How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

I’m sure we’d all agree that we could be greener and small changes can have a huge impact on our environment especially for a business or manufacturer. As more and more of us understand the importance of corporate social responsibility and the environmental impact that operational and purchasing processes can have on a business, it’s important to consider how you can become more eco-friendly for your company reputation from its customers, employees and stakeholders.

Here are some of the ways you can make your business greener:


Set up a ‘Green Team’

Creating a ‘Green Team’ in the office, or even just allocating a ‘Green Champion’, is a great way to brainstorm new ideas and keep your business becoming more eco-friendly. Empower staff to make important decisions and introduce new initiatives that will encourage all staff and customers to improve their recycling processes. You can even introduce new ‘green policies’ that staff have to abide by such as no plastic bottles in the office or no desk bins. If possible, ensure your Green Team are made up of members from different departments within the business so that you can include different business perspectives. For example, include someone from the operations team to ensure you’re getting the best products as well as a member of the marketing team to discuss how to communicate your green ideas effectively.


Use green products

What do you do once you’ve finished with your used ink pen – throw it in the bin? Probably, because that’s all we’ve ever done. Every year, we fill up landfills with perfectly reusable pens and it’s time to consider stocking up on recycled or reusable stationery instead. Using green stationery will not only help the environment and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill but will save you money and improve your eco-credentials. It may also be worth keeping your office supplies cupboard under management by the designated ‘Green Champion’ who can be sure to see if there’s an eco-alternative or refillable option out there. There are many recycling schemes around which are free of charge and are designed to help make recycling your used batteries, ink and toner cartridges and other items a much easier process.


Clean green

Going green with your cleaning products is also recommended to help improve the health of your cleaning staff and other employees as well as remove harmful toxins from the workplace environment and less harsh chemicals going into our water systems.


Review your waste

Whilst we appreciate that this isn’t particularly the most appealing job to be done, reviewing your waste is an effective way to understand exactly what your business is using and what is being thrown away. Your waste provider will probably have a portal that you can log in to and see the split of recycling and waste to landfill.  This should give you a good indication of any changes that need to be made or new policies that should be introduced. For example, if there are a lot of plastic cups in the bin from the water cooler, replace the cups with eco-friendly and biodegradable versions. We also suggest doing this regularly, such as once a month to measure the success and impact you’re making.   Alternatively, why not consider mains filtered water?


Challenge suppliers or use sustainable suppliers

Getting access to more eco-friendly products can be as simple as asking your existing suppliers to provide a more environmental service or product range or even ask to see their CSR Policy. Just like you, there will be many other businesses asking suppliers the same questions so don’t be afraid! If your current suppliers don’t offer any green products or if they’re not looking to be more environmentally friendly, start looking for other sustainable providers instead.

In the meantime, it’s also important to review what you’re currently purchasing and if there are any internal or external changes that can be made which will quickly improve your eco-credentials. For example:

  1. What type of packaging are you using to send out to customers? Is it recyclable?
  2. Do your delivery vans comply with ULEZ standards?
  3. Are you using single-use plastic void in boxes?
  4. Do you have centralised waste bins in the office or warehouse?
  5. Do you recycle your office equipment?
  6. Are you using recycled stationery and office supplies products?
  7. Do you recycle your paper?
  8. Do you re-use packaging?

 

Introduce #GreenChallenges

Green challenges can be a fun way of encouraging your employees to be more environmentally friendly. For example, you could challenge your staff to go for a month without using any plastic eating utensils, and then reward those who complete the challenge by offering small (and perhaps even eco-friendly) prizes! Our eco-friendly promotional gifts catalogue is a great place to start looking at prize ideas.

 

Make the office greener (literally!) 

Bringing shrubs and plants in your building can massively help improve the air quality around your organisation which is essential for your employees. In addition, this will also help your business look a lot more attractive visually and there is only little maintenance required for looking after them. Bringing more nature into the office means more oxygen is produced and creates a happier space for your employees to work in.

Take a look at how Quills can help with your Eco Purchasing and CSR targets by getting in touch with our friendly team who are more than happy to help.

