Working with dcarbon8, Ambius has adopted a long-term plan to reduce our carbon footprint. Back in 2010, we set in motion a number of strategies to reduce our vehicle fleet fuel consumption by 10 – 15% and our building energy consumption by a broadly similar amount. We will achieve this by a combination of operational changes, corporate policies, training and the deployment of appropriate technology. By reinvesting savings we make from reduced fuel and energy usage into our environmental programmes, we are confident that we will be able to make Ambius a sustainably green company.
We have already put in place a number of actions to reduce our environmental impact over and above those detailed in our carbon action plan. These include:
We have signficantly reduced the amount of paper and fuel we use in the company from the use of digital technology by introducing:
Digital marketing materials and an award winning website
Regular teleconference calls reduce the need to travel
Our service vehicles are small and economical, although there is plenty of scope for improvement. We are always actively investigating alternative vehicles and fuel sources. During 2010, we introduced a new technology to accurately measure fuel consumption, which helped us to set realistic targets for improvement. We also introduced driver training for all of our company vehicle drivers to help them to drive with economy in mind.
Plants, water and soil
We reuse plants where possible. If we're not able to reuse them then we often donate them to schools, or they are shredded and composted.
We offer peat-free compost to those customers that require it, as we recognize that peat extraction can be damaging to fragile habitats. The peat that we do use is from sustainably managed sources.
The use of subterranean irrigation systems in our plant containers reduces the overall amount of water needed to keep the plants healthy and encourages improved root development. This all means healthier plants with more efficient use of fertilizer nutrients, and fewer soil-dwelling pests as well.
Our growers use sophisticated technology to measure precisely the amount of fertilizer given to plants whilst they are growing. Effluent discharge from these nurseries is tightly controlled. Also, many nurseries use the most energy-efficient technology available to heat and illuminate their glasshouses.
Our containers are made from a variety of materials, each with different environmental profiles. Research carried out in the Netherlands is informing us of the products with the lowest carbon footprint - both in terms of manufacture and end-of-life disposal and recycling. Before final disposal, many plant containers can be given a new lease of life by refurbishing them or repainting them. Many plant containers are made from materials that are easy to recycle, and some are made from recycled materials as well.
Another important aspect to Sustainably Green is the development of a range of products, services and techniques that we will offer our customers that will be the ‘greenest of the green’. We invite our suppliers to join us on our journey and have asked them to identify their most sustainable products and to a commitment to make their own companies as environmentally-responsible as possible. These actions mean that our customers will have the assurance that Ambius will offer the greenest interior landscaping services available and that our supply chain is as sustainable as we can make it.