With the UN news that we have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe (eek!), we are stepping up our energy conservation policies and practices at Redlane.
We’ve always been as careful as possible, but we are now committing to doing even better by 2020.
With that in mind, we have been working on a new Sustainability Statement, so you - the customer - know exactly where we are, and where we’re going with energy efficiency and business sustainability.
So, here it is…
The Cross, Tramore, Co. Waterford.
At Redlane, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact as much as we possibly can, and continually improving the sustainable business model we began in 2005.
We work voluntarily with the SEAI (being far below their legal requirement for businesses over 250 employees to complete regular energy audits) to ensure best practice in energy efficiency. Our smaller size and staff allows us to be more flexible in integrating sustainability into our business, making us more responsive and adaptive to today’s rapidly shifting environmental needs.
Our Sustainability policies are based on the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Guide to Energy Efficiency for SMEs, with a few industry and individual business specific additions we have been able to incorporate. The Full Guide is available at – https://www.seai.ie/resources/publications/SME-Guide-to-Energy-Efficiency.pdf
Current Implementation Status
FACT: The U.S. Department of Energy has identified lighting, space heating and cooling as the three most energy consuming operations in an office.
- Our shop and office heating is set to the recommended 19℃, and controlled by a thermostat. We don’t use air conditioning.
- All internal and external doors are kept closed as a standard operating procedure.
- FUTURE PLANNING: We are looking at door and window upgrade/replacement, in consultation with the landlord.
- All lights are turned off when not in use.
- Every light in store, in the office, and in our on-site photographic studio (which requires a lot of light!) have been replaced with LED or CFL bulbs; using 75% less energy.
- FUTURE PLANNING: We are looking at movement/occupancy sensors in the staff toilet and kitchen to prevent lights being left on unnecessarily.
- Office and shop equipment are switched off – entirely, not just on standby – when not in use, and every night.
- We use cloud computing, which allows our contractors to work from home, and saves on printing costs in the office as everyone has access to the same files immediately.
- FUTURE PLANNING: When equipment needs to be replaced, we will be purchasing/upgrading to models with top energy efficiency ratings.
Of our 8 staff members:
- 2 are contractors who mainly work from home offices, saving commute.
- 3 live locally, and walk to and from work every day.
- 3 live further, and take the bus, or try to car pool when they have to drive.
- We operate an excellent online store, with guaranteed next day delivery service in Ireland, utilising the existing van and bicycle An Post network, thus saving both customer travel consumption for purchases, and private delivery service utilisation (which would generate extra transport needs).
- FUTURE PLANNING: For staff members who drive to (or for) work, we will implement an energy aware driving policy, eg. unloading boots, checking tyre pressure, steady speeds.
- Most of our industry delivers in non sustainable plastic packaging, but all of our packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials; from the shopping bags in store to the delivery boxes when purchased online.
- FUTURE PLANNING: We will continue to monitor and lobby our suppliers for reduction or removal of plastic and other non sustainable packaging choices.
In Store Awareness
- We have installed a water filter machine, and all staff use refillable water cups rather than plastic drinking bottles or cups.
- We use refillable coffee cups, or the local restaurants’ compostable cups only.
- We offer a free hanger (re-use) service for our customers to save on plastic purchase.
- Our Future Planning: We aim to have our identified improvements completed by 2020.
- Energy Audit: We are working with SEAI for a full energy audit, which will professionally identify and advise on any areas we may have missed. With this, we can continue to improve our energy efficiency, and maximise Redlane’s Business Sustainability in both the short and long term.
If there’s anything else you’d like to see us looking at, comment below and we’ll add it to the suggestion box, for the ongoing improvement of our energy conservation policy!