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Barking & Dagenham’s Green Business Of The Year

Builders are renowned for their mess, their waste and the use of skips on projects.

Oakleafe looked at this and have revitalised our policies and practices. As part of our moral commitment to our environment and for best practice, we now pay a premium to a specialised local waste recycling company to sort and remove the various materials for recycling.

By outsourcing our waste recycling this ensures that the waste is recycled properly with consideration and using the very latest technology. We operate a multi skip policy on projects and separate the waste into categories – mixed/general waste, plastics, cardboard / paper and metals so that these are readily returned into the re manufacture of other products by our licensed contractor.

We made a commitment to change and have recently been awarded the ISO: 14001 standard as part of our ongoing target of best practice. We also reviewed our policies within our offices. All ink cartridges and paper is recycled. We operate a paperless office using software and computer technology which ensures that no paperwork is actually printed unless absolutely necessary. Our use of consumables have decreased by 34% as a result meaning less paper and ink and this can only be of benefit to the environment. This also was at considerable cost to the company but one that we were passionate about.

Light sensors have been added to the lighting circuits within the offices so that only the absolutely necessary amount of power is used during occupied times.

The products we use have also been reviewed. We now use more environmentally friendly products often at further expense.

On the subject of expense we have made a large commitment financially to undertake all that i have discussed. At first we found the initial outlay expensive both in terms of money & time. However we are now finding that this good practice is in fact allowing us to earn more business as has opened a new door to likeminded businesses and individuals who believe in the same moral standing.

95% of our staff are local – within 5 miles of our offices. This commitment helps reduce our carbon footprint, and along with our vehicle review, is another practice we are working hard to cut down.

Accomplishments include completion of the Institute of Sustainabilities Flash Programme. This provides us with the information and support needed to install low carbon retrofit systems in properties. We offer as part of our range of services surveying and assessment of buildings for Green retrofit projects.

As with all companies Oakleafe have a responsibility to be more sustainable, aiming to reduce our carbon footprint and effects on the community we live in. We have set ourselves a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2015, an enormous task but one we are passionate about.