Lorraine Catt, Transformation & Shared Services Director, London
As the world goes back to normal, what will become the new normal for you? Can you consider a pledge to change one thing that will have a positive impact on the environment?
My pledge started in 2016 when I had my first child. I started to become much more conscious about the planet that we are leaving behind for our children and this was amplified by the number of items that you acquire and need for children. Everyone wanted to buy us gifts, clothing and toys and our house soon became cluttered. I started to find ways to donate items to families in need, charity shops and in some cases sold pre-loved items on, not for the money but in order to limit what we were putting in the bin which ultimately ends up in a hole in the ground.
In September 2019 a zero-waste shop opened in my town the concept really struck a point with me and I started to use their refill station to buy my washing detergents, shampoos, loose pastas etc. reducing our waste further. I didn’t want to stop there and in 2020 I joined the Environment team of CHESS (Charity, Health, Environment and Sports and Social) to use this platform to share my passion for the environment with other likeminded individuals and as a team we have organised a number of initiatives to promote a sustainable more eco conscious working environment.
We have helped IQ-EQ to change its supplier of office fruit to a company that is not only plastic free with its packaging but uses produce that was intended for landfill as is the wrong shape, wrong colour etc. yet perfectly edible.
We also used the opportunity of an office move to make some suggestions regarding what we would like to see in the new office and have helped to drive the installation of recycling bins, LED light bulbs, reducing the number of single use items such as hand towels have been replaced by air dryers, lights and technology equipment have been upgraded to go onto idol made etc. the list goes on.
To mark Environment Day we tasked staff with repurposing an old top to create a bag and we hosted a live event with guest speaker who founded the UK’s first plastic free delivery service titled “what can we do NOW” giving staff ideas for 5 simple swaps.
Over the next few months, we will organise volunteer days and workshops on sustainability and upcycling to help us focus on the environment.