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Sustainability for Lyons Davidson as a business means many different things but underpinning them all is a genuine desire to act responsibly, to work to minimise our impact on the environment and to support our local communities. One of the ways we do this is through sustainable procurement.

Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement is an approach to buying products and services that takes into account the economic, environmental and social impact of what is being bought.

At Lyons Davidson, one of our objectives is ‘to create a sustainable supply chain both up and downstream.’ We aim to explore how sustainability considerations complement other key business criteria, such as cost, value for money and stakeholder preference.

Sustainable procurement means looking at the impact of a product or service on the environment over its entire lifecycle, from creation to disposal. Taking paper as an example, we would look at whether the paper is virgin pulp or a recycled product, the production process, how it is packaged, how it is delivered to us and whether we can recycle it.

ISO 14001

The new ISO 14001 standard (which we are aiming to be certified to this year) introduces some fundamental changes reflecting the global societal expectations on how we should manage our environmental impact. This includes understanding and extending environmental influence to our supply chain, e.g. evaluating the supply of goods, services and outsourced processes, and taking a life-cycle perspective.

We often only think of the supply chain as a one-way path. Nevertheless, ISO 14001 reinforces the importance of thinking about procurement as a continuous cycle that can help us to:

  • Improve business performance through national use of resources and processes;
  • Reduce raw material usage, waste generation and disposal costs;
  • Lower energy consumption;
  • Fosters optimal use of recoverable resources.

How are we doing?

Before we take on a new supplier, as a part of our sustainable procurement process, we provide our environmental credentials and they are vetted to ensure both parties’ environmental, information security, and health and safety arrangements are in alignment.

The three main departments at Lyons Davidson responsible for sourcing most of our goods and services are Facilities, IT and Central Services. Central Services only buys tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits from Fairtrade sources, thereby supporting a fair wage for workers. The milk in tea-rooms is from local suppliers, to keep carbon emissions low and support the local community and monthly fruit baskets given to all our offices are sourced from suppliers with green credentials.

Central Services is also responsible for buying office consumables. The supplier we use is an ISO 14001-certified business. They’ve considered the lifecycle of their products and take reasonable steps to reduce their impacts through initiatives, like minimising packaging and using low-emission vehicles for deliveries, as well as ‘eco driving’.

Energy saving

The Facilities department is responsible for replacing plant or systems with better, energy saving versions. Examples include:

  • Replacing old lights with LED versions;
  • Renewing a boiler house to include a regulating burner to use gas-on-demand;
  • Installing timers to automatically cut power when equipment or systems are not in use.

Where possible, we try to save equipment and assets and reuse them elsewhere in the business. We have also started building a relationship with a new contractor who provides a 0% to landfill service for dealing with surplus items from our Bristol sites. So far, this has included:

  • 140 six-foot cabinets;
  • 50 desks and pedestals;
  • 30 chairs;
  • Other miscellaneous items that can be recycled or broken down for energy reclamation.

Health and safety

The Health and Safety team play a positive role in our Environmental Management programme <<>>. We follow the strategic aims of the business and input into the development of environmental policies and procedures, as well as the ongoing programme of internal inspection and auditing. On top of this, we play a direct role in three key areas: hazardous substances, contractor management and sustainable workstation ergonomics.

Bleach ban

The company uses over 160 hazardous products on a daily basis, from toner cartridges to brass polish, and dishwasher tablets to biochemicals used to treat cooling water. Every single one of these has an impact on the environment. From purchase, storage and use through to final disposal (and disposal of packaging waste), we have to consider if there is a safer, more environmentally friendly option. If we do use a product we consider how it is used and what impact that causes on a wider scale. For example, bleach is harmful to humans and animals from a safety aspect but also pollutes water courses and is industrially intensive to make. We have chosen to ban the use of bleach for cleaning purposes for these reasons.

Green IT at LD

We use modern energy saving operating system Windows 7 and Windows 10, which incorporate power-management features, allowing monitors and computers to power down after a set period of inactivity.  The IT department is committed to saving energy by purchasing energy efficient hardware that meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star guidelines for power consumption.

Traditional CRT monitors have been replaced throughout the business with more energy efficient LCD monitors. Screensaver use has been disabled, as it uses unnecessary display and PC processing power. Computer displays switch off automatically after a given period and we encourage staff to turn off all equipment at the end of the working day. We also encourage staff to use an electronic workflow as much as possible by creating, editing, viewing and producing documents in a digital rather than paper form, e.g. emailing rather than faxing.

Wherever possible, the IT department will assess IT hardware and repair, clean and re-use. Mobile phones, laptops and other equipment are regularly reused so that maximum usage is obtained throughout the product lifecycle. IT equipment that has reached the end of life is recycled through a WEEE-accredited company.

A scheme is in place at each LD office to recycle used toner cartridges and consumable parts in line with WEEE guidance and government legislation. The recycling service we use allows used toner cartridges to either be recycled if possible or disposed of responsibly.

For more information on sustainability any of the issues raised in this article, contact our Environmental Management Systems Co-ordinator  or calling 0117 394 5060.