The environment has always been at the heart of what we do and on World Earth Day we join with world climate leaders, grassroots activists, non-profit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow to push us towards a better world. We wanted to look at the work we do at a grassroots level and spoke to Edith and Andreea about the work carried out by the staff and tenants at The Foundry in Vauxhall.
Q: What simple steps do you think we can all take at work to help the environment?
Edith: When getting to work active travel is always the best option, like cycling or walking to work. Recycling is always good but reducing and reusing what we have is the way forward (for example, limit what you print). Save water by taking shorter showers and saving electricity by switching computers off completely at night. We ask our tenants to use the heating and cooling system provided as we follow the Carbon Trust recommended temperature of 19ºC for workplaces and to wear more layers to keep warm, instead of getting portable heaters, and to open windows instead of buying fans.
Q: What action in your centre have you taken to help the environment?
Andreea: Education is so important, we regularly hold workshops and are currently organising a visit to the local recycling plant with staff and tenants to find out more about the life cycle of products. We hold friendly in-house competitions, like seeing who can recycle the most in a month. We also raise awareness through posters, events and have participated in national campaigns such as On Your Feet Britain where we switched off our lifts for a week to encourage people to take the stairs while helping to save energy. We also join in with Zero Waste week every year to encourage minimal waste and Water Saving Week to raise awareness of excessive water use.
We buy only environmental, non-toxic, cruelty-free and sustainable cleaning products. For example, polyester sponges - which would otherwise be thrown away in land fill - have been replaced with reusable silicone pads.
Q: How important is outdoor space to those who use your centre?
Edith: In spring and summer these are the areas which are very important. It is where we run our gardening club, morning yoga sessions, pilates, boxing bootcamp, and summer BBQ. These areas are also used by people having informal meetings or relaxing on their lunch break. And most recently, they will be home to our brand new beehives.