Organic food delivery company Abel & Cole, which delivers predominantly British-sourced food to customers throughout the UK, has been awarded gold status in the Green Achiever scheme.
The company, based in Wimbledon, London, which experienced 25% growth in 2013, joined the scheme in 2009. A commitment to environmental best practice elevated it from four to five stars in 2010, followed by silver in June 2012 and finally gold status in October 2013.
Activities identified as part of this process included an increase in waste stream collections (food and waste cooking oil) for recycling or use in energy creation; a reduction in transport fuel consumption due to smaller delivery lorries; and changes in the packaging of milk to minimise waste.
Abel & Cole continues to recycle office paper, computers and monitors, and looks to purchase office furniture on eBay and Freecycle whenever possible. It has introduced a car-sharing scheme, has sleep features for office equipment and obtains its electricity from a 100% renewable source as part of its bid to reduce energy consumption. To counter the removal of a tree at one of its sites, which will soon be replaced, a donation was made to the Soil Association.
Stefanie Sahmel, operations project manager at Abel & Cole, said: "It's been an interesting journey from when we first joined the scheme to attaining gold status, and the key to our success has been employee involvement. Improving environmental impact is an all-for-one process which, once everyone is on board, becomes fun. It also makes sense for a business like ours and with the ethics we hold to practice what we preach and challenge ourselves to constantly improve."
The Green Achiever Scheme is a partnership between E4 Environment and Carbon Earth.