It's a green future
Here at ICRTouch HQ, we’re always looking for ways that we can invest in making the campus more energy efficient. Colin and the team have always been dedicated to reducing the impact ICRTouch has on the world and over the years, we’ve made significant changes to the way we work.
“As a company that is investing in its future, we feel it is our responsibility to lead from the front and implement renewable energy solutions in the hope that more businesses will follow suit.” – James Johnson, CTO
As a business, we’re working towards being fully carbon neutral by 2025; and hope that you’ll join us on this journey too.
Over the last few years, a lot of changes have been made at ICRTouch HQ to reduce our environmental impact – here’s a quick outline of some of the measures we’ve put in place.
To further reduce the amount of electricity that’s being used throughout the campus, we’ve updated the interior lighting at ICRTouch HQ to be automated.
Motion detectors are now in place to control the lighting in the bathrooms, hallways, stairs and walkways throughout the building, resulting in a big reduction in the electricity usage.
E-bikes for the team
Our commitment to becoming carbon neutral and reducing our footprint over the next few years isn’t just a company aim. It extends to our teams, too.
Part of that includes encouraging the team to be more conscious of their impact on the environment and helping them reduce this. We purchased a fleet of Scott eRIDE bikes which are free for the team to use, encouraging them to leave their cars at home.
With powerful Bosch Performance drive units and 500Wh PowerTube batteries, the bikes have multiple modes for use depending on how much help is required!
Thankfully, the Isle of Wight has purpose-built cycle paths that link up conveniently with many of our teams’ homes, so we’re delighted to have seen many people taking up the opportunity to cycle.
Solar panels & rainwater harvesting
In time for the improving weather, we’ve been adding more solar panels to Building 1 at ICRTouch HQ. Added to the original panels, these panels will allow us to offset power against TouchOffice Web and all our other web service products.
Electricity from the panels is now being stored within a series of Tesla Powerwalls; rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. We already have three installed and have another six on order, which will give us a total of 15hours’ use.
Further to our efforts with renewable energy, our new whopping 38,000 litre underground reservoir rainwater tank is now in place. The water in this tank will be collected from our guttering systems and groundwater, reducing the amount we need from the mains supply.
Upgraded EV charging
We’ve invested in two brand-new ‘Pod Point’ EV workplace charging stations. This ensures staff and guests are able to charge their electric vehicles on site for free.
We hope this will encourage our teams to follow suit and look at purchasing their own electric vehicles in the future. The Pod Points are powered by our own energy harvested from the solar panels.
30 megawatt hours of energy
Since the install of our solar panels back in 2019, we’ve generated a huge 3-MWh of energy. That’s equivalent to 3- tonnes of CO2, which is the same as six passenger cards on the road for one year.
It would also be enough energy to run the whole of the Isle of Wight’s main town, Newport, for approximately 10 minutes.
Eliminating single-use plastics
To help keep our teams hydrated, we have a number of water coolers throughout the office and one of the few single-use plastics we’d been using were cups. To combat this, we switched to disposable cardboard cups without PE or PLA coating. These are fully compostable and each cup will last up to 5 days before being disposed of.
We also purchased two top of the range Evolis printers that print high-quality, full-colour cards. Evolis restricts the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of their products, in compliance with the European EoHS directive and the ribbon cartridges are recyclable. The new printers have an ultra-efficient sleep mode that uses nearly six times less energy over their lifetime (approx 5 years).
All the lighting in the newly refurbished office space and across the whole campus is now LED, using up to 90% less energy and significantly reducing lighting costs. We’ve also cleaned all the skylights to allow for more natural light to enter the building. All windows are now A++ rated thermal energy efficient glass to radiate and retain heat within the building.
Green Impact Award winner
Throughout the year of 2019, we made a substantial effort to go green and minimise our footprint. After assessing what our top negative environmental impacts were, we set about changing them and our efforts were rewarded when we attained the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Green Impact Silver Award.
The first solar panels are installed
At the start of 2019, solar panels were installed on the roof of the ICRTouch HQ in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. The move to renewable energy was the next phase in ICRTouch’s sustainable energy strategy, eliminating 5.25 tons of carbon emissions every year, which is the equivalent of planting over 130 trees annually.
“Not only does the installation of solar panels allow us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, it also provides our customers with increased reliability and security from power failures.” – James Johnson, CTO
51 x 280W solar panels installed on the southwest side of ICRTouch’s HQ, alongside 3 inverters which combined can generate 14.28KW.
Some of the things we’ve implemented to achieve the Green Impact Award and simple things that everyone can consider:
- Install a dual flushing toilet & label the lower volume flush.
- Collect rainwater in water butts to tend to plant life around the buildings.
- Fridges & freezers rated at A+.
- Use instant water boilers rather than kettles.
- Set office heating to only operate during working hours.
- Add signage reminding staff to not overheat the offices, keep lights and equipment switched off when not needed and keep doors and windows closed when the air conditioning is on.
- Electrical accessories and personal items not left on unnecessarily and that computers auto sleep after 30 minutes.
- Switch water heaters and coolers off overnight.
- Run a cycle to work scheme.
- Encourage staff to car share.
- Use the ICRTouch electric car for work duties.
- Use of ICRTouch electric bikes for cycling to and from work.
- Install bee houses, bug boxes and bird houses/feeders.
- Plant wildflowers.
- Educate staff on picking up litter.
- Recycle all cardboard waste.
- Coordinate waste disposal in full awareness of WEEE waste regulations.
- Recycle printer and toner cartridges.
- Reduce the amount of printing and postage (since 2014 our invoicing has been completed via email).
- Implement systems to monitor purchasing patterns and reduce over ordering.
- Annually audit the environmental impact and create objectives to improve.