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How we achieved our Silver ‘Keep Guernsey Green’ award

22 March 2019

Our commitment to upholding high environmental standards is something that comes naturally to us at the Channel Islands Co-op.  This is why we were keen to maintain our revalidation as part of the States of Guernsey’s ‘Keep Guernsey Green Awards’.

The awards are all about demonstrating best practice in energy conservation and waste management.

We were the first large business in Guernsey to achieve this award in 2015. Since then, this three-yearly award has continued to develop and there are now bronze, silver and gold award bands.

The main piece of work for our revalidation was to demonstrate that we had continued with our pledge set in 2015, and to show the addition of new green initiatives.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the work that has helped us to retain this prestigious award in 2018:

Our continuing commitment to managing waste

Waste and recycling

Through our partnership with Island Waste we have a record of all waste collections from stores including type of waste, size of bin and frequency of collections. Island Waste are proud to report that just 1% goes to landfill and the rest is recycled.

We’ve implemented a battery recycling program from our stores with Waste.gg, and printer cartridges are recycled through PBS and Alderney Shipping – Wastenot.

Find out more about our commitment to the environment (link to ‘local responsibility’ page)

Food waste

Since 2015 we have introduced a food waste collection service with Island Waste from all our stores, to prevent food waste going to landfill.

We have also set up a Food Waste partnership with various organisations who collect from our stores and use food waste in the community:

Plastics

Since receiving our award in 2015 we have set up a plastic working group which meets every 2 months to monitor use of plastic and packaging in our stores and offices. The following are just some of the actions we have taken to date:

  • We’ve removed single-use plastic bags from our stores.
  • We’re phasing out single-use produce bags to be replaced with biodegradable bags.
  • We’ve held a continuous dialogue with local suppliers to ensure packaging is recyclable.
  • We’ve reduced the use of plastic water bottles in meeting and training rooms, through the installation of water filters in St Martins Grand Marché colleague room and Longstore’s meeting room.

Our commitment to monitoring energy consumption

Electricity

Our environmental standards within stores have helped us to make significant improvements on our energy benchmarks set by Jersey Energy. We’ve done this through the use of items such as LED lighting and enclosed refrigeration.

Monitoring fluctuations in energy use has also enabled us to highlight issues that can then be rectified. (e.g. issues with electric meters).

We were able to demonstrate this with a graph of our energy consumption, showing continued improvement in energy use over the three years.

Travel Carbon footprint

Each store in Guernsey held a travel audit to monitor colleagues’ journeys to work.

We provide bike racks at each location and there is a strict ‘no parking’ policy for colleagues to encourage healthy travel where possible, and where shift patterns allow.

Inter-island and off-island travel are monitored and our business carbon footprint is offset through a tree planting programme with Guernsey Trees for Life.

 

Effective communication of our environmental policies

We’ve been able to demonstrate our commitment and continued support of protecting a preserving our islands though a number of initiatives. Over the last few years, we have communicated our environmental policies and developments in a number of ways:

  • Press releases and blog posts about our activities.
  • Visits to business partners and local suppliers.
  • Managers visiting Island Waste to better understand the recycling process.
  • Communication with our members to highlight work done by our plastic working group. For example, providing signage in all stores to remind customers that we have phased out single-use carrier bags.