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Investec seeks to cut environmental impact

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INVESTEC Bank's green team has run a week of events aimed at reducing its impact on the environment.

INVESTEC Bank's green team has run a week of events aimed at reducing its impact on the environment. The group was established by 21 staff at the beginning of the year to convert as many as possible of the Town office's practices to more sustainable alternatives.

Simon Bradshaw, a climate-change researcher and co-founder of the Guernsey Climate Action Network, kicked off the group's lecture series with a talk about global warming and how to counteract it.

The inaugural green week this month involved a range of presentations and activities to reduce office waste and resources.

'Waste disposal is one of the biggest problems facing the Channel Islands,' said team member Colette Andrews.

'As a major employer in Guernsey, we felt it was important that we looked at ways to reduce our own carbon and waste footprint.'

'As well as actively reducing office waste, one of the displays we've put up tries to give staff an unbiased view of the advantages and disadvantages of landfill, incineration and zero waste. Hopefully this will give everyone here the chance to feel a bit more informed about an important local issue.'

On one of the days, Paul Fletcher, of e-si, discussed ways households and businesses could benefit from modern green technology by using natural energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.

On another, two local Fairtrade businesses, Jyra and Mondomundi, made a presentation on ethical practices and offered taste tests of their products.

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Al Gore's film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, was shown on a continual loop in the staff room.

During the week, staff were also set the challenge to swap their bin for a houseplant to cut down on office waste and non-recyclable material.

Continuing initiatives in the Plaiderie office include providing coffee and tea in containers which can be recycled - saving 180 refuse sacks of vending-machine rubbish each year.

All printing is double-sided where possible and recycling bins have been provided.

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'These initiatives are just a start but we hope that they will encourage our staff and their families

to look at enjoyable ways to be more environmentally considerate,' said Mrs Andrews.

n Investec Group in London last month secured the top award at the Corporation of London's annual Clean City Awards for its green campaign. Competing against 1,320 other companies, it won the Chairman's Cup, previous holders of which have included UBS, Legal & General, BP, Unilever, Clifford Chance and Lloyds TSB.

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