22nd April 2013

Go Green – and reduce our environmental impact

Viv Alexander

Time is running out to submit your ideas to our latest GeoVation Challenge. We’re offering a slice of £100,000 in funding for the best ideas which use geographic data to help bHow can we help British Business improve environmental performance? Geovation Imageusiness improve their environmental performance and I’ve been finding examples to help to get you thinking.

When Ordnance Survey moved offices in January 2011, we down-sized from a building designed to accommodate more than 3,500 people to our new location which was built for around 1,000. This meant we had a lot of excess furniture which we wanted to ensure was disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.  The excess furniture included racking and shelves, desk screens, filing cabinets, cupboards, desks, desk chairs, meeting chairs, plan chests, pedestals, soft seating, plants and much more.

We used a company called GoGreen  to help us manage disposal of the furniture.  GoGreen provides an end-to-end sustainable proposition with a zero-to-landfill guarantee which, for unwanted surplus items, includes donation to UK charitable and other third sector beneficiaries. They processed some 17 895 items amounting to 484.6 tonnes – and nothing went to landfill.

So, happened to it all and who benefitted?  Well, Go Green contacted schools and charitable groups in our local area and certificate from local grouparranged viewing of items and collated lists of requested items.  They ensured that 3 794 items were reused (through donation and sales); 14 101 items recycled; 30 organisations received donations and 25 organisations bought items.  GoGreen’s www.requestandreuse.com  provides a connection between businesses (‘Donors’) and charities/schools (‘Recipients’) to enable them to help each other.  The benefit is that businesses can demonstrate a commitment to the environment and endorse corporate social responsibility. While schools and charities save money and time looking for a much needed item and can demonstrate value for money to stakeholders/supporters.  Go Green also provided us with bags for unwanted stationery which was sorted by Go Green for delivery to local schools.

This is a good example of a company who are helping business to reduce their environmental impact.  Last week on the blog I posted some other ideas which are helping businesses and people to improve their environmental performance by reusing or recycling their waste.

If this has got you thinking of how you can help business to save the planet then enter the GeoVation Challenge. We are looking for ideas that use Ordnance Survey data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data.

The challenge runs to 1 May and the best ideas will be invited to a weekend GeoVation Camp from 21 – 23 June 2013 where you can work on building your idea into a prototype and pitch to the judging panel.  Successful ideas receive a share of £100,000 funding to get started on developing their ideas.