring Richard & Associates Limited up to date with some long overdue re-modelling, making us a conscientious organisation that is as concerned for everyone else’s future as much as we are for our own. We are currently making a really big effort to become as energy efficient and as environmentally aware as possible, as well as consider how our actions impact the global community and global ecology / biosphere of our home planet.
I’ve got to say we actually enjoy this new way of thinking about how we operate on a day-to-day basis. With it there seems to be a deep sense of growing commitment within our team, one that drives each of us on to ensure that we all do our bit to achieve another 10% reduction in our carbon emissions this 2012… And then again in 2013… And again in 2014… Till, in 2020, we are as carbon neutral as we can be. And we’re not just talking about it… We’re actually doing it.
By adding solar thermal panels to the roof of our premises here, we’ve managed to reduce the amount of gas we use for our hot water each year by one third. We’ve also installed photovoltaic panels and now generate more electricity than we use each year. Further more, we recently switched our electricity supplier to Good Energy, who ensure that – for all the electricity we use – there is an equivalent amount of renewable generated electricity injected back in to the grid.
On top of that, we’ve laid an extra 300mm of sheep’s wool insulation in the loft space, as well as had the whole roof off to install a special heat insulating breathable membrane, all of which keeps us warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Plus we’ve replaced all the single glazed windows with double glazed units. Despite all this added insulation, in the winter we still wear warm clothes in the office to keep the heating down and, thereby, use less gas. While we’ve looked in to replacing our gas central heating system with an air/ground source heat pump, at the moment we can’t due to planning issues. As such, we buy a type of green gas, also supplied by Good Energy, for our central heating and hot water needs.
While we’d like to be able to only use public transport for our operations, we found that this isn’t practicle. As such, we use a car that has four modifications that make it more efficient than most other cars. The first is a stop/start function that detects when the car has come to a halt and, thereby, stops the engine, reducing the amount of fuel used when stationary. The next is an energy recuperation system. It also utilizes low rolling resistance tyres and, lastly, has a 1 liter engine. The combination of these allow it to have an emissions rating of about 102 g/km of carbon dioxide, which is lower than most vehicles of a similar size on the road at present.
For the little details… We use an Eco-Kettle in the kitchen so we only boil as much water as we need when making our tea and coffee. Plus, we’ve replaced all the old halogen GU10 spot-lights here with some of the latest GU10 LED lighting units around, reducing the overall amount of electricity used daily. We’ve also made other little adjustments, like set all our computers to the best energy efficiency settings possible, use LED displays, and switch off everything when we close up shop. So we’re really going that little bit over and above what people might normally consider doing.
Thinking about all this, we felt it’s time that Richard & Associates took that 10:10 pledge to show just how committed we are to reducing our carbon foot print each year by 10%, so as to make that change for a cleaner, greener, more sustainable way of running a business in this digital age.
Importantly… By thinking about what it means to be sustainable, we’ve begun supporting renewable energy sources rather than finite, dirty and expensive ones that can still be commonly found in use today. We do so because we want people to know that everyone can have a say about what happens in our future. Buying from ethical companies that support the ideals we care about most is the best way to do this. Through sharing this, we hope we can inspire others to vote for the change we want to see by spending their hard earned cash discerningly.
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If you’ve been inspired here and want to join in, then why not sign up to 10:10 (now known as ‘Possible’) today here? After all, many hands make light work…