Tips for a Greener Christmas

Brits love Christmas. After all, it is the season to be jolly! Christmas is great for spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts with family and friends as well as indulge in way too much food! But as much as we don’t want to be bar humbug on Christmas celebrations, we have to realise that it has a huge negative effect on our planet.

Did you know that the amount of waste we throw out as a nation would fill 450,000 double-decker buses? And every Christmas, the amount of waste produced in the UK increases by 30%! The good news, however, is that there is still time to get prepared for a ‘Green Christmas’ and all you have to do is follow our top tips for celebrating the season whilst still caring for our planet.

Recycled Christmas Cards

There’s always a sense of excitement when a card comes through the door, and nothing gets you more in the Christmas spirit than a beautifully designed Christmas card with a genuine, heartfelt message. However, some Christmas cards from shops can be expensive and non-recyclable which can quickly cause your bin to overflow once the festive season is over. Instead, we would suggest opting in for cards that are made from recycled paper and from verified sustainable sources.

That’s where Quills can help. We have a huge range of promotional Christmas Cards, most of which are made on FSC stock paper so they can be recycled in the new year. Not only can you choose a gorgeous design, but you can also personalise it with your own branding and really show your customers and employees your appreciation. What’s even better is that with every Christmas card order, a 10% donation will be made to a charity of your choice and for 2019 this includes a brand-new tree planting charity! Have a look at our 2019 Christmas Card brochure.

Wrapping paper & Tape

We understand that sparkly and coloured wrapping paper helps make your presents look nicer, but there are lots of paper that cannot be recycled, including:

• Wrapping paper that contains foil or is metallic
• Wrapping paper with glitter on it
• Wrapper paper that has a texture to it

There are lots of environmentally friendly wrapping paper options out there and these are simple papers made using fibres such as hemp or you could go for paper made from recycled content.

In addition, be cautious (and dare we say stingy) with the amount of tape that you use to finish off your presents. On average, each year we use around 40 million rolls of polypropylene sticky tape to wrap our presents. By not using plastic tape, or by opting to use eco-friendly tape alternatives, more wrapping paper can be reused and recycled for another year.

Christmas trees

You may think that having a plastic tree is eco-friendly because you can re-use them every year, but real trees are definitely the more sustainable option. The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), estimates that we bin six million Christmas trees each year. These plastic trees are made from petroleum products and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. When these trees are no longer wanted, they are sent to landfills where the plastic content makes them last forever.

Real trees are a great sustainable alternative as they are grown on tree farms and new trees are always being replanted. Some trees, if kept in water, can be re-planted outside after Christmas – Santa would love this too!

Food

This is a simple one – only buy what you need. As a nation, we throw a lot of food away due to poor meal planning and simply buying too much. In 2018, shockingly more than 4.2 million Christmas dinners were scrapped into the bin. FYI, this means that there was enough gravy down the drain to fill an entire Olympic sized pool. Consider how you can re-use any leftover foods before throwing it away. Think of all of the Turkey sandwiches you can have?

Gift wisely

Christmas gifts don’t have to cost the earth – after all, it’s the thought that really counts. Deviate away from the typical socks and aftershave present and give something a little different and sustainable this Christmas. We have a huge range of eco-friendly promotional gifts including cups, bags, notepads, bottles and more so that you can give something more personal and unique this year. Take a look at our brochure here.

An environmentally friendly Christmas doesn’t mean you need to be a stooge – it’s simply the smaller day to day things that can make a huge difference. At Quills, we have a huge range of eco-friendly products including recyclable tape, paper, cutlery and catering supplies to help get you prepared for a greener Christmas and some fantastic eco promotional corporate gifts.
Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today to see how we can help you.

5 Ways to Reduce your Business’ Carbon Footprint

In June, the UK became the first major economy to pass a law requiring net-zero emissions by 2050.

So, what steps can be taken to do this effectively?

No matter what size your business is, there are big and small changes that can be implemented to help the UK reaches its 2050 target.

