A personal statement on behalf of Tower Surveys Associates, written by James Hulme.
This page is a work in progress but we cannot wait to “get it right”, this is a world emergency, action needs to be taken.
We hate the idea of being a company, or individuals, that simply “green wash”, meaningless empty statements.
Every day, every little thing we do and say NOW makes a difference.
Pollution – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Nature – protect habitats, repair and make new.
Global Warming – focusing on energy and carbon dioxide, reduce energy usage, increase efficiency, capture.
How do we make a difference?
Bring People Along With us: The link between being business that adds value, contributes to society and sustainability is clear, our biosphere needs to encompass:
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – many hands make light work, and engaging all of society will enable great strides to be made toward a sustainable future.
Working with Our Industry and Professional Partners – As Chartered Surveyors (Regulated by RICS) and members of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, many of our core competencies and professional values will help us on our sustainability journey. [ https://www.cices.org/ and https://www.rics.org/uk/ ] – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Sustainability, Analytical thinking, Communication, Teamwork, Leadership, Managing Resources, Negotiation, People Development, Achieving Results, Business and Customer Awareness, Health, Safety and Environmental Management. As surveyors working within the built environment, we have a key role to play in society, influencing and shaping Government policies, shaping global decisions.
Doing Something Now – with Urgency and Immediacy.
Plant some trees – this is a difficult one, we are focusing on our biggest impact, domestic travel, driving cars and vans across the UK to get to and from survey sites. Trees sequester carbon and don’t offset. There for the future. It’s not the whole answer but done with the support of specialists, carefully planned and managed tree planting, will help provide and protect natural habitat as well as sequester carbon.
These new trees need to be planted both in the UK and overseas. Some trees need to be left to grown in natural forests, indigenous species left to the cycle of life, some can be used for “agricultural” purposes, replenishing nutrients in the soil, providing building materials, flood mitigation schemes, or where absolutely necessary, used for biofuels.
How many trees should I plant to offset my carbon footprint UK? How many trees will live to maturity? Planting a UK native broadleaf tree may live 70 years, dependent on species, sequestering around 3.1 Tonnes. Just planting a massive number of trees is not necessarily a positive investment if not enough of them survive to become mature plants. In summary, it can be concluded that the annual CO2 offsetting rate varies from 21.77 kg CO2/tree to 31.5 kg CO2/tree. To compensate 1 tonne of CO2, 31 to 46 trees need to be planted each year.
We do need to be careful about “just” planting trees, these trees must be balanced with all the other conservation plans; such as looking after our peat bogs, wetlands and freshwater lakes which are vitally important, yet are under threat globally.
Reduce consumption – by only having one small central office between our geographically spread teams means that we end up working from home around 30% of the time. By only when it is of premium benefit or essential do we visit the site for a client meeting or hold a face-to-face meeting with a colleague. However, it would be difficult to do our work without physically going to the site at some stage! By limiting those that go to site to those that absolutely must go, by using videos and photography, reducing travel by using local teams, accommodation, rapid data capture systems and just by working quickly and efficiently.
The Tower Surveys Associates Ltd management team is committed to continual improvement to the nature, sustainability, and environmental impact of its activities, products, and services.
The company and its associates are committed to complying with current environmental legislation including the prevention of pollution and with all other appropriate requirements.
We have a suite of policies and practices that cover sustainability, these cover the following area; carbon, environmental management, waste, water, materials, biodiversity, community, ethics, and procurement.
- We have the commitment to reduce waste generated and waste sent to landfill – recycle and reduce waste.
- We are committed to reduce energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions – driving sensibly and reducing unnecessary travel.
- We pledge to not adversely impact biodiversity – tread lightly, take only photos and leave only footprints.
- We are committed to reducing the amount of water and electricity used within our offices.
- We are committed to reducing the number of materials used, such as paper.
Our company look to offer our services without detriment to the environment, our primary tool for doing this is through education and CPD of our employees, making them self-aware, applying what they learn to every activity.