Environmental good practice from the Island’s business community has been recognised with the latest set of Green Impact awards, a United Nations award-winning environmental programme delivered locally and backed by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce.
Island Roads, Vikoma and Nature Therapy CIC have all received gold awards as part of the programme, with silver accreditations going to IW Council, Moore South, Cowes Chiropractic Clinic and L&M Plus Consulting. PC Consultants picked up a bronze award.
A further 21 businesses took part in the programme, with more than 300 employees taking part and more than 900 actions put in place. The scheme also provided 16 local students with training and development opportunities in their role as environmental auditors, visiting participating businesses to assess their progress.
The scheme set up by the National Union of Students and now run by Students Organising for Sustainability helps businesses to identify ways it can reduce its environmental impact by taking simple actions – such as energy saving, transport, recycling and education. The more actions completed by an organisation, the more points it scores leading to a Green Impact bronze, silver or gold award.
Since its launch on the Isle of Wight, the Green Impact Programme has resulted in an estimated 7,642kg of CO2 being saved.
Gold award case study: Island Roads
Island Roads, the highways company contracted to upgrade and maintain the Island’s highways network has achieved a gold standard of environmental practice by taking positive steps to reduce its carbon footprint and make its workplace more sustainable.
Steps taken by Island Roads to date include the introduction of grey water systems to reduce water usage, use of renewable energy and green tariffs, electric vehicles and charging points, office recycling points and greener stationary choices, motion sensor lighting in its buildings. It has also worked with staff to encourage greener travel to work and actively engages employees in green initiatives via its Sustainability Forum.
As well as activities to reduce its carbon footprint, Island Roads also undertakes work to encourage biodiversity, for example installing bee tubes in retaining walls for solitary bees, artificial ‘caves’ for Ventnor’s wall lizards and it has also made changes to its weed and verge cutting regime to support the growth of wildflowers to encourage pollinators.
Stephen Ambrose, business manager at Island Roads, said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in terms of our environmental impact and are delighted that our work has been recognised with a gold award. The Green Impact scheme has really helped us to focus on areas in which we can improve and look at different was we can achieve our green ambitions.”
Photo: Stephen Ambrose, Business Manager and Nick Bhatnagar, Business Administration Assistant at Island Roads