At Andron Facilities Management, we believe that protecting our planet is not only the right thing to do but our responsibility. And as a facilities management company, we understand the critical role that our industry plays in shaping the built environment and driving sustainable practices. That’s why we constantly innovate, invest in sustainable solutions, and work collaboratively with our employees, clients, and diverse supply chain to reduce our environmental impact.
From reducing our carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy sources and implementing energy-efficient cleaning equipment to reducing waste through closed-loop recycling programmes and sustainable packaging, we are committed to doing our part in preserving our planet for future generations.
We are proud of our progress so far, but we know that there is always more we can do, and we are constantly looking for ways to make informed decisions, accelerate change and help create a more sustainable future.
Earth Day and the importance of investing in our planet
According to the Earth Day Network, Earth Day is marked by an estimated one billion people across more than 190 countries. And this year’s theme, Invest in Our Planet, is focused on spreading awareness of our collective responsibility to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all. Earth Day focuses on reframing the conversation and bringing everyone together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together.
On Earth Day and every day, Andron is committed to investing in our planet. However, today is a reminder of the urgent need to take even bolder steps towards sustainability. In this blog, we are therefore reflecting on the actions we are taking to invest in our planet.
Net Zero by 2040 and an 8% decrease in absolute carbon emissions
Investing in our planet means taking real and tangible steps to reduce our impact, and transitioning to a net-zero world is a necessary one if we are to build a more sustainable and resilient future. To avoid climate change’s worst impacts, we need to limit global warming to 1.5C compared with pre-industrial levels. And to achieve this, we must become net zero globally by 2050 at the very latest. Investing in net zero, therefore, requires bold and decisive action.
After measuring our operational carbon footprint in 2021, we set an ambitious target of net zero by 2040 aligned with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). We are aiming for a short-term 7% year–on–year emissions reduction in line with SBTi guidelines before moving on to our long-term target of reducing emissions by 97%.
Proudly, we have already seen an 8% absolute decrease in carbon emissions (19% per GBP) across our operations. This decrease is excellent progress, but we know that the journey to net zero is challenging and requires a long-term commitment. However, the benefits of achieving net zero are significant and far-reaching and will positively impact the planet and society for generations to come.
Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing emissions is critical to addressing climate change and its associated impacts.
Our commitment to transition our fleet to fully electric vehicles by 2025 is an ambitious commitment towards investing in our planet. Electric cars have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and noise pollution while also saving costs on fuel and maintenance.
We introduced the first electric vehicle to our fleet in 2021, followed by 12 more electric cars and two electric vans over the course of 2022 and 2023.
In addition to transitioning our fleet to electric vehicles, we are reducing emissions related to product deliveries to client sites. Working with our consumable and janitorial supply partner, Bunzl, we analyse all product deliveries to client sites and work together to optimise and reduce deliveries, resulting in substantial carbon savings. So far, we have cut emissions by 9,525 kg of Co2e, equivalent to the emissions from a car driving approximately 23,000 miles.
The Carbon Disclosure Project
Disclosing our carbon emissions data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is critical to our commitment to investing in our planet.
CDP is a non-profit that runs the global environmental disclosure system. Companies that disclose through CDP are assessed in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The disclosure and scoring process then helps companies to monitor, measure, manage and take meaningful action on their environmental impacts.
By disclosing to CDP, we are not only providing important information about our carbon footprint but also contributing to a global effort to better understand, benchmark and address the climate crisis. Participating in the CDP shows our commitment to transparency and accountability and drives positive change in our industry and beyond.
We are proud to have achieved a ‘B-‘rating in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) assessment for 2022. This rating is higher than the industry average of C and puts Andron amongst the 33% of companies that reached the Management level in our industry group.
This year’s score is a full letter grade improvement on our previous years’ score, demonstrating Andron’s commitment to tackling climate change and transitioning towards a net zero future in line with the 1.5-degree trajectory laid out in the Paris Agreement.
Sustainable waste management and closing the loop
One of the most impactful ways to invest in our planet is by embracing sustainable waste management practices.
At Andron, we partner with our Carbon Neutral waste management supply chain partners, delivering innovative zero waste-to-landfill solutions designed to increase recycling levels and energy recovery. In 2022, our customers benefited from average recycling rates of 75% across their sites.
Another vital solution is closed-loop recycling, which helps reduce waste, conserve resources, and reduce our carbon footprint. This process involves collecting waste materials and converting them into new products, creating a circular economy that reduces our reliance on virgin materials and minimises the amount of waste sent to landfills.
