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Burns, the Environment and Conservation

At Burns we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and continually seek ways to improve our environmental performance.

The gardens and grounds around our Kidwelly offices are managed organically and in a way which encourages and supports the local ecosystems. As well as helping our buildings blend into the landscape the gardens produce fresh fruit and vegetables for our canteen. Any green waste from the offices goes into the garden’s compost heaps.

The area around our premises is rich in wildlife habitats. From our office windows we can see an estuary and river, forests, farmland and wetlands. We are fortunate enough to have some rare species living nearby including otters, red kites and peregrine falcons. We often see a fox trotting through our fields on its way to check for scraps at our very active bird table.

Recycling and green alternatives

To help with the recycling of plastic and cardboard we bought a compactor. It is situated in a corner of our warehouse and is used to compress waste plastic and cardboard into small bales. The small bales take up much less storage space so we can pack more into the van when we take them to the recycling plant. This means that we are carrying more waste and making fewer journeys therefore saving on fuel and emissions. We recycle a minimum of one tonne of cardboard and plastic each month. Any glass or tins are also taken to our local recycling centre.

In 2007 we achieved the Green Dragon Environmental Scheme Level 2 certification. In order to gain this award we had to show that we had met all applicable legislation and had made notable and measurable improvements to our impact upon the environment. We are now working towards Level 3 certification and making further improvements.

As well as tackling the recycling of waste and reducing our energy use we have also used some ‘green’ alternatives when building our premises:

  • Natural sheep’s wool was used as insulation in our new offices.
  • Rainwater is collected from our warehouse roof so it can be used for watering the garden.
  • Solar panels heat the water in our newest offices.
  • Water for the newest office building is provided by a borehole.
  • All the buildings are designed to make the best use of natural light.
  • We have central recycling areas in our offices rather than individual bins.
  • All the toilets in our newest building are dual flush to help save water and the toilets in the other buildings are fitted with Hippo Bags.

We have a waste water treatment system on site. We use only Ecover cleaning products which are made from plant based materials and degrade quickly and completely by natural process which minimises their impact on the environment. We buy recycled products whenever possible such as office stationary, office paper and toilet paper.

We have recently received an award from the local transport department for our cycle to work scheme. Around half of our staff received new bikes to enable them to cycle to work. This is complemented by our car sharing scheme where employees who live both in Kidwelly and further afield share lifts to work. This reduces the volume of traffic on the road and the subsequent greenhouse gas emissions.