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Treading lightly on Scilly; reducing our business impact on our precious natural resources

Posted: Wednesday 1st August 2018 by The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

100% electric van powered from 100% renewable sources

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust is a charity tasked with conserving, maintaining and protecting wildlife and landscapes within the Isles of Scilly and inspiring and educating the public about Scilly’s natural & historic environment. The Trust is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and ensuring that its business activities are as environmentally-friendly as possible.

As a business we understand our responsibility to:

1. Reduce our own impact on our precious natural resources.
2. Help our visitors tread lightly on their travels; leave a positive impact on our local community and natural environment.
3. Enhance the environment around us for future generations

What we are doing:

• The Trust has received energy-saving advice through the Smart Energy Islands business support project enabling us to install an energy monitor to reduce the energy we are using in our office

• The Trust is signed up to a 100% renewable energy deal through Ecotricity. This has saved £375 per year on the previous supplier deal.

• The Trust has bought a 100% electric van which costs 0.03 per mile to fuel with electricity. Taking into account insurance (£148 per year) and battery hire costs (£360 per year), the vehicle costs £578 per year to run compared to a diesel equivalent of £1508 per year; saving £930 per year.

• Travel to the mainland is minimised by using virtual meetings via the internet.

• We buy bulk Eco-cleaning products for the office so that we can refill dispensers.

•We recycle everything we can within the current constraints of business recycling.

• Washable hand-towels are used in the wash-rooms rather than disposable paper towels or electric hand driers.

• 100% recycled paper for printing is purchased and re-use of single-sided print happens where possible

• We use reusable coffee cups and drinks bottles (alongside the running of the Plastic Free and ReFill Scilly initiatives)

• Where possible, we always collect marine debris from wherever we have been so that any rigid plastic can be recycled.

• The engines in our land management machinery use Aspen 2-stroke oil, a fully synthetic low-smoke oil that is partly biodegradable, biologically inert and non-toxic.

• Plantoil, a non-toxic, rapidly biodegradable lubricant is used in the chainsaws which is derived from rapeseed oil from renewable sources.

• The Trust (and contract graziers on off-islands) carries out low-intensity livestock grazing, rotational reed cutting and management of water levels on coastland headlands and wetlands at levels which promote carbon sequestration and soil formation. Management of both grasslands and wetlands in this way can capture up to 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare.


So what now?

We are looking to retrofit a grey-water system to our office/workshop to minimise usage of this precious resource. The Trust will undertake a full carbon audit to accurately measure its carbon footprint; this will allow us to make changes to our business practices to further reduce our emissions and demonstrate our commitment to a low-carbon & sustainable future to our supporters. It will also enable us to look at how our land management practices might help us offset our carbon usage.


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