• Gentoo's Planet Smart Champions

We're encouraging our workforce to be Planet Smart

We're encouraging our employees to put the planet first by making environmentally smart decisions.

Planet Smart, is our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. The Planet Smart Charter consists of three themes, transport, energy and waste, and asks our employees to be as sustainable as possible in the workplace.

The Charter provides direction and focus for what we're aiming to achieve as a business; whilst also ensuring the tools are in place to help our staff meet its commitments.

With a selection of schemes and initiatives currently in place, we have already saved £250,000 for 2017/18 which is reinvested back into the organisation.

Louise Bassett, Executive Director (Corporate Services) at Gentoo said: “At Gentoo, we are committed to making a positive difference to the environment. Through sustainable business practice and energy management we are working smarter and reducing our consumption of resources, be it energy, office goods or travel.

“The consumption of resources is intrinsically linked to cost and by finding ways to consume less, more sustainably, we are positively impacting our business.

“What is really exciting is that Planet Smart has become culturally embedded rather than being solely driven by compliance.”

We encourage employees to be environmentally conscious through a variety of fun and engaging activities, including roadshows, staff training and regular company-wide communications.

Already there has been a large reduction in electricity use thanks to a number of initiatives, including the installation of LED lights and ‘switch it off’ stickers in all offices and depots. This is supported by a number of buildings that are fitted with large Photovoltaic (PV) systems, in addition to 5,000 homes that benefit from PV and clean energy. As well as the installation of software on computers that stops them from sitting in idle and switches them off when they’re not in use.

We also provide electric bikes and pool cars to help reduce personal travel mileage and costs for employees, including zero tailpipe emission Nissan Leafs.

To date, we have made great progress to strengthen our commitment to being an environmentally responsible business and have:

Reduced electricity usage in all offices and depots, which is the equivalent to providing electricity in 201 homes for one year
Reduced waste across the business by 1,160 tonnes. This is the same as a years’ worth of waste from 2,900 people
Reduced gas usage in all offices and depots, which is the equivalent to providing gas to nine homes for one year
Gentoo vehicle fuel was reduced by 54,236 litres, this amount of fuel is enough to fuel 48 Gentoo vehicles for a whole year
Reduced staff car mileage by 45,181 miles. This saving is the equivalent of driving from Sunderland to London and back 81 and a half times
Planet Smart Champions drive the initiative by identifying opportunities to reduce energy usage and waste, and encourage recycling. They also engage with colleagues to take ownership and innovate around the agenda by encouraging them to adopt sustainability behaviours in a fun and creative way.

James Taylor, Planet Smart Champion said: “At Gentoo, our values are built on doing what’s right, and as a responsible company, making the changes needed to reduce our waste and emissions. These values are what attracted me to the Planet Smart Champion role.

“As a Champion, I drive forward Gentoo’s core commitment to the Planet Smart charter. By promoting better ways of reducing waste and assisting other champions leading on initiatives ranging from reducing car mileage to recycling.

“It’s a serious message that we deliver to colleagues in a light-hearted and fun way through engaging communication and presentations; we’re not here to police but to build awareness of individual and organisation-wide responsibility and good practice. Being a Planet Smart Champion is an ideal way of making a difference in the workplace and ultimately playing a sustainable part in our planet’s future