Sustainability and the environment is a hot topic, rightly so, and one that needs our full attention so we can continue to thrive on this planet. Creating circulatory systems, and removing our reliance on fossil fuels and raw materials are some ways we can decrease the enormous amounts of waste produced globally. To develop better solutions and advance the agenda, more people need to engage in eco-friendly practices. So where does Lavoro sit, and stand, on sustainability?
Well, ‘Successful companies don’t sit still’ and we are committed to standing up for the environment and continually advancing the sustainability of our products, processes and workplace. Identifying 5 key areas for sustainable improvements, we set about to challenge the status quo on Lavoro products, packaging, operations, transport and waste, which you can read more about here.
But first, tuck into 3 ways you can make changes in your workplace. Number one, look at your office supplies. We’ve outlined a plethora of swaps under one umbrella; some by simply clicking a few buttons at the end of this 3 minute read!
1. Office supplies – from coffee pods to toilet roll to lightbulbs
The UK generated around 222 Billion tonnes of waste in 2018. 222 Billion! Does your workplace provide the good stuff like coffee, tea, drinks, cutlery, crockery, toilet roll, printer paper, ink, pens, and notebooks? Talk to your team and involve them in auditing office goods; we did and personal ideas became professional ones.
- If you’re starting the day with a coffee, start the day right with compostable coffee pods like RAVE or GRIND. Did you know most tea bags have plastic in them? Spoiler alert – TeaPigs don’t.
- Do your cleaning products come in single use bottles, chock full of harmful chemicals to both human and marine life? Try refillables like Ocean Saver or We are Spruce.
- Toilet roll – it’s a necessity. Buy better with tree + plastic free, delivered to your door, like Bumboo, Who Gives A Crap or Naked Sprout.
- What sounds better: a fridge full of plastic bottles, or a water cooler where your team can take a desk break and fill their reusable?
- Is the printer piled up with virgin pulp paper and toxic inks? There’s plenty of recycled and vegetable ink options for all stationary, pens, books, sticky notes.
- LED’s and energy savers, or old school bulbs? Save your wallet and the environment by using the first two options.
2. Recycle, remanufacture, repurpose – Packaging and products
An enormous 5B tonnes of plastic packaging is generated in the UK annually. WRAP estimates only 1.2 million tonnes was recycled in 2020. Together we can all look at ways to remanufacture, repurpose, recycle, build for longevity, and curb our reliance on raw materials. Humans tend to have an insatiable throw away culture – the mindset needs to adapt to building better, for longer. There are interesting panel discussion excerpts around these topics by Flokk and other industry professionals at the Stockholm Design Week, which you might enjoy reading.
Our product aim is to be net zero by 2030. So how are we getting there?
- Premium quality desks designed and tested to last 40 years.
- Reclaimed scaffold board and FSC certified wood desktops.
- Made and manufactured in the UK and Sweden rather than cheap imported air freighted goods.
- 99.9% plastic-free FSC approved packaging (and we’re working hard on the remaining 0.1%)
- 30% recycled steel for our desk frames and the rest is locally produced in Sweden.
- Continual product development on how to recycle and repurpose materials.
3. Business travel – Planes, trains and automobiles
Travel is a huge part of business, whether that’s commuting to and from work, company events, or transporting products. Either way, they all contribute to the environmental problem we face. Our mindsets are headed in the right direction but we must look at our frequency and methods of transport and most importantly, how we are transporting goods to customers.
- Road, air, rail – the above article is a good indicator of the most polluting forms of transport.
- Do you have fleet cars? Electric vehicle tech has a long way to go but it’s a good start in reducing pollution. Anyone at Lavoro commuting more than 5 miles has an EV. In fact, 90% of all our company cars are electric or hybrid.
- Over 30% of our team are enrolled in cycle to work schemes or they walk to work.
- Is flexible working a fit for your business? A reduction in commuting can cut travel costs and emissions.
- Travel Perk might be worth looking into for sustainable business travel solutions.
Lavoro is striving for best practice and aims to be transparent, understanding that we are early in our sustainability journey and have a way to go. As a collective, we need to act fast, but it starts with individual responsibility. That’s why we’re working hard behind the scenes to improve our products, the way we conduct business, and lead our personal lives. Even if you only adopt one of these ideas to make your workplace more sustainable, it will have a positive impact on the planet.