A company with a conscience

Clare Everett, 07 October 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about all the socially conscious things we do at Springload. We’ve always wanted to be the best company we can be, and that includes being aware of the impact of our actions beyond our office. We want to be a good member of society.

Here’s how we do it at The ‘Load:

A fine balance

A lot of studio managing is about getting the balance right. All great Studio Managers know there’s an art to having just the right amount of milk, fruit or biscuits in the office to last the week without having to throw out lots of wasted food that’s gone off over the weekend. It’s quite a skill.

We’ve got budgets to stick to and people to keep happy. We want our team to feel looked after - spoilt even - without things going to waste. Lucky for us we have Kelly. And she has the dark art of studio management down to a tee.

Less to landfill

There’s a cost to making sure as little as possible finds its way to the rubbish bin. And it’s a cost Springload has decided is very much worth paying.

Here’s what works for us:

  • Waste Management take away our recycling on a weekly basis - paper, cardboard, glass, cans and plastic.

  • We pay for a compost service through the council - Kai to compost. Our coffee grounds and lunch leftovers get turned into into good things for gardeners.

  • A couple of times a year we take our broken electronics down to the Sustainability Trust.

  • We always have a charity shop box on the go, once it’s full one of us walks it down to the nearest place taking donations.

We’ve also got a very respectable stash of rechargeable batteries so that we are not constantly sending batteries to landfill.

And any empty or half used paint pots get taken to Resene. They donate the spare paint to community groups to help brighten up their spaces. This came in very handy after we finished our new office fit out last year.

Thoughtful shopping

Kelly and I both think, budget allowing, that the greener or more socially conscious option is also the best option.

Here’s how that affects our shopping list:

  • We buy recycled paper for our photocopier. (What’s the point of recycling all that paper if you are not going to buy recycled products?)

  • Our handy towels and tissues around the Studio are also made of recycled paper. Thank you Earthcare.

  • Our Flight coffee beans are ethically traded. There’s no excuse not to buy ethically traded coffee in Wellington. Currently we are drinking Bomber.

  • Cuba Fruit Mart bring us a lovely box of fruit and veggies each week. They are great at sourcing local produce as opposed to importing it (where possible - some things don’t grow in New Zealand.) And we can confirm our bananas are fair trade.

  • Ecostore cleaning products are our first choice for our kitchens.

  • We know it’s important to buy local, and getting our Tuatara beer straight from the brewery ticks that box!

  • Kelly has started doing investigations to see which items on our grocery list use palm oil and is looking into alternatives. Some of our favourite biscuits have had to go.

  • We recently had a request from one of the team (after watching a particularly upsetting dairy farming video) to go organic with our milk. We’re really happy we switched.

  • And I’ve just discovered you can take your empty Ecostore bottles into Commonsense Organics to refill them. Amazing!

Commonsense Organics are a truly great company. After 25 years in the business they know their stuff. You should check out their blog. Fun fact: They’ll deliver to your office. They’re an excellent source for catering for our gluten and sugar free team members. And they do excellent gift baskets filled with yummy goodness.

Suppliers too

It’s not just about the decisions we make. It’s about who we choose to give our money to.

Taking taxis is a reality of leading busy lives. We chose to get an account with Combined Taxis who are a carbon neutral taxi company. They’re part of the Carbonzero programme

Scott, our landlord, uses Meridian for his electricity. He knows that their commitment to renewable energy is important to us.

And his lovely cleaners make sure that the toilet paper and paper towels they stock us with come from sustainable forests.

Always thinking a meal ahead

On one of my many google searches on ‘what can you do to stop global warming’ it talked about eating ‘meat free’ more often. Kelly cooks for us most Wednesdays and we’ve decided to cook more vegetarian meals. So if you are invited to lunch at Springload, be prepared to go meat free! It will of course be delicious. Everything Kelly cooks is. If you are a Springload client you should hit up your account manager to get an invite, you won’t regret it.

Reducing our footprint

Springload has been dedicated to offsetting our carbon emissions since 2008. I recently blogged about it. We’re very proud of it.

The effort is worth it

In fact, we’re proud of all that we do. We’re not experts in sustainability, we build websites. But we do our best to research how to be better and take advice from the people around us, then we make informed decisions based on what feels right to us. It’s more effort, but in the big scheme of things, we think it’s well worth it.