We appreciate that our activities have an effect on the environment. As a consequence, we have introduced the “greener Beck Greener” project to identify, implement and monitor ways in which our environmental performance can be improved.
In November 2013, Beck Greener signed up to the Climate Commitment of the Camden Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) in which we agreed to make a positive contribution towards achieving a joint carbon emissions reduction target for the London Borough of Camden.
In June 2014, we introduced our “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle” initiative, together with a new recycling scheme. As a result, we doubled the amount of waste recycled, and halved the amount of waste sent to landfill or incinerated. This not only reduced our carbon footprint, but also enabled us to reduce our annual waste collection costs by about 16%.
In August 2015, we replaced the halogen spotlight bulbs in our building with LED bulbs which are significantly more energy efficient. We also introduced our “Switch It Off!” initiative designed to ensure that lights and all non-essential electrical equipment are turned off when not in use. These measures enabled us to reduce our energy consumption by about 3.4% in 2015 compared to the previous year, and to reduce our CO2e emissions by about 10% since 2013.
In 2016 and 2017 we continued our efforts and in 2017 we reduced our annual electricity consumption by 17% compared to the previous year, and by over 26% in comparison with the year before we started the greener Beck Greener project. This corresponds to a reduction in our CO2e emissions of over 12% (or 11.66 tonnes CO2e) over the same period and of nearly 18% (or 22.16 tonnes CO2e) since 2013.
On the recycling front, in 2017 we switched to First Mile for collection of our waste and recycling, in keeping with our new goal of “zero to landfill”. First Mile has awarded Beck Greener the Silver Recycling Standard for our efforts in 2017. This means that we have recycled at least 75% (or over 3000 kg) of our waste, saving an additional 3630 kg CO2.
As a result of our activities so far, we have been awarded the CCCA “Team Green” and “Cutting Carbon” Marks of Achievement in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
We are the only organisation to be awarded both Marks of Achievement three years running which is a huge achievement. Indeed, on 11 April 2018, the CCCA published a case study on our project (see link) to celebrate this achievement.
With offices in central London, we are keen to reduce work related travel, and therefore pollution. Most trade mark hearings are now conducted by telephone, and we encourage use of our video conferencing facilities whenever possible, particularly so far as European Patent Office hearings are concerned.
Staff are offered interest free travel loans for season tickets. We also offer loans for the purchase of bikes through Cyclescheme®, and have offered staff the opportunity to sign up to TFL’s subsidised bike programme.
As the UK opens up we are offering staff a hybrid working arrangement, with the flexibility of working from home but asking for attendance at the office for a minimum of one day a week.
We are always looking at more ways in which we can reduce the impact of pollution from essential business travel. The Covid pandemic has demonstrated that many clients are happy to meet up online rather than travel to our offices, and we will continue to hold meetings in this way whenever possible.
In addition, through our work, we help our clients to protect “green” technologies including environmentally-friendly solvents, renewable-energy technology, carbon capture technology, hydrogen fuel cells and recyclable packaging.