Here are 5 ways to reduce your Business’ carbon footprint:

1. Waste Management

Zero waste is more than just a buzzword nowadays, instead, it’s become something a lot of people strive towards. Ultimately, it’s clear that cutting out waste would definitely go a long way in helping the environment, and there are a number of things that can be put in place to begin doing this. Bear in mind it’s not feasible to go completely zero waste all in one go, but businesses can gradually reduce their production of landfill rubbish by dealing with waste in a more environmentally responsible way.

Recycling is a great green initiative, but it’s only really effective when there’s a good scheme and system in place. Starting with basic paper and card rubbish, arguably the most visible of office waste, and then moving into other materials, is more effective than dealing with everything in one go. With this in place, it’s simply a question of having well labelled and visible bins.

However, reducing and reusing are ultimately the most effective steps for a business who wants to become zero waste. Plastic waste often finds itself at the forefront of discussions surrounding climate change, and for good reason. The confusion and difficulties surrounding plastic recycling means we often fail to do it, and consequently, only 9% of plastic is recycled. This is why we’re seeing more initiatives encouraging the ban (or at least the severe reduction) of single-use plastic – something businesses can easily support too. If your office has a canteen, phasing out the use of plastic cutlery and straws in favour of metal ones is a simple but effective way to reduce landfill waste. Likewise, encouraging staff to replace disposable plastic bottles with reusable ones is another small but important way of reducing your carbon footprint.

Quills Secure Data Destruction service can support your businesses recycling and waste management strategies. We can review your current arrangements and propose a tailored compliant solution to match your budget, needs and most importantly, environmental targets. Simply click here to find out more.

2. Travel & Transport

Travel and transport are the most talked-about carbon footprint contributors. Travelling for business, particularly flying, is well established to have a substantial impact on the environment. But the good news is, we live in a society with a number of great alternatives available to ensure your business isn’t hindered by distance. Of course, utilising public transport for closer trips is always a good option, but you should also consider video conferencing in place of flying long distances. Not only will this cut down emissions, but you’ll also find it cuts down your company’s travel costs.

That said, when it comes to company transport, there’s quite a lot to consider. Not only are the commutes of your employees an important factor, but it’s also worth looking at the fuel consumption related to the transportation of your company’s goods and services. Green initiatives like cycle-to-work schemes can inspire more eco-friendly methods of staff commuting. At Quills, for example, we use new vans which are all low emission and comply with ULEZ standards. We also plan our delivery routes every day to ensure the lowest cumulative mileage and maximum fuel efficiency.  For your outsourcing needs, courier services such as Gophr offer a greener choice with their optimised system of pairing vehicles to deliveries depending on the size and weight of the consignment. A programme like this ensures a large van isn’t used when a bicycle will do, and as such, provides a much eco-friendlier service.

3. Energy

It’s an inconvenient fact, but energy consumption is one of the biggest environmental impactors, particularly for business. Lighting, heating, powering appliances, web hosting – these are all fossil fuel burning activities that can be easily overlooked when it comes to accounting for a company’s carbon footprint. The solution to this doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul in office operations. As the days get darker, proper lighting becomes even more important. Simply switching to more energy-efficient lights with an automatic shutdown or dimmer option is a great solution that will have a lasting impact on your office’s carbon footprint, as well as on your energy bill.

There’s no need for your efforts to stop at lighting changes. In the future, you’ll find increasingly more companies migrating to green web hosting services, like GreenGeeks or DreamHost, who consciously make use of eco-friendly initiatives to lessen their overall environmental impact. By utilising these sorts of options for your web hosting needs, you can start to combat the CO2 emissions of your internet use.

4. Sustainable Supply Chain 

A proportion of a business’ carbon emissions is found within its supply chain. Any goods a company purchases – stationery, paper, computers, food etc – all come with a carbon footprint associated with their respective production and delivery. There is no easy way of accounting for the CO2 emissions at every step in the supply chain of every item bought for your office, but more often than not, a business can become greener simply by being eco-conscious and opting for overall more sustainable suppliers.

