EnergyQuest in the Environment

Our environmental performance – leading by example

As a champion of energy management and environmental protection, Energyquest is keen to lead by example. Since the company was founded in 2000, we have worked hard to minimise our own impact on the environment in all areas of our operations – from reducing our energy use to environmentally friendly stationery to thoughtful transport strategies.

In 2008 we moved offices into a grade 2 listed, 350 year old building, generally not regarded as an energy efficient space. But we wanted to prove a point and developed, a highly energy-efficient working environment, exceeding all performance measures and this has played an important part in helping us achieve our environmental impact objectives.

Sustainable approaches to stationery materials are an easy area to ensure that you are sourcing the right things. Here at Energyquest we have always sourced printed materials on unbleached, recycled stock with vegetable inks.

Throughout our distribution services we ensure that packaging is more than just recycled. If it has to be posted, our starting point is to re-use, and therefore, any item distributed will be packaged up in cartons and boxes that we receive from our suppliers.

Even thought to our cleaning materials has been factored in. to ensure all aspects of our business plays a part.

A greater use of tele-conference, followed by an emphasis on the use of public transport, has assisted in our management of low levels of emissions related to business meetings.

From April 2013 we have included our commuting emissions into our carbon footprint and we have developed clever incentives to encourage our staff to think about their journey to work in an effort to reduce our overall impact.

How are we doing?

As a growing business we are having to constantly monitor our performance to help us identify areas for improvement and ensure we keep doing better each year. Obviously, we monitor our electricity, gas and water usage on a half-hourly basis to ensure we understand what is happening and make the necessary adjustments to ensure things don’t get out of control.

Our principle measures of success are energy use per employee (kWh/n) and Absolute Carbon Dioxide (tCO2e) emitted through the use of energy, business transport and even the impact of our staff commuting to work.

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What are we going to do this year (2014/15)?

It is all well and good looking at what impact we have as a business during normal operations, but what if we were to look at broadening the view of our impact to include commuting emissions created by our employees. That means you have to look at the whole picture and our employees have to get involved and think about how they get to work.

For the second year and, in a money where our mouth is move, any Energyquest employee that uses their feet, rides a bike, takes a bus or catches a train for both legs of their commute are now going to be paid £1 per day. And at the end of the year, there will be a cash bonus for employee with the most number of single legs that meets the feet, bike, bus, train criteria, in aggregate.

All this and it will still mean we will have an impact on the environment, but we will continue to operate the Energyquest Carbon Guilt Fund, where we will levy a penalty upon ourselves of £12/tonne of CO2 related to our business operations and commuting emissions and at the end of the year, we will donate this amount to a worthwhile environmental charity.

There is a cost to the business supporting the various initiatives, but a cost worth bearing, because our little bit goes forward to a bigger picture.

The recipient of the Energyquest Carbon Guilt Fund for 2013/14 was the Forestry Commissions Woodland Carbon Code organised through Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Their mission is to support the environmental, social and economic well-being of the Yorkshire Dales and their broad-ranging work has included planting more than 1 million trees as part of the Dales Woodland Restoration Programme.

If you have any questions about our own environmental management practices, please contact us. And keep checking back here to see how we are doing.