A few years ago, I started making a conscious effort to reduce my plastic waste. Making changes was much easier than I expected, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my sustainable journey. The only struggle along the way, apart from finding plastic free crisps (finally available), was one specific question, that kept being asked over and over again.
‘Why do you bother? It doesn’t matter what you do, a few people can’t make a difference. It’s up to governments and corporations to change, it’s not down to the individual’.
I strongly disagree.
In the last four years, there has been a drastic change in perception when it comes to plastic and the environment overall, and it started small. Tote bags over plastic bags. Money off for bringing your own takeaway cup. Small behaviours passed between friends, questions asked in shops, packaging refused. And now, change is happening. Everything from bans on single-use plastics such a straws, bags and cotton buds, to large scale corporations overhauling their production practices in response to increasingly green consumer demands.
And it’s not just plastic. We’re more aware than ever of the impact of our habits on the environment, and there are more ethical and sustainable options available to us than there has ever been. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, but I genuinely believe we are finally starting to see change because we are finally starting to demand it. We’re starting to champion sustainable behaviours, at home, as consumers, and at work.
But sometimes change is slow. Sometimes it’s really frustrating. Sometimes we wish we could do more.
This is why I was really excited when Uniform asked me to be a Sustainability Champion, a role that involves engaging with the Uniform team to build a sustainable culture, identifying sustainable initiatives and overall encourage more sustainable behaviours.
We want to make sure Uniform has a positive impact on the world, and as the Sustainability Champion, I get an opportunity to influence how we work as a team to reduce our environmental impact in areas such as energy, waste, food and packaging.
We’re committed to being climate positive by 2020 and we’re constantly looking at how we can take action and make positive changes.
So what changes are we making? For us, it’s not about perfection, it’s about action, so we’ve identified long term goals alongside quick wins, which will all help move us towards our goal of being climate positive.
This means monitoring our energy consumption and identifying how we can decrease and optimise. It means not only using renewable energy (which we are!) but investigating how we can generate energy through solar power.
It’s decreasing our water consumption through new taps (and behaviours!), optimising the building, improving, and cutting down, on our travel, and taking responsibility for our waste. We’re building a new recycling centre in our kitchen with an aim to send no waste to landfill.
From glass milk bottles (which are hauled up 3 floors!), recycled and sustainable stationery and low waste fruit deliveries, to eco-accommodation and deliveries - we’re implementing stricter checks for all of our suppliers to make sure they meet our criteria and share our values.
And this is only the beginning. We’ve got ambitious plans, and goals that will be benchmarked, measured and reported on.