As a stationery and office supplies supplier, we continuously look for eco-friendly alternative products to provide for our customers. We have recently launched a new environmentally friendly promotional merchandise range which enables businesses to provide exciting and unique branded gifts such as pencils made from recycled money, pens made from CD cases and sustainable cups made from bamboo plant fibres – see the full range here.

5. Plan and Engage

The best way of ensuring the successful implementation of eco-friendly initiatives is by having a comprehensive and feasible plan in place. In order to do this, however, it’s important to know which areas are in need of the biggest improvement. The most logical starting point is to understand how substantial your business’ carbon footprint is right now. By combing through your latest energy and water bills, you should be able to gather a fair picture of your biggest areas of consumption, enabling the setting of realistic targets.

However, a business can only effectively reduce its carbon footprint if it has support from both above and below. This is why engagement is also important. After all, these recommended steps can only be successfully implemented if employees adhere to them. Introducing eco-friendly measures alongside an explanation to your staff as to why these changes are happening, will make them more likely to be effective. Likewise, actually getting your employees involved with going green through competitions or incentives will work wonders in ensuring any green initiatives are respected and followed.  It’s important to remember, there’s no need to bombard your company with hundreds of go-green schemes. When properly implemented, even small changes will result in worthwhile reductions to your business’ carbon footprint. For more environmentally friendly tips, head over to Quills eco-tips page.

If you have any questions about Quills recycling or waste management service or would like to receive a free consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at hello@quillsuk.co.uk.

How to showcase and strengthen your brand reputation

We all know that a strong brand is a key factor to a successful business, so the million-dollar question is how do we achieve this? Promotional branded merchandise or corporate gifts as some of you may know them by is the perfect way to showcase your brand and be a reminder of your company to your potential customers.  Whether it’s for a trade show, conference, training session, exhibition or sampling event, branded merchandise is the gift that keeps advertising for you and shouldn’t be overlooked.

So many items, the choice is endless…

Your company logo can be added to pretty much any item that you want and include a key message. Pens, trolley keys, USBs, trophies, bags, umbrellas or something to eat like mints, chocolates or cakes; the options are endless so there’s something to suit every organisation.

It’s also great to see there’s a huge range of Eco products available so that you can gift sustainably and responsibly.  Eco gifts can include pens made from recycled water bottles, pencils made from recycled CDs, Fair Trade cotton bags and drinks flasks made from plant fibres.

Check out our 5 reasons why using promotional items could be a great addition to your sales and marketing plan for 2019 and beyond…

  1. Your customers will feel more appreciated

Everyone loves a freebie, right? Promotional gifts create a more personal experience with your brand giving you the ability to turn your customers into ambassadors. Ultimately, consumers will recognise and appreciate the effort you’re making to stay in contact and will be more likely to shop with you in the long term. After all, 85% of consumers do business with a company after receiving a promotional product!

  1. It’s a cost-effective way of getting your brand out there

In terms of the customer ‘reach’, promotional merchandise is very cost-effective compared to other traditional methods such as TV or magazine advertisements. Recent research found that consumers hang on to promotional products for around 6.6 months and 63% of consumers pass along the promotional product to someone else when they no longer wish to keep it. Since your promotional product will be passed from one potential customer to the next, your brand exposure could, therefore, be more than doubled.

What’s even better is that your promotional items will often have a much more active interaction with your customers. For example, instead of just looking at your branded advert on a piece of paper, they’ll be writing with your branded pen on a daily basis or carrying around their goods with your branded rucksack which brings a new meaning to advertising on the go!

  1. Stand out from the crowd

This is your brand and your promotional merchandise. You have free reign to be as creative and colourful as you want. Add some personality to your promotional items and get your brand out there. Consumers will admire your bravery and will be much more likely to look at something unique and bold than boring and corporate. Following the legendary fidget spinner craze, organisations including the NCAA, NFL and NHL all have branded versions of the product. Always lookout for the newest crazes that you can put your name on and promote. We’d even suggest having a range of promotional products branded up towards specific markets and occasions.

