Over the last 4 months, we have actively looked at our Carbon Footprint and how we can go about becoming Carbon Neutral.
We made contact with Carbon Neutral Britain and firstly looked at calculating our Carbon Footprint and Identifying Reductions. This is measured as a set figure, in Tonnes of Carbon Emissions (tCO²e) for the past 12 months, once this had been calculated, and a Carbon Emissions Report had been generated, we then had an accurate figure to offset our emissions through Carbon Neutral Britain’s portfolio of carbon offsetting projects.
Step 2 involved offsetting our Carbon Footprint, so, once our carbon footprint had been calculated, Carbon Neutral Britain™ looked to offset our carbon emissions via our chosen portfolio of carbon offsetting credits whereby we chose a project to support in line with those certified by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER) and Certified Emission Reductions (CER).
And lastly, once our carbon footprint had been calculated and offset, we received Carbon Neutral Certification, Certification of the Carbon Offsets, and a licence to use the Carbon Neutral Business badge as a certified carbon neutral business! We are also notified about the projects we have supported via our offsetting. It really is that simple!
What it means for us as a locum agency?
As I'm sure you can imagine, by sending nurses across the UK to help cover your clinics, it really is no surprise that our locum’s mileage was where our carbon emissions were the highest. We are so proud to say that we have offset ALL of our Locum Mileage! We try and book our locums as close to home as possible so if possible, they can walk or cycle to jobs. If we have more than one locum going to the same place, we encourage and organise for car sharing. And of course, because we reimburse staff expenses, we encourage the use of public transport also to cut down on those carbon emissions.
If this is something that you want to do, whether it be as an individual or with your practice/company you work for, we would definitely encourage you to make contact and get the ball rolling. Think of all the things that you could also do to help. As Carbon Neutral Britain say - Saving the Planet Starts with You.
We are always looking at the ways we can be sustainable:
Recycling – we are so on the ball with recycling in Head Office, we have multiple bins dotted around and signs with what can /can’t be recycled in what bins. We have recently acquired recycling bags that are specific to what can go in them to help break this recycling down further. In an office of over 30 people, we go through our fair share of food wrappers as I am sure you can imagine.
Terracycle – we recycle with Terracycle and like to get all of our team far and wide involved. We have the boxes in Head Office and our team all keep their wrappers and send them to Head Office with their Area Manager when they attend for regional meetings.
As a company that offers Fit Testing, we have been recycling our disposable protective face masks such as dust masks, FFP2, FFP3 and surgical masks, face shields and visors and disposable vinyl, nitrile and latex gloves (something we as a company go through a lot of) since the very beginning of them becoming so widely needed. Terracycle have launched a programme specifically to recycle these materials now and so as soon as we saw that, we made sure we registered for that programme so we can help.
Alongside our own recycling for Terracycle, during lockdown a local lady reached out and asked if she could use our office location as a drop off point for the community to recycle their own Terracycle waste, which has proved hugely successful.
There are 49 different recycling programmes with Terracycle at present, from recycling contact lenses to make up products to writing instruments, cleaning materials and biscuit packets. Have a look for yourself and see if you can find a local drop off point for those items you discard without a second thought, I am sure you will be surprised by how much can be recycled – I know I was!