We take our environmental responsibilities seriously. We set our own in-house environmental targets each year & strive to achieve them. It’s just what we do; not because we have to, but because we should do.
Our environmental responsibility targets are monitored & reviewed regularly. If there is something else that we can add, we will, and you’ll be able to read about it here.
Table of contents
We’re immensely proud to be working in partnership with JUST ONE Tree. Our partnership means that every time you book on a course, we donate a portion of your course fee to JUST ONE Tree.
JUST ONE Tree is a non-profit initiative who work to reverse biodiversity loss through global reforestation, helping to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. JUST ONE Tree plant trees on land and kelp forests in the oceans, restoring the entire ecosystem.
Trees are planted in areas severely affected by deforestation to maximise the effect on reducing global warming. In the process, they help to provide agricultural education and sustainable incomes to local communities.
They also focus on helping to shape the next generation of planet-conscious thinkers, by bringing environmental education into the classrooms with lesson plans and JUST ONE Tree Day (15th October).
- Trees planted: 1005.
- CO2 removed from the atmosphere each year: approximately 12.38 tonnes.
- CO2 over the next 25 years: approximately 309.54 tonnes.
This year we’re continuing to reduce the amount of fresh, bleached white A4 paper that we use to an absolute minimum.
This is being achieved by re-using as much used paper as we can. Exam question papers will be reused where possible. Single use paper, such as that used for exam answer sheets, will be printed on lower grade paper that has received less chemical treatment. All paper will be from recycled paper stocks and sourced responsibly.
Prior to recycling, anything with confidential or identifiable information, is cross-cut shredded. Paper that doesn’t contain confidential or identifiable information won’t be shredded before recycling. This in turn will will help to minimise our electrical consumption.
We continue to investigate ways in which we can move our paper forms online. The slight increase in electricity consumption in using electronic forms will far outweigh the amount of electricity used in the production of the paper.
Our course certificates are now issued in pdf format by default. This has had a significant impact on the amount of paper that both the Awarding Organisation (Ofqual accredited courses) & we use, not forgetting the resources used in printing.
This change has been driven in part by environmental responsibility and the expectations of our customers, and most clients & HR departments expect to receive their certificate quickly and in electronic format.
During 2020 we will be upgrading to a battery powered/low power consumption LED projector. As these weigh less & consume less electricity, it will mean reduced emissions from fossil fuels used to power & transport (vehicle) the projector.
Our existing projector (a 2017 model) will be retained for classroom based courses at our training centre. This will negate the disposal of the unit.
Our offices only use LED light bulbs. Our laptop computers have long battery run times meaning that some course presentations can be run “off-grid”.
We use a lot of AA and AAA batteries on our courses as they power our training defibrillators & remote controls. During 2020 we have invested in rechargeable batteries & now have enough to power all of our training equipment. Any remaining traditional batteries will be used until depleted, then recycled.
We travel extensively throughout the UK delivering our courses. While this isn’t exactly environmentally friendly, the concept of the trainer going to the group of students, rather than the other way around, does minimise the road miles per course.
The vehicle that we use returns an average of 65-70mpg on motorways & 45mpg around town. It’s also a few years old, meaning that we’re helping by not contributing to additional vehicles on the road, or the use of energy in the production of a new vehicle.
We’ve also invested in video technology, meaning that we can run elements of courses online. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant a significant reduction in miles travelled this year. Ultimately this means that we’ve produced significantly less vehicle emissions compared to 2019.
Plastics & Packaging
All our first aid CPR manikins use single-use recyclable plastic lungs. The manufacturers guidance on how to minimise cross-contamination between candidates requires replacing each set of lungs between each course. This has now been increased given the Covid-19 pandemic, to one set of lungs per candidate. These are broken down into hard and soft plastics & recycled using municipal recycling schemes.
We’re always looking for more environmentally friendly options, including the possibility of disassembly of the lungs & sterile cleaning of the parts. Not easy, but potentially viable.
CPR manikin faces are also wiped using a small plastic wipes. You can read how we’re managing the use of these below.
All other plastics & packaging is segregated, cleaned where necessary & recycled using commercial & municipal recycling schemes.
