Suffolk facilities management company Vertas, Opus People Solutions and design and property consultants Concertus are coming together to sponsor Suffolk’s Greenest County Awards, taking place on 12 November at The Hold in Ipswich.
As we approach the United Nations COP26 event in November, all three companies are working hard to improve their environmental credentials and help Suffolk move towards its net zero carbon 2030 target.
Vertas has committed to minimising the impact of its operations on the environment, particularly emissions to air, land and water, and continually improving its environmental performance. Driving positive change through its supply chain has eliminated the use of single use plastic cutlery throughout its sites, instead using wooden alternatives, removing over 1,000,000 plastic items a year. Vertas has also focused on eliminating the waste it produces, over the last 12 months it has collected 18,720 litres of cooking oil to turn into biodiesel and recycled 500,000 kilos of waste paper back into paper products, which is the equivalent of saving 8,500 trees.
Opus has recently achieved ISO14001 certification for environmental management, offering green travel discounts, a Cycle 2 Work scheme and ensuring printed materials are made from recyclable/sustainable materials and come from environmentally responsible suppliers to encourage positive change.
Concertus is passionate about using sustainable design to reduce its carbon footprint whilst delivering the best engineered solutions for the built environment. Adopting the approach of Fabric First, it is committed to recommend environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, and is currently delivering two Passivhaus certified care homes – Hockliffe Road (one of the first registered Passivhaus care homes in the UK) and Steppingley Road (the largest registered Passivhaus care provision in the UK).
Councillor Richard Rout, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance & Environment for Suffolk County Council, said:
“The county council has the ambitious goal to be Net Zero by 2030 and further county wide aspirations set out in the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan. So it’s important that we are actively reviewing all the choices we make across the council and our wholly-owned companies. Vertas, Opus and Concertus are great examples of this, from making seemingly small changes such as swapping out canteen cutlery, to larger infrastructure decisions. But for me, these are perfect examples that every carbon reduction change we make, is a positive one.
“Every decision we make as individuals or businesses will have a positive impact on carbon emissions, energy saving and climate change. Of course, the council and its companies still have work to do, but we’re proud of the progress we’re making and I thank all staff who are making positive choices, no matter how small.”
The Greenest County Awards provide an excellent opportunity for individuals, businesses, communities, schools and voluntary organisations to be celebrated for the environmental work they do to combat climate change, or simply for improving the area where they live.
Nominations for the Creating the Greenest County Awards are now open and have been extended to close on Thursday 21 October 2021. Nominations can be submitted online at www.greensuffolk.org/awards