A positive outcome from the current pandemic

You’ll have all seen the reports of clear water in the Venice canals, blue skies over Delhi and wild animals roaming boldly in locked-down cities. The oil industry and airlines are floundering in this new world and carbon emissions have fallen fast. We’re seeing more people cycle, walk, ‘scoot’ and drive shorter distances – and we all have noticed more birds and bees in our gardens!

Whether long term this will mean significant change for the environment is hard to predict. Historically there have been significant drops in emissions – typically after recessions – but often they ramp up afterwards and climb higher than ever before.

However, at Magenta we believe some things will never go back to how they were – as Coronavirus has forced change for the better.

Certainly, many businesses and business owners we have spoken to over the last few months indicate this has forced them to embrace technology as their friend, go paperless and travel less.

They don’t envisage travelling miles and hours for one business meeting ever again, preferring video conferencing to aid work / life balance.

A solicitor practice we’ve spoken to, reported that business as they knew it has been “turned upside down over night!” Having been heavily reliant on paper-based files and daily attendance at court, this is now all electronic and virtual – no more hours of preparing multiple copies of documents for all parties and travelling hours for court hearings. The courts are also processing more cases – super efficient!

What about Magenta?

At the start of 2020 we made a pledge – committing to developing better practices in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. You can read our blog about this here.

In summary:

  • We committed to reducing our paper usage by 50% – by using a new online client portal for documents, dual screens and consciously printing less;
  • We committed to making the office and the facilities we use more eco-friendly;
  • All staff would consciously increase use of public transport, walking and cycling;
  • We pledged to donate 100% of any savings we make, to an environmental charity.

How have we got on?

  • Over 120 clients are signed up and have used our online portal to exchange documents and correspondence with us!
  • We’ve changed all our office cleaning equipment to eco-friendly solutions and are using refillable hand soap, to reduce single use plastic.

The current coronavirus situation has meant we have some items we now need to use (antibac wipes and sanitizer gel) – but we are hoping that this can be done as efficiently as possible.

  • We changed our electricity and gas supplier to Bulb and have saved 2,881 of CO2 in the last 12 months.
  • Prior to lockdown – Carly started walking to work at least once a week and Rebecca started using the bus for 3 months, rather than driving. Julie now uses the train rather than driving and Gretchen continues to cycle to the office twice a week – but admits to being a fair weather cyclist!
  • From 1 January to 30 June 2020, our printing has reduced from over 17,000 sheets in 2019 to just over 6,400 – that’s over 60% and a cost saving of £460.
  • In the same period, we’ve reduced the costs of postage by over 45% saving  £385.

Contribution to charity

In April we asked you to nominate our green charity, from a selection of three – you can read about this here.

The charity you nominated was Sustainable Wales and Magenta is very happy to be donating £847 to them in our cost savings this week.

Sustainable Wales is a grassroots charity focused on enabling sustainable lifestyles in Wales.

Their volunteer-run activities include: SUSSED an ethical retail cooperative, a pop-up fairtrade café, cultural events in The Green Room and establishing a Bridgend local (renewable) energy group.

Sustainable Wales works with people from all walks of life, to make positive change and nurture optimistic practical solutions, whilst supporting the local economy as we face the reality of this global climate crisis.  https://www.sustainablewales.org.uk/

The next 6 months

Coronavirus and new ways of working looks set to continue for some time, so we envisage we will be able to maintain some of these improvements easily over the next 6 months. However, we’re committed to this for the long haul and will be looking to constantly make improvements and think about both our business and personal consumption and usage.

If you have any ideas of how we can improve, change and adopt new and better practices into the business – please let us know.