Environmental Impacts of removals

Imy Clarke - On behalf of Alchemy Recruitment, July 27, 2017

The environment is an ever-growing concern around the world, and within the removals industry it’s more important than ever to try and limit the environmental impact. From packing materials to fuel consumption, the removals process can have huge environmental implications, and there are some essential points to include in any removals environmental policy.

1. Re-use and recycle packing materials
The removals industry goes through tons of packing materials every day, from cardboard to polystyrene. It’s a part of the industry that cannot be avoided, but it can be made more environmentally friendly. For example, ensuring that any supplied packing materials to clients can be claimed back at the end of the move to either be reused once more or, particularly in the case of cardboard, recycled. By using biodegradable cardboard and polystyrene, another idea is to ensure that when these materials do reach the end of their usability, their impact on the environment will be less harmful. 

2. Dispose of unusable waste in a safe manner 
Unusable and unrecyclable waste is sadly still prevalent, but by disposing of such materials in a safe and sustainable way, there can still be many positive effects on the environment. It’s also worth checking to make sure than an item is unusable or unrecyclable. Some removals companies have even partnered with the ‘Furniture Re-Use Network’, collecting many items of unwanted furniture each week and redistributing them to charities across the UK. 

3. Use efficient vehicles 
Many large heavy goods vehicles are now designed with the environment in mind. These vehicles might be streamlined or have engines developed for minimum emissions. By investing in and significantly maintaining these vehicles, the carbon footprint of a removals company can be significantly lowered. Using efficient vehicles isn’t just about the vehicle itself, but also whether it’s the right vehicle for the job. There’s no point sending a huge truck if it’s going to be half empty, and similarly there’s no point sending several small trucks if one large one is the right size. It’ll also save a removals company plenty of money by using such efficient vehicles. 

4. Plan efficient routes
As with using efficient vehicles, planning efficient routes is also important for lowering a removal company’s carbon footprint. This might not necessarily always be the shortest route. For more rural areas, using better maintained, wider and more accessible roads can often use less fuel, and create less emissions than roads that are on severe inclines or difficult to drive along, particularly for large vehicles. 

5. Don’t forget the office! 
It can be easy to forget the office when business takes place primarily elsewhere, but the office is just as important in reducing environmental impact. Ensure to recycle all office waste, especially paper and computer equipment and try to use energy efficient equipment and lighting where possible. 

Every removals company should have some form of environmental policy and commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. By ensuring compliance to any and all applicable legislation, the company should also ensure that all personnel whose work might impact on the environment in some way receive adequate training. Slowing down and preventing climate change is a hugely important part of modern society, and every business should play their part. 

Posted in categories: Packing, Specialist Removals
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