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How are we making First Fence more sustainable?

27 June 2022Appears in Company News
How are we making First Fence more sustainable?
Sustainability should be one of the main focuses of any business nowadays. We believe that setting a good example will positively affect our employees, the community and our clients.

Lowering carbon emissions, as a business, has never been as important as now. With the global warming crisis lingering over our heads – we wanted to do our bit and join the fight!

Sustainability at First Fence

We’re committed to making a positive impact on the public, the environment, and the planet. Even though sustainability has always been a factor in our decision-making (we’re ISO 14001 accredited), now, as a quickly growing business, – we want to officially embed sustainability as part of our core corporate identity and business strategy.

How are we going to achieve this? We’ve set out a sustainability plan which outlines our strategy for becoming a more sustainable business. Working towards the UK’s plan to become carbon net-zero by 2050.

Vinny Kotecha, Director at First Fence, added: “This sustainability plan sits within a wider national and global context, and we are setting ourselves a number of ambitious objectives to help tackle these wider sustainability issues.”

Currently, our top priorities are:

  • Our Carbon Footprint – we’re committed to a 5% year-on-year reduction of carbon emissions until we eventually reach carbon neutrality. And obtaining more renewable energy sources.
  • Our Community – ensure a local supply chain and promote & sponsor carbon-reducing activities. While continuing to partner with organisations & charities working towards a sustainable future.
  • Our Energy – eliminate waste from our business. Recycling and reducing office waste, as well as lowering energy requirements for our manufacturing process.
  • Our Fleet – reduce fuel consumption & emissions by continuing to modernise, optimise, and electrify our fleet.
  • Our People – inspire our people to take charge of their environmental impact. Introducing recycling, cycle-to-work initiatives and keeping an open dialogue for any future improvements.
  • Our Products – ensure that our product range is sourced, manufactured, and delivered with minimised impact on the environment.

Note: Feel free to download our Sustainability Plan (PDF) for more details.

Our Sustainability Week

In addition to our sustainability plan, we’re launching a company-wide sustainability week on the 27th of June 2022. Continue reading to find out what are our plans for the week and how will that make a difference long term!

Building a Sustainable Fleet

We’ve always tried to keep sustainability in mind while figuring out logistics with our fleet of over 40 vehicles on the road and over 100 deliveries made daily. By having five depots across the UK – we can make sure that each depot only covers a specific area. To limit the mileage covered by our vehicles.

Not only that, but we use a route planning software which helps us organise the most efficient delivery routes to cut down on our emissions even further. As well as, looking to upgrade our fleet to be more efficient and climate friendly.

This is what we’ve been doing so far, but what’re our next steps?

Firstly, we want to continue transforming our fleet to be as efficient as possible. For that, we’re looking to start introducing electric vehicles and continue building more depots across the country.

With electric vehicles and more depots, to cut down distances even further – we hope to make our transport services as environmentally friendly as possible. In addition to, upgrading our depots by installing solar panels, electric vehicle charging points, and eco-friendlier waste handling options.

Fund Raising for The Wildlife Trust

Throughout the week, we will be working towards raising funds for The Wildlife Trust. All our employees will be dressing ‘green’ (sustainable, recycled, or second-handed clothing) or green/animal print for the day. Taking part in sweepstakes and collecting donations all around the office.

In addition to that, we’re banning the use of printers in the office. It might sound a bit extreme, but according to Kyocera, the average office worker uses up to 45 pieces of paper per day (with 2/3 of that being considered a waste).

So, on Tuesday, our IT team is turning off all the printers across our depots – employees won’t have access to print documents and will need to find sustainable alternatives.

In an odd case, where someone attempts to print a document, they’ll have to make a donation to go towards The Wildlife Trust by the end of the week.

Reducing our Office Waste

Besides the printer ban, we’re also hosting an internal awareness-building task across our depots. We’ll be asking our team members to find 10 items around their workplace that they would consider wasteful and rank them in order.

We hope this will make people more conscious about using things around them as well as provide us with some actionable changes. Additionally, we will be looking to install more recycling bins in all of our locations and make them as easy to use as possible.

Moreover, we’re hosting a ‘Power off Day’. During it, we’ll make sure that each team member turns off the lights when they’re leaving a room, doesn’t leave their electronics charging when unnecessary, and turn off their computers at the end of the workday.

Cycle to Work Scheme

First Fence has officially launched a cycle-to-work scheme, which is an employee benefit that saves 26%-40% on a bike and accessories. The programme requires nothing to be paid upfront – the payments are taken tax efficiently from the salary by the employer. We hope this encourages more of our employees to use bikes and help the environment.

Sustainability Quiz with a National Trust Membership

We’ll also be hosting a sustainability quiz for our customer base. To mark the Great Outdoors month – quizzes will be sent out directly to email inboxes. Winners will be entered into a draw at the end of the week. With a chance to win a National Trust membership, just in time for the school holidays!

The quiz aims to educate our customer base and hopefully get them to think about their daily habits and how can they live more sustainable lives.

Eco-friendly Fencing - Envirorail

Continuing the topic of sustainability, we would like to talk about our Envirorail railing systems & gates. Which we believe is the next big step in railing manufacturing.

They’re produced using a revolutionary weld-free system. Which is much more economically friendly – significantly reduced carbon dioxide footprint (up to 98% lower), compared to railings made using standard welding techniques.

The manufacturing process includes a bespoke laser cutting method and pre-formed parts which are then pushed together. The steel itself is used to produce a link between parts, rather than welding.

Envirorail can be suited for a variety of uses, like enclosing parks or children’s playgrounds.

Final Thoughts

Sustainability should be one of the main focuses of any business nowadays. We strongly believe that setting a good example will not only positively affect our employees & the community but also our clients and their businesses.

By publicly committing to our sustainability plan – we want to be accountable for our actions. And the launch of our sustainability week is just the beginning!