Wed, 07 Sep 2022

In line with our company’s purpose to promote responsible and sustainable consumption, to support our customers and partners, we’ve been looking at the big picture. For us, that means not only looking at ways we can implement sustainable business practices, but also looking beyond that at ways we can make a real difference to our local community and the wider world.  

This month, we’re proud to launch our new Environmental Committee! To celebrate we sat down with committee chair Ross Kilburn, co-chair Christopher Simpson and Cliff Docker to find out how the launch will unfold.

Our commitment to improvement

Our mantra for sustainable consumption isn’t new; we report to the BNP Paribas Group each year to show the advancements we’ve made, such as reduction in energy consumption and travel emissions, in addition to furthering the climate change agenda within the business. Cliff Docker, our Business Services Manager, has taken a central role in advancing environmental initiatives. Over the last few years, he has worked with the wider team to create significant changes by launching initiatives such as:

  • 0% disposable plastic initiative — we disposed of plastic cups from machines. Instead, every team member was given water bottles and ceramic mugs which would save 26,000 disposable cups used each year. 
  • Lighting — we replaced fluorescent lighting with LED panels to increase energy efficiency.
  • Computers — we replaced PCs with laptops which are 80% more energy efficient.
  • EV charging points – we installed eight charging stations for colleagues to charge their vehicles, free of charge

How the committee came to be

Speaking to co-chair Ross Kilburn, he comments: “The purpose of the committee is simple: it’s here to drive better environmental outcomes through spreading awareness and educating others about how to act responsibly as a business, as an employee, and as an individual.”

Commenting on the launch of the committee, Cliff states: “Year on year, we’ve been met with environmental targets from the BNP Paribas Group and have surpassed them. Without a dedicated team, it’s been difficult to share our accomplishments with the wider company. With the start of the committee, it feels like the right time to make some noise.”

He adds: “To kick things off, we have formed an initial committee of people who we see as ‘green warriors’, those already involved in environmental activism in their personal lives. We’ve picked people from across all departments and seniority within the company, from seasoned professionals to new recruits. The committee is rapidly growing with plenty of opportunities for people to get involved.”

As well as creating a team where members can monitor environmental business initiatives, the committee will be a great space to build upon our colleagues’ existing passions and give them a platform to spread awareness of their insights or concerns.  

Commenting on the committee’s passion, Chris says: “The committee will propel us to depths we haven’t ventured to before. As it will be led by our own personal interests, this inevitably will expand topics of discussion so it won’t be as business centric. We would like this committee to educate and inspire others by speaking about things that mean a lot to them personally, as well as professionally.”

An example of this in action is that committee member Lorraine Brookes, Head of IT Governance, has a passion for marine life and conservation, so has arranged for a favoured company of hers, Sea Trust, to speak at our offices and spread awareness for their cause.

The Committee’s official launch

Lorraine’s Sea Trust talk coupled with a presentation from Buglife — the charity of the year for our sister company, Arval — will mark the official launch of committee activity.   

At these events, we will be encouraging others to join the community of environmental ambassadors across our Solihull and Belfast offices. The aim is to have committee ambassadors within all departments of the business who can spot things we can improve on internally and spread awareness in the wider community.

Chris states: “The best thing about the committee is that ambassadors will be able to create awareness of what the company is already doing and create spaces for environmental conversations. We’ve already seen that people are ready and willing to get involved. There has been a very positive response, especially amongst those of a younger generation. There are many team members with environmental passions that the committee can help give a platform to.”

Hopes and dreams for our ‘One Planet, One Family’.

When asked what his ambitions are for the committee, Ross states: “My hope is that this committee can serve as a place where people can build a community, gather the engagement of colleagues and the larger business, and act as a vehicle for change. Making a positive difference has always motivated me so I am very excited to get started.”

The committee’s mission statement is ‘One Planet One Family’. Commenting on what this means to him, Cliff states: “It means that it impacts us all. Environmental change is not something any one of us can solve by ourselves.”

He adds: “We’re encouraging everyone to get involved with the committee whether directly or through increasing their awareness. This planet is our home and every single person can make a difference. Something has got to change to help our planet thrive and create a better world for our children and grandchildren. When people are aware of how we can reduce environmental impact and group together to make small changes, the accumulative impact can be huge.”

If you are interested in hearing more about small changes that can lead to big impacts, read Cliff’s top five eco tips here. Or to explore our continued commitment to positive environmental impact in our business, through our products and services and in society, click here.