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
- Plastics & Packaging:
- First Aid training materials:
- Fire Extinguishers:
- Food Waste
- Everything else!
- Related pages:
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, will be 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.
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 55-60mpg on motorways & 40mpg 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.
Our first aid CPR manikins faces are wiped down between each student using them, 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.
We are constantly looking for 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 additional cleaning chemicals on our courses. You can read about how we’re managing their use below.
First Aid training materials:
Our first aid training materials are sourced from out of date stock where possible, but we do have to buy in new stock occasionally.
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 and calico triangular bandages are washed between courses, while single use bandages were used a minimum of times before being disposed. Sadly this reuse has had to cease during the Covid-19 pandemic, so that we can minimise the possibility of transmitting the virus between candidates and courses. The plastic wrappers that the bandages come in, along with the paper sleeve, are recycled.
Target Missed due to 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. When more financially viable to replace used extinguishers, rather than refill them, we will ensure that the empty extinguishers are disposed of through appropriate recycling channels.
Sadly our use of chemical cleaners & hand sanitiser has dramatically increased since the outbreak of Covid-19, although this is just part of what all businesses are having to do. 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 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.
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.
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.