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PHS Group carbon reduction continued

* PHSWashrooms.jpgWhile it is obligatory for UK quoted companies to report greenhouse gas emissions, it is becoming increasingly essential for all businesses, big or small, to highlight their environmental credentials by measuring and reducing their carbon footprint.

It is suggested that companies implementing policies to reduce carbon emissions perform better on the stock market compared with those that do not, making climate change and introducing targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions central to business plans.

In addition to improving a company's reputation, lowering the carbon footprint also makes sound financial sense. It often goes hand-in-hand with energy cost-cutting, which can provide a critical business advantage. In addition it can mitigate against future costs in the form of regulatory instruments such as pollution taxes and higher insurance premiums.

Findings published by the British Institute of Facilities Management give an interesting barometer on the sustainability agenda. Aimed at facilities management professionals and the businesses they represent, the report identifies overwhelming support for sustainability to be embedded into business operations and also more crucially the challenges of delivering those aspirations.

PHS had been taking its responsibility to the environment very seriously long before green strategies became normal business practice. Reducing the impact on the environment has been integral to operations at PHS since the company was founded in 1963 as one of the first suppliers of sanitary disposal services in the UK.

Sustainability is embedded in the company's philosophy and it is committed to reducing the carbon emissions of its divisions and products, which include washroom services, water coolers and drinks dispensers. The company now has a sustainability team which monitors and sets targets to reduce its environmental impact in five key areas: carbon, energy, fuel, water and waste.

"PHS has always been committed to good environmental practices, it runs through our business," notes The Group's sustainability manager, Emma Wood. "We have a strong environmental heritage and are not just jumping on the bandwagon. This is who we are and why we believe it's important that the carbon impact of our products are measured and accredited by the Carbon Trust."

The Carbon Trust's internationally recognised standard calculates the carbon footprint of services and products by looking at the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during their life cycle. This includes the manufacturing, collection and cleaning process, and the disposal of waste.

PHS Waterlogic, the first company to have its water dispensers independently certified by the Carbon Trust, has just had its products recertified to demonstrate that it has continued to achieve reductions across the range since 2010.

Carbon reduction activities include; new filters for PHS Waterlogic's mains-fed water coolers. These revised units enable the filter's plastic housing to be reused, rather than sent to landfill. The internal parts are then recycled and only the carbon filtration granules themselves are now replaced and disposed of, decreasing the amount of material sent to landfill by over 81%.

The company, which is Europe's largest supplier of mains-fed water dispensing and purifying systems, achieved reductions across the board, with its WL2000 filter range achieving a highly impressive 5% reduction in carbon emissions per litre of water dispensed. A total of seven models were evaluated by the Carbon Trust, with all units achieving a further carbon reduction ranging between one and five percent across the two-year certification period.

In addition the PHS Washrooms Division's sanitary disposal unit exchange services has achieved carbon reductions of up to 3% and has also been reaccredited for a further two years with the Carbon Trust's Carbon Reduction Label, continuing its position as the first UK washrooms provider to hold the certification.

Through continued commitment to the reduction of its carbon footprint, PHS Washrooms has reduced the carbon emissions of its standard sanitary disposal service by a huge three percent, and the Mini bin by a not insignificant two percent. This means that for the next two years both products will carry the Carbon Reduction Label.

Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, said of the recertification: "PHS deserves to be congratulated for its commitment to taking action to reduce the environmental impact of its products and services, resulting in real improvements year-on-year. By using the Carbon Reduction Label on PHS Waterlogic dispensers and sanitary bins, PHS is sending a clear message to its customers that it is acting in a responsible and sustainable manner."

Despite setting the benchmark in sustainability for other companies to follow, even the PHS Group admits it is a learning process and the nine-month Carbon Trust audit highlighted a number of key areas for improvement which are now being closely looked at, such as data availability, route optimisation and vehicle specification.

Emma Wood continues: "We are completely transparent about our environmental credentials. It's important to provide accurate and verified information on environmental claims. The Carbon Reduction Label demonstrates to customers that the carbon footprint has been accurately measured and that we are strongly committed to reducing our emissions against the highest standards."

Achieving the milestones of Carbon Reduction Label certification demonstrates PHS's continuing commitment to reducing its impact on the environment which in turn empowers customers to make informed, sustainable purchasing decisions in order to meet their own environmental targets.
To qualify for displaying the 'Carbon Reduction Label', PHS Waterlogic and PHS Washrooms had to be certified by Carbon Trust Certification, in accordance with PAS 2050:2011. The Trust itself is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to ISO 14065:2013 to provide greenhouse gas verification to PAS 2050: 2011 and the Code of Good Practice (2008) for Product Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reduction Claims (2008).

The PHS Group now takes care of over 200,000 customers at more than 450,000 locations across the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands. It has grown rapidly since its foundation in 1963, with its annual turnover reaching £418M for the year ending March 2013. PHS is also a significant UK employer with over 5,000 personnel operating from a network of over 140 regional service branches.

The Group offers a wide variety of workplace services aimed at improving people's work and leisure environment, in four key areas; Hygiene, Workplace, Speciality Waste and Confidential Data.

In 2013, PHS set up its own dedicated charity foundation to further its contribution towards the community, called the PHS Foundation. Its first charity partnership as a Foundation is with children's hospice charity Together for Short Lives.

T: 029 2080 9250
E: [email protected]
W: www.waterlogic.com

11th September 2014

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