It's what we get accused of sometimes, but we don't take offence, we take it as a compliment! We have always been aware of the impact businesses have on the environment and have always taken steps to limit the effect Almo has.
We started a structured policy over a decade ago and are proud to be one of the most environmentally sensitive companies in our industry. Having obtained ISO 14001 and been awarded Carbon Neutral status doesn’t mean we are standing still; each day represents another opportunity for us to improve on the status quo.
The last few years have seen us getting involved with our clients’ businesses; helping them to make simple cost effective changes that result in a positive outcome for the environment. We have a specialist database of ‘Green products’ that we use to identify products suitable for substitution; we call this process ‘The Green Audit’.
The key for Almo is to inform. It is our job to provide our clients with the facts so that they can make an informed decision when choosing what products to purchase. At the end of the day we are supplying businesses and a commercial decision has to be made.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily follow that choosing the ‘Green route’ is the more costly option. We have found that through diligent investigation of existing purchases and working practices, a happy balance can be found and, in some product areas, significant savings can be enjoyed by switching to more environmentally friendly products. Toner cartridges are a case in point. By choosing the ‘Eco’ range of toners savings of up to 40% can be achieved, as well as avoiding unnecessary landfill, a real win/win!
Just as important as which products you buy and at what price is how you order and use those products. Getting the full life of a product has a far greater impact than just going for the cheapest commodity and we will help you to make informed decisions when it comes to how you use the items ordered from us.
The more our clients buy environmentally friendlier products, the lower the manufacturer costs; these savings are passed back through the supply chain. We predict parity between the costs of regular products and their green equivalents in the next few years.
Just as our ‘Tree hugging’ nature extends to our clients’ businesses, it also influences our charitable donations; the entire 2008 marketing calendar at Almo was dominated by ‘Green’ promotions, each one contributed 25% of the profit to ‘The Woodland Trust’. As a result of this activity and the support from participating clients, Almo can now care for some of London’s woodland in perpetuity.
Having outlined our core principles and beliefs regarding the environment, we now list the activities and initiatives in which we have been involved, and the outcomes of the work we have been doing over the past few years. The facts and figures below are all checked and vetted on a regular basis, both internally and externally.
What we do…
Reduce unnecessary packaging
Our boxes have been designed to stand out; you may have noticed! There is a good reason for them being so recognisable; if you value something you’re less likely to throw it away and more likely to give them back to the driver so they can be re-used. We know that our clients like the striking design of our boxes, we see them being re-used in their offices; we don’t mind, as long as together we have extended the life of the box.
Order in full, first time
We have strived to get your orders fulfilled first time in full; this has taken considerable investment behind the scenes, both in logistics and technology. The biggest effect of this effort is the reduction in delivery miles for our vehicles; it also makes our clients very happy!
Buy cheap, buy twice
It’s an old adage, but it still holds true and the effect on the environment is colossal, that is why we advise clients to buy the best quality within their budgets. If we can supply something of quality in the first place, it is more likely that it won’t need replacing: better value in the long term. Ask yourself, how many pens have you tried that don’t actually write?
What we have achieved
1998: Environmental Policy and statement issued
1999: Registered for packaging waste
2000: recycling scheme for toner and inkjet cartridges introduced
2003: ISO 9001 achieved
2005: ISO 14001 achieved
2006: first wholly ‘Green’ office catalogue launched
2007: Carbon Neutral status achieved
2008: 90% of Diamond Jubilee promotions are ‘Green’, 25% of the profit generated by those promotions is donated to the Woodland Trust - Almo Acres Woodland
2009: Almo’s Discount Buyers Guide is a Carbon Neutral Publication - Club Carbon Neutral Office Paper is launched in March.
What the future holds
Alternative power - solar/wind
Cycle to work scheme
More green space for London - working with local education authority/primary schools
Converting more offices to eco friendly office supplies - nationwide and across London