May 2011 - Graduate Gardeners win 4th Gold Medal!
13-Oct-10: CPRE Gloucestershire Award
Greenerbuild: A new business venture within the Greenshop Group of Companies
On 11 September 2010, Greenerbuild was officially launched during the Eco Renovation Open Homes weekend hosted by Transition Stroud. The Greenshop Group of companies has been pioneering environmental products since 1987, well over 20 years of business. To further their interest in promoting sustainability in the built environment, the Group recently launched Greenerbuild, offering a range of consultancy services and sustainable building products for both new eco-build projects and eco-renovations.
Greenerbuild’s growing product range includes; internal and external natural insulation systems, eco-friendly and PassivHaus windows and doors, lime renders, natural lighting and ventilation, intelligent airtightness membranes and tapes, eco-friendly paints and wood finishes, specialist information books, domestic and commercial rain harvesting systems, renewable energy technologies and wood fuel stoves
Greenerbuild also offers a Consultancy Service to help customers through some difficult decision-making. A range of advice and consultancy services are offered for homeowners and small public and business premises and within a 40 mile radius of Stroud, Gloucestershire, on low energy refurbishment, product selection and application, as well as options for producing heat and power using renewable energy. Customers are encouraged to contact Greenerbuild about consultancy services offered and after viewing products online for best information and advice without the hard sell.
The Greenshop Group recently constructed its own eco-headquarters, designed by RIBA Sustainability Award winning architects, Architype, and was opened by Jonathon Porritt CBE. Following on from this the Group has taken the next natural step to offset their carbon footprint, becoming a “Carbon Zero Company” through CO2 Balance.
The Greenshop Group www.greenshopgroup.co.uk includes:
Specialists in providing consultancy and sustainable construction materials for new-build and eco renovation projects.
Auro UK www.auro.co.uk
Distributors of natural paints and wood finishes that use no petrochemicals in their make-up. ‘Best buy’ and top ‘ethiscore’ in Ethical Consumer magazine.
Rainharvesting Systems Ltd www.rainharvesting.co.uk
Established as a market leader in this technology for both domestic and commercial properties.
Greenshop Solar Ltd www.greenshopsolar.co.uk
Installs and distributes solar thermal, solar photovoltaics and thermal stores for both domestic and commercial use.
Consolar UK www.consolar.co.uk
Sole distributor of Consolar low energy heating solutions, part of Greenshop Solar Ltd
Sells a comprehensive range of products both in the shop and online, including household, energy saving, bodycare, green books, organic bedding and clothing and the biggest range of eco paints in the UK.
Holbrook Garage and Workshop www.holbrook-garage.co.uk
Where all the businesses started from. It was the first in the UK to sell blended biodiesel and the first in Gloucestershire to sell unleaded fuel.
Notes to Editors/journalists:
For more information, product or site photographs, contact Bryan Roe at
01452 772040 or 01452 770629.
Greenerbuild, Cheltenham Road, Bisley, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7BX
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm
Tel: 01452 772040 Fax: 01452 772024
14-Jun-10: From Petrol Station to Eco Store
As featured on the 10:10 website, Greenshop Group's Jane Powell charts the company's 26-year journey to sustainability.
Believe it or not, our company started life back in 1984 as a petrol station and auto repair shop. But founder Roger Budgeon was already starting to think green. It was the first garage in Gloucestershire to sell unleaded petrol and the first in the UK to sell blended bio-diesel. In 1987 the shop started selling a few eco products alongside the usual drinks, snacks and magazines.
Today, the Greenshop Group consists of of five companies involved in sustainablilty issues and selling environmental products, from books to wood fuel systems. Our new HQ, opened in 2008, was designed by an RIBA Sustainability Award-winning architect. Last year we decided to work our carbon footprint. Much to our delight, it came out at 1.34 tonnes per employee – less than half the national average. To say that we've already come a long way is probably a bit of an understatement!
Because of this, our 10:10 commitment presents a particular challenge. However, I've often said that there's always something more that a business can do to reduce its impact, and this is a perfect opportunity to put it to the test.
Reducing our energy consumption
We minimise our energy demand through high levels of insulation, using vapour permeable building materials to provide good air quality without losing too much heat.
A significant contribution to the electrical load is achieved with the 4.6kw solar PV system. Heating and hot water in our new building is supplied from the Consolar thermal store, this in turn is supplied from a log boiler fuelled with waste wood, solar thermal collectors fitted on the walls. The car workshop is heated by waste oil.
To keep electricity usage down, we wired a master switch in each office, which can turn off everything in one go. This means we don't have to rely on each individual employee remembering to turn their equipment off, and can focus our behaviour change efforts elsewhere.