We recently closed the loop on our range of lactic acid, enzyme, and bio-based cleaning products, packaged in 5L containers made from recycled materials. When finished, the containers are collected by Bunzl, refilled, and returned to sites for reuse.
Additionally, all uniforms and equipment at the end of their life are collected by our supply partners to be recycled and made into other products. Most uniform items are used for manufacturing other garments, clothes and textiles; if they cannot be recycled into fabrics, they will be utilised via various assorted products, including insulation, partition walls and sound boarding.
All equipment parts, consumables, batteries and chargers are also replaced on-site and returned to our equipment provider, ICE, who currently recycles 100% of batteries, 84% of parts and equipment, and returns 48% of parts and equipment to the field. And our partnership with Numatic means when a new vacuum is purchased, the old machine is picked up simultaneously and recycled.
Furthermore, within our owned offices, or if clients request that we do so on their behalf, we donate all end-of-life equipment, such as desks, chairs and monitors, to non-profit organisations, such as town halls and local social enterprises.
Tackling single-use plastic
In the UK, it is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used yearly — yet only one-quarter of it is recycled. The three-quarters that aren’t recycled enter our environment, polluting our green spaces, rivers, and oceans, costing millions to clean up, and harming native wildlife and domestic pets.
Reducing plastic consumption and raising awareness about plastic recycling is crucial if we are to overcome the problem of plastic waste and pollution on our planet.
Regarding facilities management services, products such as hand towels and toilet rolls can all contribute to single-use plastic waste. Working with our supply partner, Bunzl, we are working to eliminate shrink-wrapped products from entering our client sites. By making simple changes, such as swapping shrink-wrapped products for products packaged in cardboard boxes or paper, we are providing more opportunities for recycling and less plastic waste. With one product, this simple change eliminated approximately 13kg of single-use plastic waste from one client account.
Our sustainable “free from” uniform range provided for most of our staff is also constructed from sustainable fabrics; excluding the zipper and trims, the products are made from 100% recycled plastic, with at least 15 plastic bottles going into each garment. In 2023 alone, we have saved 8938 bottles from landfill.
Community outreach and advocating for change
Carrying out litter picks is a simple but effective investment in our planet. Litter is a significant environmental issue that can harm wildlife, pollute our waterways and oceans, and spoil our natural landscapes. By picking up litter, we can help to reduce these negative impacts and make our community green spaces cleaner, safer, and more beautiful.
Andron’s colleagues participated in the Great British Spring Clean 2023 initiative for the third year running by organising two litter picks in London and Glasgow. Colleagues were joined by clients and service partners, including Jones Lang La Salle, for a collaborative volunteer day and, in total, collected 49 bags of waste from our community green spaces.
In addition to the immediate benefits of removing litter, litter picks can also help raise awareness about the importance of reducing waste and adopting sustainable practices. They can inspire people to take action towards reducing their environmental impact, such as by reducing their use of single-use plastics, properly disposing of waste, and recycling.
Overall, carrying out litter picks is a simple yet powerful way to invest in our planet. It demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship, inspires action towards sustainability, and can have immediate and long-term benefits for our communities and the planet.
A workforce of sustainability champions
Training employees on environmental matters is critical to investing in our planet. Building a sustainable organisation means employees across all levels must embrace environmental responsibility.
We are committed to empowering our employees to become change makers across our business and recognise that the training and development of our staff are fundamental to achieving this goal. Educating and empowering our employees can inspire them to act sustainability at work and in their personal lives. It helps to raise awareness about the environmental impact of our actions and the role that we can all play in reducing our impact on the planet.
In line with our ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 accreditations based on continuous improvement models, we deliver Environmental & Energy Awareness training modules covering the importance of minimising our collective environmental impact. The training covers various topics, such as energy conservation, waste reduction, sustainable transportation, and water conservation. This training demonstrates to employees the importance of being environmentally mindful whilst carrying out the tasks associated with their role. It encourages changes in behaviour, resulting in reduced energy and resource consumption, lower carbon emissions, and less waste generation.
At Andron, we are committed to investing in our planet and helping our clients do the same. Our decisions today will impact our planet’s health and the well-being of future generations. And by embracing sustainability and taking action to reduce our environmental impact, we can create a more resilient, prosperous, and equitable future for all.
Soon, you can dive deeper into our sustainability initiatives when our 2022 Sustainability Report is published.