Becoming a sustainable company has been a gradual and persistent process for Actikem Ltd.
‘We all know the benefits of sustainability, but can often be put off with the financial and time demands in adopting sustainable practices. Also knowing where to start, and taking that first small step can be tough. Keeping it small and simple is often the best way forward’ Andrew Mooney, MD
When Actikem Ltd re-located their business from Stoke-on-Trent to new premises in Warrington in 2014, it provided them with the perfect opportunity to introduce sustainable practices.
'We fitted a time-lag switch in our staff kitchen, as the light was often left on. This small change has already saved us considerably on our lighting costs. To make further savings, this year we had thermostats fitted to our radiators, and insulation fitted on the second floor. The additional costs and minor disruption were a small price to pay for the long-term gains' Trevor Gleave, Operations Director.
Other sustainable practices at Actikem Ltd that have been taking place for years, have now become embedded in their culture.
Practical steps include:
- Re-using cardboard boxes as a means of sending samples to our customers
- Recycling Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), a great way to keep costs down
- Recycling ink and toner cartridges from printers in the office
In order to embrace sustainability, it is imperative to engage employees. Having recently completed the Cheshire & Warrington Business Growth Programme at the Centre for Enterprise, Actikem have benefited from the various coaching sessions.
Last year we invested in Lean Six Sigma training for all of our employees, which is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste. Lean Six Sigma improves competitive advantage by enabling Actikem Ltd to do more with less – sell, manufacture and provide more products and services using fewer resources. We care about our employees, customers and communities and it really is quite surprising just how simple it can be to become a more sustainable business, by taking that initial small step... Andrew Mooney, MD
This year we took the first steps in becoming a paperless office. We employed three young graduates who were dismayed by the amount of paper we were using. We now only print a fraction of the documents we used to produce. Despite there being some initial reluctance by some office staff, everyone is now on board with the paperless system, and wonder how they ever coped before!’
This article has also been published in the Manchester Metropolitan University IMPACT magazine. You can view a copy of the printed article here