  1. Use promotional products to generate leads

You can do a lot more with promotional products than just using them in a giveaway competition on social media! Incorporate them into your business strategy and the ROI on these items can be easy. For example, ensure your sales team have a healthy range of promotional products (even just pens) on them at all times so that they can give them away to a potential customer at any point. This is especially useful in sales pitches or at networking opportunities.

  1. Eco-friendly promotional gifts are a talking point

Many of us are taking the next step over to the greener side and trying to do our bit for the environment. By investing in recyclable and eco-friendly promotional gifts you’re not only helping the environment but proving to customers that you’re trying to make a difference. But don’t worry, just because you’re going green doesn’t mean your product choice is limited. For example, our range includes pens made from recycled water bottles or recycled CD cases, pencils made from recycled dollar notes, cotton and jute bags, drinks flasks made from sugar cane and much more. Cool right? You can find a link to the entire eco brochure below…

With so many different options available, what should you put your name on?

According to the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), the most popular branded item currently being ordered by UK Marketing Managers is the Promotional Bag and Printed Pens. Other frequently ordered items include keyrings, USB sticks, awards and stress items.

Although the above gives a good indication of what may be worth investing in, remember that every audience is different and there are limitless options so be sure to get a wide variety of products to ensure that you’re covered.

Are you ready to get your promotional products?

Quills can get all your promotional items created and ordered in just a few simple steps. Simply head over to our promotional website here or take a look at the catalogue for the full range.

Ordering sustainable eco-products…

To see the full eco-range available, take a look at our brochure here.

Our team are happy to help at print@quillsuk.co.uk if you have any enquiries.

Top tips for staying cool in the office

Summer has officially started and the MET office has already announced some scorching hot days ahead this June. So why not beat the heat and be prepared with these top tips to help you stay cool in the office…

 

Keep the blinds down

It may sound obvious but lower the blinds in the office before the sun rises as the piercing sun will only heat up the office. Having the sunlight shining through the office all day will cause what is known as the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.

 

Workwear

Wardrobe choices are essential when it’s a hot summer’s day. Whilst some outfit choices may be restricted due to the office dress code, carefully consider what you’re going to wear and opt for clothes which are made of a looser material e.g. cotton to help you stay comfortable throughout the day as well as lighter colours which will reflect the suns radiation. Thick and heavy clothes such as woolly skirts or fully lined suits are a definite no-no!

 

Stay hydrated

This sounds like an obvious one, but many people don’t realise that you can quickly dehydrate even if you’re just sitting at a desk all day. It’s essential to drink plenty of water, approximately around 2 litres minimum a day. Also, keep your water in the fridge or freezer so that it stays nice and cool for when you come to drink it.

 

Should I drink hot drinks?

Yes! It’s a common myth that drinking caffeine dehydrates you, so don’t worry, you can still enjoy that morning cup of tea or coffee to help get your day started.

 

Apply water on your wrists

You may look slightly bonkers carrying out this tip, but if you’re in the office kitchen or bathroom, it’s most certainly worth it. Run cool water over your wrists every couple of hours for approximately 5 seconds. This will help cool down the main veins running through them as well as your pulse points and will ultimately help to lower your blood flow temperature. Try it!

 

Invest in a personal fan

One of the best investments you’ll make this year…we promise! Having your own personal fan enables you to have a constant fresh breeze without having to share with other employees and all cramp into one corner where there’s air con in the office. Luckily, there is a huge range of fans available at great prices including personal clip-on fans and desktop fans; both which are ideal for the office and for travelling.

 

To get yourself and the office ready for those long, hot summer days ahead, if you have an account why not head over to the Quills website where we have a huge supply of fans including office fans, personal clip-on fans, floor standing fans, air con units and much more. We also have great prices available and bulk offer discounts. Simply click here to find out more or get in touch today to see where you can start saving!