Anti-bacterial & anti-viral cleaning
Our first aid CPR manikins faces are wiped down between each student using them. Traditionally they’ve been wiped down using single-use antibacterial/anti-viral wipes. While we remind & encourage candidates to only use “one wipe per wipe”, occasionally candidates can be rather enthusiastic when pulling them from the containers.
These wipes are fluid saturated plastic wipes, much like “wet wipes”. We’re constantly looking at ways in which these can be recycled or re-used. As soon as we find a wipe that has the same antibacterial & anti-viral properties as our current brand & that can also be recycled, we will be sure to swap to them. Unfortunately even the “Fine to Flush” wipes don’t have the same cleaning properties as our current wipes.
Since the end of Lockdown 1.0, we have been using a 70% v/v solution of isopropyl alcohol to wipe down our manikins and other training materials between candidates. This has worked well & we will continue to use this moving forwards.
Our use of chemical cleaners & hand sanitiser has dramatically increased since the outbreak of Covid-19. We now clean all reusable training equipment, training room surfaces and touchpoints with isopropyl alcohol 70% v/v. This is one of the most effective sanitising agents available.
We’ve also received significant help recently from Diverse Select, who gifted us a case of alcohol-free hand sanitiser for us to use on our courses.
Diverse Select boasts over 50 years’ combined experience in the health care and medical solutions industry. They offer fully certified and approved sanitisers and their unique sterile air systems to health and medical professionals and providers, looking for an inclusive range of healthcare solutions. Please contact them to see how they can help your business.
Generally, we produce very little in the way of waste chemicals, other than the diluted sterilisation solution used to clean the first aid manikins. This is a food safe sterilisation chemical (typically Milton, or similar) created in small batches as & when required. It’s then disposed of in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
First Aid training materials
We’re pleased to announce that we have managed to find an alternative to single use medical/food grade gloves. These are equally type approved, but are compostable, so make a significant contribution to reducing the waste that we generate as a business. As soon as our current supply of gloves are use, we’ll only be using the compostable variety.
Our first aid training materials are sourced from out of date stock where possible, but we do have to buy in new stock occasionally. Traditionally we’ve re-used our bandages a few times before they become to “tatty” to reuse and we have to replace them.
Sadly reuse of single use bandages has had to cease during the Covid-19 pandemic, so that we can minimise the possibility of transmitting the virus between candidates and courses. We now supply each candidate with a bandage for their use on the course, which is disposed of at the end of the course. Candidates are always encouraged to take bandages with them to practice with later at home. The plastic wrappers that the bandages come in, along with the paper sleeve, continue to be recycled.
We are always glad to receive donations from clients of their out of date resources which can no longer be used in workplace first aid kits. If you have some that we can make use of, please email us so that we can liaise over their collection/delivery.
Crepe bandages are washed between courses to ensure their safety between uses.
Calico triangular bandages
Calico triangular bandages are washed between courses to ensure their safety between uses.
Target Missed – Covid safety mitigation measures
During our fire marshal courses that include the use of fire extinguishers, we only use water filled & Carbon Dioxide filled extinguishers. All our extinguishers are sourced second-hand & many of them have been refilled prior to acquisition.
Our water filled fire extinguishers are easy to refill, either by ourselves or our suppliers.
CO2 fire extinguishers are more difficult to refill due to the lack of companies who can undertake this work. We now donate all our used CO2 fire extinguishers to a local man who repurposes them into sculptures and other pieces of artwork.
We produce very little food waste as part of our courses. Naturally there is some waste created by students own lunches which is disposed of in waste bins.
During our two day outdoor food safety courses, which include elements of game meat preparation & cookery, there is a greater amount of waste created. This is segregated & disposed of appropriately.
Raw & cooked vegetables are composted. Raw meats & carcasses are typically disposed of in accordance with local Environmental Health Officer requirements. On occasion these are, at the request of the land owners, returned to nature.
If there is anything that doesn’t fall into the categories listed above, they’ll;
- Be reused where possible & recycled where not.
- Be disposed of in accordance with manufacturers guidelines, when all other options have been exhausted.
If you have any suggestions of where we could improve our environmental mitigation measures further, or you’d like to discuss your training, please email me now.