Author: Nell MacDonald
Businesses have the opportunity to set themselves apart by showing true leadership in sustainability. Printing and marketing services firm, Finsbury Green, is one who has certainly taken the lead. With a robust environmental strategy that has been developed over 15 years, they have some impressive environmental achievements.
One of their most notable achievements was becoming operationally Carbon Neutral in 2006 and maintaining this certification since. Becoming carbon neutral essentially means a company is removing the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. The first step to achieving this certification is to reduce emissions from operations. Finsbury Green has done this through an approach of continually monitoring emissions and proactively avoiding activities that generate excess CO2. Any remaining, unavoidable carbon emissions produced are then offset under the Australian Government's National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS). The purchase of offset units supports projects that reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere, such as reforestation, renewable energy or energy efficiency. Finsbury Green remains one of Australia’s only independently audited carbon neutral print and marketing services groups.
Nine years ago, Finsbury Green set themselves a target to reduce dry waste sent to landfill to zero by 2015. They achieved this goal through ongoing recycling activities and staff engagement in sustainability programs. They separate a wide range of materials at their source for recycling or reuse, including aluminium, cardboard, e-waste, glass, paper, plastic, steel and timber. This is a great example of how staff can be supported and empowered to make positive environmental impacts in their daily work lives.
As a supply chain manager, Finsbury Green recognises that they can help influence their supply chain towards positive environmental choices. They actively promote sustainable practice through their Finsbury Green Star Rating system (FGSR) which works as an environmental evaluation protocol for their outsourcing network. They also provide their clients with the ability to select suppliers based on their environmental credentials. This initiative has led to suppliers who have participated in FGSR, removing 799 tonnes of CO2 from the supply chain.
Finsbury Green is also FSC chain of custody certified, supporting the growth of responsibly managed forests worldwide and promotes the use of responsible paper through the creation of their Green Paper Guide, featuring 100% Australian Recycled Planet Ark Paper.
In addition to their impressive environmental record, they also support a number of community initiatives. Most recently they have launched an association with Foodbank, a hunger relief organisation that rescues edible surplus food from farmers, manufacturers and retailers, helping those in need and tackling the ever-growing problem of food waste.
At Planet Ark we are excited to see more companies realising the benefits of environmental and social corporate responsibility and many companies like Finsbury Green are setting themselves ambitious targets. Each individual business has the power to make positive environmental impacts, instead of negative ones.For more information about the positive impacts you can make visit our website.
Nell is Special Projects Manager at Planet Ark.