Reducing our environmental impact

Family cycling at Meeth Quarry Cycling at Meeth ┬ęGraham Wilson

Every business or organisation has an impact on the environment whether that is through the waste it produces, the energy it consumes or the fumes it emits; the net result is always bad for the environment. What counts is what can be done about it.

Even an organisation like DWT that exists purely to benefit the natural world contributes to this impact and that is why we have invested time, money and resources into redressing the balance.

Since 2014 we have operated an Environmental Management System (EMS) to help minimise the adverse environmental impacts of our day-to-day activities and to set continuous business targets to make sure that every year we improve on our performance and meet only the highest goals.

International standard

To ensure that DWT operates at the very highest level we have designed and implemented our EMS to meet the internationally recognised standard ISO14001.

Our EMS was accredited in the autumn of 2014 which makes us the first Wildlife Trust in the UK to achieve this standard and is now at the forefront of all of our business planning and strategic direction.

You can read our Environmental Policy, here.

If you would like to find out more about why we implemented an Environmental Management System, click here.

Mean green waste reducing machine (what we do)

There is a real motivation to always strive harder for improvement.

The essence of EMS is to reduce our impact on the planet. This is demonstrated in a number of ways but most significantly through what we consume and what we produce.

DWT’s Property & IT Team Leader, Stuart Hodgkiss explains the value of the EMS as “A tool to improve the working environment and running costs of the Trust. Staff can now see their environmental performance and know the targets we set. The winners are the Trust and the environment as we have reduced our running costs and at the same time cut our carbon emissions and landfill burdens all in one go”

Here are some highlights:

Waste & Recycling

Waste on the beachAll our sites recycle waste to reduce the burden on landfill. Cricklepit Mill and DBRC have become the first of our 'Zero to Landfill' offices, by using Devon County Council's Energy from Waste Facility.

We also weigh and record all of our waste to allow us to set improvement targets for the coming year.

As of 2016, only 10% of the waste we produce now goes to landfill
 

Transport

Cycling on DartmoorDevon is the fourth largest county in England and Devon Wildlife Trust has a presence in all four corners.

Cars or 4x4s are often needed to access many rural locations and we recognise this has an environmental impact.

We strive to continually replace our vehicles with the cleanest and lowest emitting models and the offices are all equipped with video conferencing technology to reduce the need for vehicle use.

In 2015 we trialled a range of electric cars and are hoping to be able to replace one petrol car with an electric vehicle powered by energy generated from our mill leat within the next 12 months. We have also increased our cycle storage facilities at Cricklepit to encourage more staff to leave their cars at home.


Renewable Energy

Cricklepit Mill and wildflower gardenWe seek to minimise the use of fossil fuels by utilising natural resources and renewable energy to serve our buildings wherever possible.

Our headquarters at Cricklepit Mill uses the old mill leat to power a hydro-turbine which provides us with electricity and allows us to export any surplus to the National Grid.

In 2015 the turbine provided up to one third of our energy needs. We also harvest water from the leat for flushing toilets which reduces the need for treated and pumped water.

The DBRC offices use Air Source heating along with the Woodah Farm office which also harvests rain water to flush the toilets. Our newest site, Seaton Jurassic, uses solar energy and natural ventilation systems for cooling.

Procurement 

Boats lined up on the beachIn 2015 we put together a set of sustainable procurement guidelines which will shape our purchasing choices for years to come. We are particularly focusing on selecting products which are not associated with any global environmental issues such as Palm Oil, Sustainable Fishing and Deforestation. In 2015 we ensured that all of our offices are using 100% FSC certified recycled paper.

Our purchasing guidelines can be found here.

Our pledges

Each year, through our EMS, we set a series of environmental pledges which shape the manner in which we run the organisation focusing on reducing our environmental impacts which we feel are the most significant. The latest objectives are found here.