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We claim to be an ethical company but what are we doing to justify this claim?  Well, we try to deal fairly with all customers both readers and advertisers and try to be as 'environmentally friendly' as possible.

 

We try to work to the best practice for sustainability, recycling and waste awareness, here’s what we’re doing. 

The CJS office is lit by low energy full spectrum (daylight) bulbs, we chose low energy bulbs for obvious reasons but not many people use full spectrum bulbs. They do look a little odd when you first switch to them and from outside during the dark winter days it does look as if we’re practicing arc welding! However, they are easier on the eyes, don’t reflect off monitors and stop you squinting at small print on paper copies and it’s said that if you suffer from SAD they help ease the symptoms, we don’t so can’t comment on that one.   All the equipment is energy efficient, for example monitors have automatic sleep modes, and where possible everything has an off switch which is used at the end of every day.  The desks and furniture are made from FSC approved timber.

We buy a huge number of journals and newspapers to create the weekly digest of job vacancies, to keep up to date with the current trends and as a source of new ideas.  All newspapers are recycled (taken to the recycling centre on route to do the weekly shop or on foot) and the journals are passed on to be read by friends and family or are donated to the local hospital / doctors surgery or other waiting rooms.  All the paper used to produce your copy of CJS is 100% recycled and when you write to us your letters are recycled too, with one exception for security if we have any paper copies of details from the database (your name & address etc) or have written down your credit card details these are shredded and then used as bedding for livestock before being composted – not much chance of identity theft from that, however, if you find a small brown guinea pig is using your card details to buy carrots you’ll know we were wrong!  We even separate the stamps from the post and pass these on to charity, the last batch were sent to RSPB for the Albatross campaign.  Toner cartridges from the office laser printers are all sent to be re-filled and ink cartridges from the colour inkjet are donated to charity for refilling.  We even drink fair trade coffee and the milk comes from the local farmers co-operative.

However, we’re not perfect, the main heating is oil fired (although we have just installed a wood / multi fuel stove) and we do have a problem with the toner cartridges from the photocopiers.  We used to be able to send these back to the manufacturer for remanufacture however, they’ve changed the toner to a 100% organic vegetable version which sounds good, less polluting than the previous oil based plastic pigments, but this means that they can no longer melt the cartridges into the next batch of ink and consequently don’t want the empties.  Our local plastic recycler makes drainage mats with high density plastic but our empties just fill the factory with black dust so they are not wanted there.  The local waste awareness group have made enquiries and are unable to find anyone to take them off our hands and advise us to take them to the local authority waste site.  Which is currently what we’re doing; unless anyone knows better and can come up with a use for empty Toshiba toner cartridges, in which case please let us know.  

First published in the sustainability, recycling and waste awareness Special Edition on 22 May 2006.

 

UPDATE:  October 2006. We've changed our bank account to Alliance & Leicester because this means we can support our local Post Office, are able your cheques to bank on foot rather than driving nine miles to the nearest town, it's not entirely altruistic because there are no bank charges and it's much easier for us to get to the Post Office rather than into town during office hours.

 

March 2007:  We've gone carbon neutral.  We've offset last year's carbon emissions with CarbonNeutral and have requested that the offsets are used for UK forestry projects (more jobs for you).  To find out more about these projects please visit CarbonNeutral or   to go direct to the projects page.

Our CarbonNeutral certificate:

 

April 2008:  Once again we've offset our carbon emissions.  This year we've gone with CO2Balance.com which is one of the few schemes offering UK forestry projects, we still can't find any moorland / peat carbon sequestration our preferred method - well the largest expanse of heather moorland in England & Wales is just outside the office window so we're probably biased! (lucky us).  Our chosen project this year is Sand Martin Wood, an afforestation project located between the Lake District and Northumberland National Parks.  You'll find more about it on the CO2Balance site.

Our certificate for 2007/2008.

 

June 2008: For a while at least, our newspapers are not being recycled (gasp, shock horror!).  Don't worry, they are going to a better use, our local vet's surgery is short of bedding and paper for the holding cages so we're saving up our small weekly mountain of newspaper and dropping them off whenever we're passing.

 

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