 

How Using A Professional Shredding Service Can Benefit Your Business

Whether it’s paper, clothing or unwanted goods, shredding is a must for securely protecting sensitive items and business data. Client confidentiality should be a top business priority within your organisation but how can it be carried out efficiently when you have so many other priorities to focus on? Take a look at our article below to find out how outsourcing your shredding requirements can help your business.

  1. Save time and money

Why paid your skilled employees to stand there and shred for hours when they could be generating revenue for your business? Internal shredding routines are extremely time-consuming and have to be maintained on a daily or weekly basis. For example, shredding a single document can take several minutes and you have to be mindful of factors such as:

–    Straightening sheets of paper

–    Removing any paper clips or staples

–    Disposing of the shredded paper

–    Cleaning up any excess paper, paperclips or staples

Furthermore, you also have to take into consideration the cost of maintaining an internal shredding routine and often enough, this is a lot more expensive than outsourcing your shredding requirements. A small selection of managing your shredding in-house include:

–    Purchasing shredders

–    Buying disposal bags

–    Utility expenses

Sound familiar? Outsourcing your shredding can save an extensive amount of money for your business. Quills, can arrange a personalised audit of your office needs and provide a quotation which includes the frequency, number of bins and what you’ll be shredding.  There are no installation charges and the bin hire and replacement bags are free too!

 

2. Reduce the legal risk

With legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) all in full swing, it’s crucial that you keep client data confidential and safe during the disposal process.

Our secure shredding service is NAID AAA certified meaning that all destruction of your documents complies with the privacy protection policies outlined in the above legislation. In addition to this, we also provide a certificate of destruction so that you can be sure your data is safe in the right hands.

 

3. Maintain your businesses reputation

Reputation. One of the most important assets of a business. It’s very simple for your businesses confidential documents to get in the wrong hands and just like that, a data breach can happen and cause extreme worry and distrust.

When using a professional shredding service, all paper, media and products are collected and destroyed safely and securely. Constant monitoring, full CCTV coverage and an official certification of destruction are provided after every collection which means you can relax and focus on the more important things in your company.

 

4. Consider mobile shredding Services

If you’re considering outsourcing your shredding requirements but still have a concern about your information leaving the premises, then explore the possibility of using an on-site mobile shredding service. This ensures that all shredding is carried out on-site and gives you an opportunity to closely supervise what shredding is carried out and have absolute security.

Quills offer both on-site and off-site shredding service and can collect and shred data at your home or office. For more information, take a look at our secure data destruction brochure. 

 

5. Efficient recycling process

It’s well known that recycling has a positive impact on our environment but be careful as time and time again shredded material is often stolen with the hope of gaining access to confidential data.

Outsourced shredding services ensure that your personal information is secure at all times. All shredded goods are still recycled but without comprising confidentiality as it takes place in a locked and private building with constant surveillance and security.

To find out how Quills Secure Shredding Service can benefit your business, get in touch today and request your free quote. Alternatively, take a look at our latest brochure for some more information on our data destruction service.

Quills Group UK Environment

Carbon Balanced

WLTQuills offset carbon emissions produced from the general operation of the business via the World Land Trust. This means our CO2 emissions are calculated and then offset by funds given to the World Land Trust charity.

The Carbon Balanced funds are used to protect tropical forests under imminent threat of deforestation and to restore degraded habitats, working through World Land Trust’s overseas project partners.

The WLT has been instrumental in the purchase and protection of over 500,000 acres of tropical forest and other threatened habitats which would otherwise have been lost.

Quills are proud to support such a fantastic cause and details of all current projects as well as recent World Land Trust news can be found at www.worldlandtrust.org.

 

 


 

Quills choose renewable energy from OVO

Quills are pleased to confirm that we are now purchasing 100% renewable energy from OVO Energy as part of our ‘environmental journey’.

For every unit of renewable electricity that we buy, OVO Energy purchases one back that’s 100% renewable and comes with Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate.

Nowadays we’re all using 20% more energy than we were 40 years ago which is a concern. We’ve put together a ‘Top Tips To A Greener Business’ document which we hope you will find useful. It’s full of hints and tips to becoming a greener and more energy efficient business.

diag-green-energy