Making sustainability improvements to the firmMar 26, 2021
Making Nash & Co Solicitors more sustainable and in turn reducing our impact on the environment is especially important to us. Everyone’s aware of the climate emergency that we face. Some very significant changes need to be made across the world, and the 14th century proverb “Mighty oaks from small acorns grow” comes to mind. It’s true that we don’t have a lot of influence over the larger changes that need to be made. But we can make our own sustainability improvements here, and they in turn will contribute to those larger changes.
We’re looking forward to making some important changes and sustainability improvements across the firm. Our own changes will be coming. However, we’ve just completed a couple of key projects that will contribute to our environmental footprint. As part of this, we wanted to thank Plymouth City Council for their input, and let others know how they can get help too.
But make sure you’re ready to apply soon – the grants open for applications again on April 1st 2021!
Workplace Travel Grants
In November of 2020, we applied to Plymouth City Council for a Workplace Travel Grant.
The workplace travel grants form part of the Plymouth City Council’s Productive Plymouth Programme for sustainable transport measures. These are funded by the Department for Transport’s “Transforming Cities Fund (TCF)“.
The TCF projects, collectively, are designed to reduce congestion, improve air quality and help the city prosper. It does this by investing in infrastructure to improve sustainable transport connectivity across the City.
You can find out more about the Workplace Travel Grants themselves by clicking the banner below. But essentially, companies can apply for up to £25,000 over 3 years. The Council can contribute up to 75% of the cost of the scheme (not including VAT). For example, for a project that costs £10,000 +VAT, the council can award up to £7,500. That makes sustainability improvements a lot more affordable.
Electric vehicle charging points
We have a number of staff who either already have electric vehicles, or who’ll be getting one in the near future. As we know, diesel cars are soon to be phased out. Electric cars are increasing in popularity. Now’s a good time to turn thoughts to installing electric vehicle charging points for our staff to use. So we applied for the money to help us install 3 of them.
They certainly look great, they’re very easily controlled and monitored through a mobile phone app. Furthermore, they’re secure, with users needing a pin code to access them.
Shower room and changing facilities
We also have quite a few members of staff who are keen on running, cycling or walking. As part of the sustainability improvements that we want to roll out across the firm. A number of people have mentioned that they would be keen to choose more sustainable methods of travelling to work in the future . They’d like the option to cycle, run or even to walk to work, but without any shower or changing facilities, they were unable to do so.
In our boardroom on the top floor, we have a kitchen that we don’t tend to use very much anymore. So we made the decision to convert this into a shower room and changing facilities.
This will make it a lot easier for staff to come to work and go home, using more environmentally friendly methods! Having the shower room also means that staff can exercise at lunchtimes. They can then get showered and changed before starting work in the afternoon. By giving our staff the opportunity to lead healthier lives like this, the firm benefits even more. The health benefits (physcial and mental) associated with exercise are well known. Increases in productivity, focus and energy levels will all play a bigger role across the firm going forwards.
Anyone wishing to cycle to and from work faced the issue of having no where secure to store their bike during the day. So we’ve bought a cycle rack that can securely store up to 8 bikes. This will be next to our car park, within the Beaumont House grounds. This is due to be delivered any day now!
We’d honestly recommend that any business genuinely interested in making sustainability improvements consider applying for a grant. They’re very easy to apply for. The team at the Council are especially helpful. And all things considered, given the opportunity to make some real meaningful improvements to your firm’s sustainability and environmental efforts… why wouldn’t you?
Anyone who has visited our offices will surely agree, we’re truly blessed to be working in one of the City’s most beautiful buildings. Beaumont House has a lot of history attached to it. It goes back a long way. However, now, we’re looking forward to the future. And these improvements will help us do just that.
Jon Loney, our Managing Partner, is delighted to kick off our sustainability improvements with the development work above.
“We’re delighted to have been given a grant from Plymouth City Council’s Travel To Work grant scheme. We’ll be investing the money in our own infrastructure, enabling us to offer more sustainable ways for our staff to travel to and from work. It’s vital that businesses do whatever they can to reduce any negative impacts on the environment. By working with the Council, and using this grant funding, we can carry on the work that we started some time ago as a firm. Over the next year we’ll be making additional changes, reducing our carbon footprint, sourcing more locally, and delivering some exciting green initiatives that will involve the local community as well. We would strongly encourage other businesses in the City to apply for the Workplace Travel Grants and offer more sustainable travel solutions to their staff.”
“I was delighted to hear about the work Nash & Co are delivering through their successful application to the Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grants.
The grants are designed to support local businesses provide facilities to encourage employees to travel to work sustainably and this is exactly what the new shower, EV charge points and cycle parking will do.
It’s great that Nash & Co Solicitors have been able to directly tackle barriers staff identified as stopping them from walking and cycling to work and we look forward to working with them, through our Plymotion at Your Workplace programme, to provide further help to staff who are considering active travel for their commute.