Conscience, that is one of our company values. It is a value we live by as people as well as business owners. We deeply care about our planet and its future, and we do what we can to protect it. As such we make conscious decisions on how we run our business.
The following is an overview of the steps we take to bridge the gap between being eco-conscious, and doing what a small business can afford.
1. GREEN ENERGY
We only have electric energy all of which comes directly from renewable energy. We could have opted to go with a cheaper energy supplier, but we didn't. We did a lot of research and settled on the energy provider Octopus. Many advisors told us to use (green) nuclear energy, but we believe that this is not green in the long run, due to the radioactive waste.
All our lighting fittings are Led. Most of our appliances have an A+ energy rating.
When we moved into our current premises in Nov 2022 there were still some shelving units and tables. We took a close look at all of them to see which ones were still in good enough condition and didn't hesitate to reuse or repurpose them.
As a business we keep cardboard boxes we receive from our suppliers, and repurpose them, or use them as filler. We rather recycle and send our biscuits out with another brand on the outside box, than create more waste by printing our own branded boxes.
When Adam from Surplus to Purpose in Leeds announced he had access to an abandoned office building filled with office furniture that was going to be thrown away, we went round and took a lot of our office equipment such as chairs, trolleys, folders, and more, in return for a donation to his incredible cause of fighting (food) waste. Some of our other office furniture comes from a local charity shop. They're mix and match, but that works for us!
3. REDUCE FOOD WASTE
All our biscuits are baked to order, which means we have no food waste. If we ever have breakages, our team take them home, or we leave them outside The Biskery for passers by to enjoy.
We used to have a listing on Too Good To Go, but we did not have enough wastage to make it work!
We recycle our waste, and we use recyclable material where possible.
The flooring we layed in our bakery is extremely durable, is made from recycled material and is 100% recyclable.
Our worktops are hard-wearing and long lasting. They are made from repurposed wood, and topped with an eco-friendly food safe resin that should last us for decades to come.
Our packaging and promotional leaflets are made from recycled material (which usually is more expensive), and recyclable. Our individual biscuit bags are compostable (way more expensive than the plastic alternative).
We chose not to shrink wrap our boxes, which means a compromise on the shelf life of the biscuits, but less waste, and a freshly baked product every time.
5. SAVING RESOURCES
To save energy where possible, we opted for domestic appliances rather than commercial ones. Domestic appliances use much less energy, and are more than sufficient for a biscuit bakery like ours.
We opted for a low energy heater, which resulted in us feeling a little bit cold at times, but wearing an extra jumper usually did the job.
Our bakery stands in our local community, which was really important to us. It means that well over half of our staff can easily get to work on foot, by bus or bike. Before we moved we all had to drive into work.
6. B CORP
We are in the process of becoming a B Corp business, a seal of approval for being a force for good. Without even having received the badge, we have already spent hundreds of hours and pounds in getting us there, shining a light on areas of improvement, and understanding what even a small business with a small budget can do to tread lightly on our planet.
We're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But we're always trying to tread as lightly as possible on this world. We've done this from the start and we will continue to put sustainability at the forefront of our minds.
Eco-friendliness is not just for Earth Day for us. And we hope the above will give other (small) businesses ideas of how to become a little bit greener.