Nash & Co Solicitors has made a commitment to significantly reduce the impact that we have on the environment. We will be Carbon Neutral by December 31st 2023.
Protecting the environment and helping to avert a climate crisis is only going to become more and more important in future years. It’s widely recognised that businesses have a massive part to play in taking positive action right now. No one can do this by themselves. And that’s why we have started working with a number of high profile and important local partners. Through this work, we can reduce our environmental impact, and at the same time, help them achieve their environmental goals as well.
Ocean Conservation Trust
Some 71% of the planet’s surface is ocean, and because of climate change, it’s in danger. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to build an exciting and long term relationship with the OCT. In the first year, we’ll be investing in their innovative seagrass project, helping to plant more seagrass and then helping to develop a system to protect it.
National Marine Aquarium
The NMA are also working with OCS on the seagrass project and National Marine Park. The harm that this plastic and general waste is doing to sea life is unimaginable. And it’s something that the National Marine Aquarium has been campaigning on for years. We want to help them get their message out, and to do our bit to help remove plastic and waste from the sea around us.
Becoming 'Climate Positive' at Nash
Carbon Neutral by December 2023
Our first goal is to ensure that we can claim that we’re carbon neutral by December 2023. There’s a lot of work that we need to do to get us to this point.
Carbon Positive from 2025
We want to be in the position where we are taking more carbon out of the environment than we’re putting into it by the start of 2025.
It’s important to recognise that to get to our goals, it’s not an overnight thing. It’s a series of changes that we need to make internally and relationships that we will build over time with external organisations. We need to do this properly rather than rush it for short term gains. For us, the commitment is there from everyone in the firm to get to Climate Positive in as short a time as we can.
What We're Doing
Here are some of the actions that we’re taking internally to get us to Carbon Neutral. We’ll continue to add to these as and when we need to.
- Temperature controls & switching off
- Zero to landfill
- Energy & Supply Chain
- 2022 event
- Eliminating single-use plastic
- Rewilding work
- Travelling to work
- Reducing Paper
As well as saving the environment, we also want to save money where we can. This then allows us to put more resources into our environmental efforts.
One simple way to achieve both things, is looking at your temperature controls for heating in the office. By reducing the temperature by just 1 degree (centigrade) we can substantially reduce our energy bills, reducing the amount of energy that we’re using
Don’t forget to switch off!
We’ve implemented a switch off campaign here in the office. Something as simple as turning off computers and monitors at night not only saves a huge amount of money over the year, but also means that we save 7500kg of CO2.
With a mature tree absorbing around 20 kgs of carbon every year, we’d need to plant nearly 400 trees just to offset the yearly emissions of our computers and monitors being left on all night!
Zero to landfill
Every day, we try to eliminate as much waste as we can, whether that’s through reducing our waste overall, reusing something or recycling it.
We work with a local waste company – DCW – and they take all of our recycling waste and process it here in Devon. Where we can, we recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and glass. Our confidential waste is shredded and is recycled to eventually become toilet paper!
None of our other waste goes to landfill. If we’re unable to recycle something, it’s sent to the energy-recovery facility here in Plymouth, where waste it turned into energy for the dockyard and local businesses and homes.
Around half of the lighting in Beaumont Houses has now been swapped out for LED lighting. We’ll continue to invest in this until each room’s lighting has been updated. Where we can, we’ll also be introducing movement sensors so that lights are automatically turned off if there is no movement in the room. Standard LED bulbs can be up to 80% more energy efficient than conventional bulbs and waste far less energy. The less energy required, the less impact on the environment (and the more money is saved!) Yes, there are financial benefits to making this change – LED lighting is a lot cheaper to run!
Energy & supply chain
We’re in the process of changing our electricity suppliers to 100% renewable energy. This means all our energy is generated through natural resources which won’t harm the environment. Right away, this has a dramatic effect on our carbon footprint. We are also looking into other environmental solutions for our heating. Plymouth Energy Community have been a fantastic help with advice on changes that we can make in order to reduce our impact on the community.
2022 event – we’re organizing something exciting!
