- Operations - Being kinder to our surroundings
Berghaus Customer Service
We believe that environmental responsibility starts at home, and at our British head office we make it a daily priority to make better use of resources.
Thanks to a recent refurbishment of our Sunderland HQ, we’re reducing our energy use in a range of ways. The building’s efficient new design makes better use of natural light and ventilation, and we’ve put measures in place to keep waste and water use to a minimum too.
With whole walls of windows and skylights, our new building makes better use of natural light while motion-sensor switching and efficient bulbs will further limit our electricity consumption. All of the electricity that is used onsite is sourced from renewable energy.
We minimise travel by using video conferencing for meetings whenever possible, and our company fleet features lower-emission vehicles. We encourage our team members to walk, cycle, car-share or use public transport to come to work.
Berghaus staff this year won the Sustrans commuting challenge for the second year in a row saving half a tonne of CO2 emissions and burning the equivalent of 231 doughnuts worth of calories! Sustrans are a leading charity working to make more sustainable transport choices easier across the whole of the UK. They provide tonnes of advice and support to help you choose a healthier cleaner journey – make the change today!
According to the World Economic Forum water scarcity is one of the biggest risks to society and the environment. So alongside major initiatives such as the introduction of Colourkind – our award-winning dyeing technology – we're taking everyday steps wherever we can throughout the business. This includes installing water-saving ‘hippos’ in all our loos. The ‘hippos’ are basically empty containers which reduce the volume of water in the cistern, resulting in a water saving of around 200,000 litres a year.
Most of the water you use comes not from your kitchen and bathroom but from the manufacture of the food and consumer goods you use each day. For example the average daily water use by households in the UK is 150 litres per person but it takes 2495 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt and 15,415 litres to make a single beef steak! Small changes to the type of goods you buy and food you eat can have a massive impact on your water footprint. Use the Water Footprint Network’s water calculator to see just how much water is used to produce some of the things you use every day.
Our commitment to the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle - means zero waste from our office goes to landfill.
We promote recycling at all our sites, segregating 12 separate waste streams at our head office, recycling around 70% of our waste and sending other materials to be processed as refuse-derived fuel, which can be used to produce electricity. This means we send absolutely no site waste to landfill. We provide mains-fed water coolers for our staff, eliminating the need to buy plastic bottles, and all the paper products on site from the toilet roll to printer paper is made from recycled content.
Household recycling rates in Britain rose faster in the first decade of this century than in any other country in Europe. However, for the last few years the recycling rate has hovered around 44%, just short of the 50% European target for 2020. Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign, has plenty of tips for how we can all pull our weight at home or at the office, check them out.