Adam Hall, Sustainability Manager of the company Surfdome, discussed at the Bude wave conference how being green doesn’t cost the earth in business terms. Surfdome, as many of you will know, is a massive online outdoor retailer. They sell millions of products each year and the company largely sells to people who are outside in the environment. Their key focus is on ‘single-use plastic’ which involves eliminating plastic from the business operation. The company also supports The Plastic Project and #2MinuteBeachClean, so in turn, it’s good for us to support them.
Some of the things they are doing:
- Using refillable toner in printers
- Getting rid of bubblewrap
- Using biodegradable gun tape on boxes
- Cardboard boxes with #2MinuteBeachClean logo on them
- Removed 20 ton (and rising) of plastics from their operation
Doing good is also good for business. The positive message from using cardboard boxes got a huge response. Supporting the #2MinuteBeachClean also helps their business. Cardboard is 110% more expensive than polymer bags, so its use is difficult for business, but he realised that savings made elsewhere could be reinvested into the more expensive boxes. The total cost of making the change was £900! They are also investing in a shredder to eliminate cardboard which may no longer be used. It is oddly more expensive but also saving money! The PR is great!
One of the issues is that the products they buy in arrive wrapped in lots of plastic! To be fair, plastics are great as they mean less damaged stock, they are see-through, they are cheap – it is easy to see why companies use it. However, they are involved in helping to fund a research project to see what sustainable but economically viable options are out there. It’s changing plastic habits that is essential. So, Surfdome wants to move beyond carbon-neutral to repairing the damage already done. Here’s hoping. Great to see a company working so hard on the issue.
And here’s the proof of the pudding…