Purex Set up a Green Team

12 January 2010
Purex Set up a Green Team

Purex International Ltd, manufacturer of fume extraction systems for the printing, laser and electronics industries has set up a team of people to research and promote green policies within the company with the aim of reducing waste, reducing energy usage and increasing recycling rates.

Purex International Ltd, manufacturer of fume extraction systems for the printing, laser and electronics industries has set up a team of people to research and promote green policies within the company with the aim of reducing waste, reducing energy usage and increasing recycling rates.

A team of five people volunteered to meet regularly to discuss, implement and promote as many green projects within the company as possible. Leanne Kilcommons – Green Team Leader explains, “When you first start with a project like this you think you will come up with five or six things to change in the company but once you start thinking green, lots of ideas pop up out of the woodwork.”

“Some of the more obvious things to do are recycle metals, glass, cans, plastics, paper, cardboard, fax/copier and printer cartridges, but what about recycling things like stamps? These can be cut out and donated to charities which can use them to raise funds”

“We also looked at ways to reduce the amount of materials we used such as paper. We did this by doing simple things such as not printing customer orders received by email and only printing one invoice for the customer with Purex only keeping electronic copies. Now all orders are now confirmed by e-mail wherever possible to reduce printing and faxing. We also scan all paperwork to generate an electronic version for use between departments.”

It is vitally important that all employees are on board, otherwise many of the ideas from the Green Team would not work.

Some more ideas the team came up with at Purex include:
• Use cups and glasses instead of disposable polystyrene cups.
• Install water displacement devices in all toilet cisterns to save water.
• Cycle rack installed in car park to encourage employees to cycle to work.
• Recycling old computer equipment.
• Making a charitable donation rather than buy Christmas cards.
• Projectors used in meetings for document sharing rather than printing a copy each.
• Reusing paperclips rather than staples.
• Waste paper re-used prior to shredding to reduce new paper use
• Wooden pallets are recycled along with scrap metal.
• Lighting (tubes) now collected when used for recycling.
• Multiple kettles replaced by an efficient water boiler.
• Paper crumpling machine now used instead of plastic packaging.
• Water temperature reduced on hot taps and auto off taps installed to reduce energy usage.
• Recycle station added to shop floor for mixed recyclate (including plastic bottles, yoghurt cartons and glass etc.)

Getting all of the companies employees interested and involved is crucial to success as Leanne explains, “It is vitally important that all employees are on board, otherwise many of the ideas from the Green Team would not work. For example, if only three or four people in the company remember to recycle and the other fifty do not, then the overall impact of the initiative will be minor.

Purex Green Team - Andy Easy, Leanne Kilcommons, Sam Mawhood, Chris Wray, Tony Atkin

Purex Green Team - Andy Easy, Leanne Kilcommons, Sam Mawhood, Chris Wray, Tony Atkin

“Fortunately, everyone at Purex has grasped the concept with both hands and the results have been amazing. Everyone has put green messages on their emails to remind other colleagues every time they receive an email not to print it off, we have put notices on light switches and electrical equipment to ‘turn off when not in use’, and we even now ask delivery and collection vans to turn engines off when in our car park.”

The recycling theme has also spread beyond the company as members of staff who do not have local recycling collections at their homes can bring in their plastics, cans, etc. and put them in the Purex recycling skips.

Setting up a green initiative is a relatively simple process but it does require people to give some time and effort to achieve results. Not only have Purex found that they can increase recycling rates and charity donations but they have also reduced consumable costs across the company and reduced energy usage so the net result is a cost saving.

Leanne sums up her thoughts, “What surprised me was how easy lots of these changes have been to make. All of our team members have been very supportive and have come up with their own ideas such as removing personal waste baskets to make sure everyone recycles as much as possible. I would think most companies can carry out this exercise and if it results in cost savings then that is even better for the environment and the bottom line.”

For more information please visit http://www.purex.co.uk