Ellab Monitoring Solutions (formerly Hanwell), the UK’s leading manufacturer of wireless environmental monitoring equipment, has declared its operation in Letchworth to be single-use plastic free, bringing the company an international environmental standard and helping a local community sustainability initiative.
Implementing wholesale changes has turned the Hertfordshire-based business eco-friendly, a result which has achieved the prestigious BSI ISO 14001 accreditation. Ellab is also meeting the objectives of Plastic Free Letchworth, which required businesses in the area to remove at least three single-use plastic items and replace them with sustainable alternatives.
What kick-started a crusade to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint was the humble milk bottle. In fact, the firm realised that its works canteen was getting through around 700 four-pint plastic milk bottles a year, prompting a rethink to make its employees’ refreshing cuppas less harmful to the environment.
Contacting the local milkman provided a greener solution. Ellab’s tea and coffee is now supplemented with milk from reusable glass bottles, which are delivered daily. The empties are then collected every morning and reused which is better for the planet.
The multi award-winning company, which prides itself on supplying clients with high quality monitoring equipment to protect and preserve critical environmental conditions, has also eliminated plastic from its packaging, replacing it with recyclable and recycled paper, tape and cardboard boxes, down to toilet rolls and towels which are supplied without any plastic outer wrapping.
Operations Manager Paul Taylor explained: “Our journey did start with a milk bottle and it just snowballed from there. We now use recyclable products and reuse or recycle everything we possibly can. It’s all about the company’s sustainability. We’re also localising a lot of suppliers to reduce transport costs – and that’s got a carbon footprint to it.”
In addition, Ellab says that spending a year recycling its paper waste and leftover food, which gets sent to local wormeries where it is turned into compost, has saved around half a tonne of waste from going to landfill.
The company is also investing in energy efficient technology on the production line to deliver more environmentally-friendly products, while printed instruction manuals for its new transmitters have been replaced with QR codes on the equipment to access for digital help. It is also urging clients not to dispose of its old plastic kit, instead contact Ellab to arrange collection for recycling.
Summing up, Paul added: “It started with a milk bottle but turned into something much bigger. Achieving this environmental standard (ISO 14001) was a massive commitment but well worth it. We’re also thrilled to be contributing to Letchworth’s plastic free initiative, continuing to measure and improve our environmental impact in support of local sustainability.”
For more information visit www.hanwell.com
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