Green travel policies
We don't just encourage staff to cycle to work – we make it as easy as possible for them to do so, providing a shower on the premises to make sure they can do it comfortably and conveniently despite the hilly surrounding countryside! We are also registered with the government's Cycle to Work scheme, which gives employees big savings on new bikes and makes for a much healthier workforce.
All of our road travel is covered by a small fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, and a car-sharing scheme allows the non-cyclists to cut the carbon from their commute.
Waste not want not
On the waste front, we've been equally ambitious. Cardboard boxes are reused and all obsolete paperwork is shredded and used for packing for mail order customers. We recycle rainwater from many of the buildings, using it to water the gardens and supply our low-flush toilets. Kitchen waste, meanwhile, goes to our compost bins and wormeries.
Engaging employees, partners and neighbors
We also work hard to get others involved in what we're doing. On-site, we use suggestion boxes and noticeboards to allow staff to help steer our efforts and stay up to date on progress.
Looking further afield, we contact other local businesses, the local community and local councils to see if there are ways that our organisations can work together.
All this might sound complicated, but remember that we'd already done all the easy things. If you're just getting to grips with your carbon footprint, you'll find the first 10% much more straightforward. Whatever your starting point, saving energy and cutting carbon can be an incredibly rewarding challenge.
10-Mar-10: 10:10 Campaign
This ambitious but very achievable campaign was conceived by the team behind the film The Age of Stupid, and to date it has been supported by partner organisations such as the Energy Saving Trust, the Carbon Trust and ActionAid to name but a few.
What is 10:10?
It is a project to unite every sector of British Society (individuals, business, education and organisations) to work together to achieve 10% cut in the UK's carbon emissions in 2010.
We at the Greenshop Group support the 10:10campaign, both the national 10:10, the Gloucestershire County Council 10:10, the Gloucestershire Media 10:10 and thisisgloucestershire 10:10 campaign.
As a Group we are doing our bit as we have reduced our Carbon footprint to 1.34 tonnes per employee - compared to the national average being three tonnes per employee. This will be an ongoing project, and hopefully next year we will have reduced this footprint by even more.
As carbon reduction is such an important issue it is fundamental to the Greenshop Group's business procedures.
So whether you are a business or individual, please do sign up to this pledge and let us discover it is possible for all of us to achieve this 10% cut when we work together.
24-Feb-10: We win a Greenest Office Award
We win a Greenest Office Award
We are really pleased to be the National Winner of Cartridge World UK’s Greenest Office 2009.
From architects to law firms to engineering and construction companies, all entered this competition. First of all we heard we had won the Regional Award (which we thought was great) and a week later only to be informed we were the Overall Winner!
To achieve this we had to answer various questions (each question completed with 200 words). Such as “What work are you doing to reduce your waste and increase recycling?” “What steps have been taken to reduce your energy consumption?” “What work are you doing to manage your carbon footprint?” “What is the carbon footprint per staff member?”
It was an interesting exercise to work out some of the figures, and as mentioned in the last newsletter we have become a carbon neutral company and in doing so be associated with the company Co2balance.
Cartridge World said ‘The reason why the Greenshop Group was chosen was due to the fact that environmental considerations made up a fundamental part of the business, and showed that this can be achieved without any detriment to running a successful business. Congratulations to all.’
Download the full press release here >>
10-Feb-10: Greenshop Group gets Greener
We officially know the carbon footprint for each member of staff – it is 1.34 tonnes/person, which is very impressive, as the average is approximately 3 tonnes. These figures were worked out from September ’08 to August ’09. Needless to say we are very pleased with this, but we won’t rest on our laurels. Although to arrive at a footprint was fairly time consuming, it was also an interesting fact finding discovery.
Some calculations were easy to collate e.g. electricity, both mains and PV (photovoltaic) consumption, water usage, both mains and our rainwater harvesting systems, the total floor space, which was also broken down into naturally ventilated (cellular) and natural ventilated (open plan) and air conditioning (none!). Other calculations took a little more time – e.g. total distance of motor vehicles travelled within the year. This had to be broken down into small (1.4l), medium (1.4l-2l), and large (>2l) and then into either petrol or diesel, plus the calculation for our Prius hybrid. Royal Mail and courier deliveries had to be collated together from Greenshop, Auro, Rainharvesting Systems and Greenshop Solar offices, and the total number of shipments for the year. Also required was the average weight of each consignment, and this varied a huge amount from company to company – Greenshop’s average being 6kg and Greenshop Solar’s being 450kg!.
Now we have to challenge ourselves to improve on this figure year on year.
The company we chose to offset with is co2balance Ltd.
www.co2balance.com or www.icroa.org
Download the full press release here >>