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Recycling, Saving Energy, Reducing Water Consumption ... And Other Actions to Make our Carbon Footprint Smaller

According to The Carbon Trust, the total energy consumption of the hospitality industry in the UK is estimated to be a total of 21,600 million kWh per year. Commercial catering establishments, a category in which Party Ingredients belong to, account for about 30% - or 6,500 million kWh – of the total figure. That’s enough energy to keep every household in a city the size of Birmingham going for an entire year. 

Here at Party Ingredients, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously. We use sustainable fish, seasonal ingredients and local, quality produce in our cooking. We also take various actions both in the kitchen and in the offices to go greener, save energy, avoid wasting water, and recycle, reuse and resell everything we can from paper and cardboard to empty print cartridges. Reducing our carbon footprint also reduces costs of running the business, which means our clients receive better quality at better value. 

We started a new programme in 2012, enabling us to measure and monitor our energy consumption, week by week. This allows us to establish the peaks in energy consumption in order to identify areas we have to pay attention to. By monitoring energy usage, we have noticed the differences in consumption between when we get really busy during the peak seasons, and when the premises quieten down for the Christmas and summer holiday periods. Thanks to the monitoring process, we can create a set of good housekeeping rules that every member of our staff can implement in their everyday working practices. In the kitchen, utensils are not used under running water, taps are switched off whenever not used and leakages are fixed immediately - a dripping tap alone can waste 5,000 litres of water in a year.  Larger systems to save water, such as harvesting rainwater for use in lavatory flushing, are being planned and implemented later in 2013.

In the office, we...

  • Switch off computers and printers at the end of the night. The reduction in carbon emissions equals 11 cars being removed from the roads.

  • Always use both sides when we print, and recycle our cartridges and toners. Impact Recycling not only make sure our cartridges don’t end up in landfill, but they also support various great charities such as Have a Heart Appeal and The Friends of the Wisdom in Kent.

  • Use public transport to get to work and to events around town. When the weather gets warmer, we also encourage staff to cycle to work. We are registered in the Cycle to Work scheme, allowing staff to get their bikes tax free.

  • Ensure the reuse of our waste paper and cardboard by compacting, baling and selling it to package manufacturers.

  • Have fitted lights with motion sensors in areas like bathrooms, changing rooms and showers, so that lights aren't being left on unnecessarily for hours. This does not only decrease the “on” time by an average of 90%, but it also makes the light bulbs last a lot longer.

We would love to hear about other companies – or individuals – who are working on reducing their carbon footprint. What actions have you taken? Have your clients or colleagues given you some great ideas you would like to share? Please let us know!