A core part of our business, since the beginning at Coach House has been our endeavour to push forward so we can be at the forefront of the British Homewares market. This ethos of forward thinking applies to sustainability and supply chains too. We believe that if we can be a positive force for change, then we will be. By rethinking, reducing, and recycling, we are minimising our impact on the environment. Looking at Coach House with a holistic approach, has enabled us to tackle not only what we do on site but our global impact too. Progress has been made, but as ever, there’s always more to do.
Conscientious buying not only helps reduce CO2 emissions now, but also means we can future proof not only our business, but the industry as a whole. By buying products made from more sustainable sources, we not only keep up with shifting demand patterns of today but also means that we can continue buying in the future. We now stock products made from completely recycled materials, and we are working with suppliers to source more. We are trying to close the loop.
Conservation of trees is one of the biggest weapons in tackling climate change, and because of this we have decided that for every order placed by our customers we will plant 10 trees. That is EVERY order. We have teamed up with the Eden Reforestation Project in Madagascar and have a designated site there, where we have now planted 500,000 trees. Eden Reforestation projects also reduce extreme poverty as well as restoring healthy forests, by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.
Buy once and buy well. We do not sell throw away items, and we believe that once a Coach House item ends up in a home it will stay there for many years, and (hopefully) be cherished. If we all reduced our consumption, then the world’s resources can be protected. That is why we’ve always made quality items that stand the test of time. We have also tried to reduce our carbon footprint in Lancashire, looking conscientiously at operations both small and big, from recycled water tins we give to customers to the bulbs in the showroom and beyond. We have changed every bulb in the building to LED (that’s 2987 bulbs!) over the last few years.
Our Solar Project started 2019. We started looking at ways to reduce our dependence on electricity from the grid, with the aim of one day going off grid and self-sufficiently generating all the electricity we need. You may think that the sun doesn’t often shine in the North West, but we can prove you wrong!
In total there are 2397 panels fitted on the roof, which give a peak output of 1 Mega watt of electricity (1000 kW). Total annual output will be 770,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) enough to power the equivalent of 210 UK homes for a year. It will halve our total electricity site consumption. For the rest of our supply, when it’s a grey Lancashire day, we get our energy from a renewable energy provider.
Our Delivery vehicles have been running on B20 biodiesel for the past 6 months, and although this has brought a reduction in CO2 over conventional B7 diesel, we feel we can push things further and have decided to move from B20 Biofuel to HVO. HVO stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil; it is a renewable, sustainable and 100% biodegradable fuel produced from waste fats and vegetable oils and using this product reduces CO2 gases by up to 90%.
As you may know we make a lot of deliveries here at Coach House; within a year we cover enough mileage to circumnavigate the earth 28 times and completing all these deliveries we use 447,000 litres of fuel annually. Moving to HVO has helped us significantly reduce our emissions, going from 1,395 tonnes of CO2 to just 111 tonnes of CO2. This reduction is the equivalent to taking 1250 cars off the road every year.
Waste not, want not. Maybe it's the Yorkshire blood, but we don’t like waste. We would hate to see our stock in landfill, after all the care and effort taken to get it so far. For items that aren’t quite perfect or samples, we make great use of our returns in our seconds and joinery departments. Pretty much everything that comes back to us gets mended and resold, and thus given a new lease of life!
For our on-site waste, we work with a local recycle-led waste management service, meaning that less than 10% of our waste ends up in landfill. Some waste that cannot be recycled goes to 'waste-to-energy' power plants which reduces CO2 and the use of fossil fuels. We have also invested in a polystyrene compressor which means we can recycle onsite too.
Whilst investing in more renewable energy and changes aforementioned, there are processes without an immediate ‘green solution’ which we wanted to carbon offset. International travel is a huge part of our purchasing system, as is our fleet and deliveries. Although we try to do both as ecologically as possible, sometimes the infrastructure and technology doesn’t keep up.
This is where Permian Global comes in. We worked closely with them to offset our GHG emission for scopes 1, 2 & 3 (as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) by purchasing high quality verified emissions reductions from the Katingan-Mentaya Peatland Restoration and Conservation project in Borneo, Indonesia. We have now carbon offset our annual emissions since 2017, and in 2019 we were lucky to be able to visit the site. Here’s our adventure into the jungle.
The Katingan Mentaya Project is living proof that carbon finance can combat climate change. The largest program of its kind, it generates an average 7.5 million triple gold certified carbon credits annually: equivalent to taking 2,000,000 cars off the road each year. Each verified carbon unit (VCU) purchased, protects a specific endangered forest and prevents a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth's atmosphere. As the largest such project in the world, Katingan Mentaya produces almost 7.5 million VCU's per year.
The project protects vital peatland habitats in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, for five Critically Endangered, eight Endangered and 31 vulnerable species. The protected area is home to between 5 and 10% of the global populations of the Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey and Southern Bornean Gibbon. Not only this, they are also in partnership with local communities; utilising carbon revenues to ensure natural forest restoration and protection through activities aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As you can see, Climate Change is not something we take lightly. We want to be a positive change and force within the industry and will continue to do so with ongoing projects, sustainable sourcing and much more.
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