One thing that we found when we embarked on our journey to Climate Positive, was the stark lack of useful information available to businesses to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Confusingly, there’s also a huge number of ways to measure your footprint, that can make comparisons relatively pointless. We wanted to help address this and will be working with Plymouth Energy Community, Low Carbon Devon, Plymouth City Council and others to create an event that will really help businesses make positive changes.
We also want to help raise awareness locally of the relatively simple steps that both businesses and individuals can take in reducing their environmental impact.
Watch this space… 2022’s the year!
Beaumont Park rewilding work
In the summer of 2021, we started working with Veterans Outdoors and Plymouth City Council to help wildlife really thrive in Beaumont Park. Our office sits in the park itself, so we can literally see the changes from our windows. We’ve had lots of great feedback from people locally, and over the internet who have seen some of what we’ve been doing. It’s gone so well, that we’ve now started rewilding the grounds of Beaumont House itself too!
We’ve donated fruit trees to Holy Cross Primary School and helped them plant them in the park. A wildlife pond has been installed, bird boxes along with bat boxes and even dormouse boxes have been put up. New flower beds have been created with pollinator friendly plants. And we’ve even built Bugmont House – a bug house to rival the grandeur of Beaumont House!
In 2022, we’ll be widening the scope of the work that we’re doing in the park, planting a wild flower meadow, more pollinator friendly flowers, bushes and plants. We’ll be converting an area of the park to a “wild area”, and building hedgehog houses, and more bug houses. Come and see what we’ve been up to – follow the link below!
Sustainable travel to work
In February 2020, we received a grant from Plymouth City Council’s Workplace Travel Grant programme. We have since installed 3 electric car charging points in our car park, converted a kitchen into a shower room, and installed a bike rack.
Following the success of this we’ve received another grant that we’re using to install a further 3 electrical car charging points in our car park.
These facilities will enable our staff to travel to and from work in a more sustainable way. We’d strongly recommend that other businesses apply for these grants – the application is simple, and you can get up to 75% of your sustainable travel project costs refunded.
We’re not going to stop
Our Climate Positive project doesn’t have an end date. It’s something that as a firm, we’re totally committed to. We’ll continually be searching for more and more ways to reduce our impact and removing even more CO2 from the environment.
We’ll continue measuring and analysing our carbon footprint. And every year, we’ll try and improve. What we’re doing and how we’re doing it. And always with the environment in mind.
We hope this has inspired you to take action too. If you’re struggling with ideas or getting started, please don’t hesitate to contact us and ask us about how we did some of these things. We’re always here to help! Just contact [email protected]
What Can You Do to Help the Environment?
There are many ways an individual can help the environment here are just a few:
- Switch to reusable drinking bottles and cups
- Use a reusable shopping bag
- Turn off your lights
- Buy sustainable clothing and items (shop secondhand)
- Take shorter showers
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
- Shop locally
- Use renewable energy suppliers
We want to help as many businesses as possible to reduce their carbon footprint. If you need help, have a look through the resources and contacts below. We’ve picked the very best info and help without bombarding you with tons of information!
Documents and online resources
Here are some fantastic resources that helped us as we were getting started:
The 1.5oC Business Playbook – Click Here
Plymouth City Council’s info and advice for businesses – Click here
Carbon Trust Resources – Click here
The SME Climate Hub – Click here
The United Nations Race to Zero Campaign – Click Here
Beat Plastic Pollution – Click Here
Personal Carbon Footprint Calculator – Click Here
Low Carbon Devon
T 07570 95061
Plymouth City Council
Beth Whittaker, Economic Development Officer
Beth is the economic development officer focusing on the environmental strand of Plymouth City Council’s Resurgam Charter. Beth’s role is to support businesses to enable them to reduce their carbon emissions and make a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. By working with businesses, Beth is compiling the resources needed to support businesses to calculate and reduce carbon emissions and develop strategies to adapt to future climate vulnerabilities.
E [email protected]
Plymouth Energy Community
T 01752 477 117
South West Manufacturing Advisory Service
Make It Net Zero Programme – Expression of Interest (Plymouth)
Paul Gilbert – Programme Lead – Make it Net Zero
T 07980 347502
Future Plymouth 2030 – a series of webinars exploring low carbon and sustainable development in Plymouth.