Being environmentally conscious is very fashionable these days; we all want to be seen to love planet Earth. Unfortunately, that means that too many companies claim themselves as being eco-friendly when the reality is that they’re not. For example, when you review companies in the domestic latex balloon event sector they all maintain that because their latex balloons are biodegradable that makes them eco-friendly.
This is nonsense. What these companies don’t mention is the real length of the biodegradability. It’s not four weeks as many would suggest, but more like two years. But even that is not really the point. The real issue is that latex balloons when losing their helium, float down to Earth. Animals and birds try to eat them and simply asphyxiate themselves. That’s the key issue!
Real ethical companies take a holistic approach to saving the planet. We at Rentaballoonrace.comTM are justifiably proud that we have developed a digital fundraising platform that uses virtual balloons and real live weather data. But we do far more to reduce our carbon footprint and get the world to see our eco-friendly efforts.
Whenever we renew furniture or upgrade computers for example we make great efforts to ensure that the product is recyclable and does need to go to the landfill. We buy desks from IKEA not just because they represent good value, but more importantly, they come from ‘sustainable forests’ managed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organisation that promotes the responsible management of the world’s woodlands.
Swedwood, IKEA’s forestry subsidiary, has leases to log 700,000 acres in the Russian forest as long as it avoids old trees and does not clear tress on steep slopes, which increases erosion.
We have considered donating our old equipment wherever possible, but nowadays most schools and organisations are sniffy about accepting out of date technology. It’s a bit like today’s generation of children, they don’t want ‘hand –me-downs’ anymore – it has to be the latest designer gear!
We have separate bins for food waste and paper – the latter is always recycled. Nor, thanks to the UK Government 2015 initiative on plastic carrier bags from supermarkets, we always use long life bags when shopping at lunchtime.
On an everyday basis, the company’s only disposable purchased product is print paper. Its use is very sparing, however, because all our correspondence is electronic. Similarly, BACS transfer and electronic banking are standard for the company too. The little paper we do use comes from sustainable sources or has been recycled.
We do not use plastic of any description, nor packing materials. Working in a virtual world means we don’t send anything physical to anyone.
Office furniture and technology equipment as mentioned earlier are chosen to be recyclable – we don’t want to use landfill at all.
Green / Renewable Energy
The moors north of Manchester have some of the most densely packed onshore wind farms in the UK. Stretching from above Burnley in the east to Blackburn in the west, there are three large arrays.
A fourth array, potentially the UK’s largest onshore farm, is planned for the moors above Rochdale, just a few miles from our office.
Similarly, Liverpool Bay, north of Prestatyn and east of Dublin, Ireland, has another large array which is soon to quadruple in size from 10 to 40 square kilometres. This means we get to use clean renewable energy.
Being an Internet company we do not have any long term contracted suppliers of any physical products. And with regard to services, we have three suppliers only – electricity; telephone / broadband; cloud services. Our portion of carbon footprint of these very large companies is almost zero.
Our offices are on the second floor and are zero rated for business purposes. Lower and ground floors are always deemed more tax worthy.
Commute of our Employees
Staff live reasonably close to the offices, so no long carbon-busting commutes
Although we generally do little home working, our commutes, as mentioned above are short. We arguably drink too much tea, but then the internal heat generated means we probably have the heating lower than many other offices
In summary Taking every aspect of our products, all virtual; our serious concern towards landfill and recycling our minimal waste, we think we’re 99.95% eco-friendly. Using established mathematical logic surrounding estimated numbers, we’ve rounded our figure to the nearest whole number.