“Climate Change is Everyone’s Business”

This blog article is for businesses who were unable to attend Havering Council’s Climate Change event at Havering Museum in June. One company said the event was “enlightening and inspiring”.

Recycling with a conscience is something which everyone is doing and our children come home regularly talking about climate change and what they have learnt at school.  This event was the adults turn to share and inspire each other on what we can do to preserve the environment for the next generation.

‘Climate Change is Everyone’s Business’ is a phrase which Nick Kingham of Havering Council used at the Climate Change Business Networking Event at Havering Museum.

Havering is one of the greenest London boroughs.   Our parks and open spaces are something we all enjoy and in the Harold Hill area we can see deer roaming around Dagenham Park.  However daily we are all seeing the negative impact of climate change.  People want to know how they can make simple changes which will have a big impact.

Havering Council has provided the framework in their Climate Change Action Plan 2021 for the borough to collectively make a difference https://www.havering.gov.uk/downloads/download/24/climate_change_action_plan).  One key objective is for the Council to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and offset the remainder, so that Havering can become carbon neutral by 2040, or sooner if possible. The drivers for the Action Plan are the people of Havering as everyone wants to combat climate change. Progress is being made, but may not be obvious such as the recent Pocket Parks which have sprung up around Romford as part of the Romford Bid Project to bring greenery into our urban town centre.

Havering Waste Management Team

Recycling and combating food waste are areas which everyone can improve upon.

In addition to the actions the Council is taking, the Co-op, Pantry Shelf and Happy Hedgehogs are businesses who attended the business networking event. They have shown that businesses and people do want to make a difference by making small changes which lead to a Healthier Havering and Healthier World.

Pantry Shelf

Sarah Vargerson, founder of Pantry Shelf, which offers accessible sustainable everyday shopping of dried goods, in paper bags, delivers direct to your door in Havering and Brentwood, using an electric van. Sarah is very impressed with customers who are already making great efforts to reduce their household waste by ordering dried goods from her to reduce plastic packaging.

Her personal vision of wanting to live more sustainably, create less waste, spend more time cooking healthy meals, less time at the shops and getting her children involved in all of these things, is now cascading into other family’s’ way of life. Sarah is a sustainability visionary who puts her ideas into action.   Visit https://www.pantryshelf.co.uk to discover her product range.  Email: hello@pantryshelf.co.uk

Happy Hedgehogs Family

Another success story of an environmental visionary is Penny Edwards, from The Happy Hedgehogs Family.  Penny was determined to find eco cleaning products which wouldn’t damage the environment.  This was one challenge too far so she turned this into an opportunity and set up the company to provide environmental friendly products which are cruelty free.
Their ethos is, Clean, Green and Kind.  Happy Hedgehogs provide eco-friendly cleaning products, refills, use recycled plastics and a zero emission electric van for local deliveries, which allows them to reduce carbon, waste and toxins.  Visit their website for more information and details of where you can drop items for recycling, via Terracycle UK or other businesses.  https://www.happyhedgehogfamily.co.uk/recycling-guide

After the event Penny said “The climate change networking event was enlightening and inspiring. I enjoyed hearing from and speaking with local professionals and business owners who share a similar ethos. Havering Museum, who hosted the event are a real asset to our community”  

Email mail@happyhedgehogfamily.co.uk

Co-op – Food Waste Reduction

Patricia Farrell, Member Pioneer, Co-op Romford, provided a truly inspiring presentation on how the Co-op tackles food waste reduction and the amazing work they do with local communities, whilst being mindful of protecting the environment.  Packaging for all businesses plays a big part so the Co-op is looking to reduce its plastic packaging by 15% by the end of 2022, reduce their water consumption across properties by 10% by 2025 and reduce food waste.  Another ambitious target the Coop has set itself is to be the first supermarket to sell fully carbon neutral own brand food and drink by 2025.

Their FoodShare programme ensures food is distributed to people in need from their local shops or their distribution centre.

In partnership with Hubbub, the Co-op will be supporting 250 new community fridges.   Hubbub coordinates the world’s largest Community Fridge Network with a whopping 280 Community Fridges now running across the UK. Community Fridges | Hubbub Foundation .  A community fridge is a space where surplus food is shared for free, bringing people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste.
Patricia said ”Each UK household throws away on average £500 worth of food each year. We’re doing all we can to prevent food waste in our stores and help you reduce food waste in your home. You can find plenty of ideas about how you can play your part in preventing food waste on our website. Food waste policy and the environment. It’s what we do – Co-op (coop.co.uk)

Giving Back to The Community

Climate Change is at the core of businesses and communities and there is a need to see changes sooner rather than later.

Havering Council have provided a framework and each of the companies we have featured are giving back to the community; Pantry Shelf contribute a percentage of their profits to food banks. In addition to providing sustainable cleaning products Happy Hedgehogs also provide 10% of their profit to The Children’s Society.  The Co-op is just one of the companies who have been leading the way by setting up their own Co-op FoodShare programme to reduce food waste and distribute it to people in need. 

They are usually stocked by local businesses sharing food that wouldn’t otherwise be sold in time, fresh produce from local gardeners, and food gifted from households.  

Co-op and Hubbub joined together to create more places where communities can share and access healthy food, connect with each other, learn new skills and become more resilient to challenges that are thrown at them. And it starts with a fridge!.

Havering Council has a Waste Management Team which works with the community to educate and facilitate change.

A Reality Check  –  Did You Know?

• Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose in landfill sites
• 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 mature trees
• A glass bottle takes 4,000 years to decompose – fully recyclable!!
• Recycle your aluminium cans – the energy saving from 1 recycled can power a TV for three hours
• 1 crisp pack will take 75 years to decompose
• A nappy can take up to 450 years to decompose
• Wet wipes can take up to 100 years to decompose

The communities of Havering are starting to recycle more.  Large companies like the Co-op and other big supermarkets provide recycling collection points in stores for soft plastic, eg bread bags, crisps packets etc. Recycled products can become benches, playground equipment and clothing.

For further information contact Kim Smith, Community Development & Resilience Officer, London Borough of Havering kim.smith@havering.gov.uk

For information on Business De-carbonisation Support the Council commissioned an analysis of what is available please click the link Business De-carbonisation Support

Leave a Comment