At Allia we’ve always championed and supported a large range of businesses and entrepreneurs working towards environmental change. With growing, unignorable evidence of the climate crisis however, we know we need to not only amplify the crucial work of others but also take our own meaningful steps to becoming a more sustainable organisation ourselves. Which is why we are now working towards the ‘Investors in the Environment’ Green level accreditation. We were delighted to be accredited before in our Peterborough centre, for our commitment to minimising our environmental impact and widening our sustainable approach.
That’s where Kate comes in, our brilliant facilities manager. Appointed as Allia’s ‘Green Champion’, she’s currently undertaking the not so mean feat of documenting the actions we’re taking as an organisation, in order to be awarded the highest level of this credential. We sat down with Kate to understand exactly what goes into being a member of the IIE.
Who is the IIE?
The IIE is a national environmental accreditation scheme with a mission to make a positive change to the planet, by helping organisations reduce their environmental impact. It helps businesses to first understand and measure the resources they use, and then lay out a plan of action to combat this. What this means for Kate is a year-long process of documenting all our energy use and other finite resources, with the aim to be able to review and compare in a year from now, and evidence a 2% reduction across all categories. It doesn’t stop there; after that we will work to reduce our output year on year by another 2% each time, with the ultimate goal of becoming net zero.
The process begins with understanding our usages and measuring a whole host of different data points for the organisation. Kate is measuring electricity, travel, water, waste and recycling efforts. While this can be as simple as checking our energy meter readings in some cases, it also goes as far as weighing our bin bags before they are taken away! On top of this, with the help of the IIE, we are also calculating our carbon footprint more accurately.
Actions we’re taking
Now we have a picture of the energy and resources we use as a company, the next step for the team at Allia is taking action. We have created our environmental policy and clear steps to reach our annual 2% reduction targets.
First is the formation of our Green Team. While Green Champion Kate is working diligently, we know that long lasting change comes from actions being taken by everyone. So we’re surveying staff and tenants to find out what climate issues are most important to them, how they would like to see Allia address them and if they would like to be a part of that change. We hope that the opportunity to join our Green Team and have a say in our journey towards accreditation from the very beginning will get tenants and staff involved and inspired.
Next up, we are creating an action plan for each of the resources that are being measured. With a waste management plan, greater access to recycling and a staff travel plan being put in place, we’ll have a clearer view of managing our energy consumption both for a company and individual staff member level.
Looking to the future
The final step in our journey towards IIE accreditation is communication and engagement. While making these changes at Allia is crucial and something we’re proud to be doing, we also know the importance of not stopping there and raising awareness of climate issues and what can be done with other businesses and individuals. Watch this space for more blogs on our progress and sign up to our newsletter for updates straight to your inbox. We’re excited to share with you as we get closer to our IIE goals!
Are you a business owner looking to improve your company’s environmental impact? Learn more and join the process alongside Allia to get your company IIE accredited.