To mark Zero Waste Week which is happening between 2-8 September 2019, we sat down with our office and wellbeing manager, Katina, to better understand the environmental impact of our actions, both as a business and as individuals.
1 / What are some of Magenta’s recent considerations for reducing its environmental impact?
- Plastic reduction is at the top of our list. At the start of 2019 we undertook a plastic audit in an effort to reduce our plastic output.
- We no longer stock bottled water. We joined the ‘refill’ app – so that anyone nearby can come and fill up their water bottles with us in the office (during opening hours, of course!)
- We encouraged the team to no longer accept plastic straws or plastic cutlery when out and about and armed everyone with a handy spork. Cathy, our MD, is particularly good at this as she often grabs food on the go. One week she worked out that she saved roughly 15 sets of plastic cutlery thanks to her spork.
- We make sure to buy products with no or very little single use plastic. This includes switching to sustainably friendly toilet roll and refilling existing bottles at refill stations for office supplies like hand soap.
- Following the audit, we are more mindful of what we produce and carefully consider the environmental impact with printing and recycling office waste. Small things like bottle lids and coffee cups can really stack up throughout the week, so we have placed an enormous emphasis on reducing these.
2 / Why has Magenta decided to do this now?
We simply can’t ignore that our planet is in serious trouble. As a business working with clients in the built environment, we are more educated than most on the importance of this movement. So, naturally, we feel it’s important that we practice what we preach. There are so many small, simple steps that businesses and individuals can take. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Small swaps like using refillable products and not using plastic bottles/cutlery go a long way over time.
3 / How can you keep new/innovative ways to better waste at low cost and therefore accessible to all?
Literally any change a business can make, no matter how small, will have an impact – whether it’s as simple as removing plastic straws and cutlery or buying in bulk to reduce your waste. Be realistic about what you can afford/manage to do but also continue to review. Don’t get complacent. Effective change in workplaces requires consistent time and monitoring, so react to how your staff respond. Communicate with suppliers, too. I often ask how packages are delivered and if there is a plastic free/less waste option. Even when I’m out and about I query the use of single use plastics. This is something we should all be doing.
4 / What are your top 3 tips for helping reduce your environmental impact?
- Plastic has to be number one. We need to be more mindful of single use plastic and do what we can to reduce this
- Educate your workforce. There’s no point in making changes if your employees don’t understand why you’re doing it. Here at Magenta we’re planning monthly beach cleans as a reminder that this isn’t an issue that is going away anytime soon.
- Undertake a plastic/waste audit and see what three things you can do to reduce your waste. If everyone changed three things in their workplace, this would have an incredible impact.