Oak Grove Sustainability Statement 2014-15
Oak Grove’s founders started the business in 2013 with the intention of combining innovation and sustainability thinking to help charities, businesses and education providers make the strongest possible contributions to a more sustainable future.
We live and work in Oxford, with the distinct advantage that we no longer have a commuting footprint. It is comparatively efficient because we combine our domestic and work heating and lighting needs- but it brings its own challenges. Like all small businesses, we have to be resourceful when it comes to getting the most out of equipment and if we want to make technical upgrades we need to budget carefully.
We may be a core team of two, but we don’t believe that should make us any less accountable for how we operate. In fact, we are always looking for ways to carry out our work more effectively, more responsibly, more collaboratively and more sustainably. We are most certainly not perfect.
We’ve picked out four key areas in this statement we feel we must work hard at getting right, with some aspirations that we’d like to achieve during the calendar year 2015.
The document you are reading is live. We review it formally every year, but if we (or you!) think of a good addition, we’ll make the change.
We use Skype, phones and email where we can- but sometimes it is really important to do things face to face. When travel is necessary, we like to walk, cycle or take the bus. For longer journeys, we’ll take the train in preference to flying, and drive where it is the only viable option.
Aspiration 2015: Record all journeys made for work for the calendar year 2015 and calculate Oak Grove's travel carbon footprint accordingly. Consider Gold Standard, Clean Development Mechanism or Verified Carbon Standard offset.
We buy our energy from Good Energy and believe in investing our money in companies actively increasing Britain’s renewables capacity.
We have TRVs on all radiators and we are scrupulous about putting on jumpers and turning off lights.
We are always keen to give brilliant new ideas a go. We have installed the innovative Nest Thermostat and will be blogging in the New Year about its effectiveness.
Aspiration 2015: Create an investment pot to fund further energy-efficiency measures by September 2015.
We are proud to be part of the City of Oxford’s diverse and creative community and use social media to promote social enterprises and charities doing great things in our area.
We buy from local businesses where we can and offer our time free or at a heavily discounted rate for very small local organisations seeking sustainability and innovation support.
The Directors both volunteer their time as trustees for charities in the South-East of England.
Aspiration 2015: We want to do more to help address the green skills gap. During 2015, we’d like to launch or contribute to an initiative to give more people the opportunities, information and resources to gain skills for the emerging green economy.
We will only buy recycled or FSC paper and print both-sides.
We will always seek to repair office equipment before buying a replacement, unless an upgrade would provide significant energy efficiency benefits. When buying new equipment, we will only buy items rated at A+++ efficiency or equivalent.
We will always consider broader biodiversity impacts when making a purchasing decision, and favour charities such as Emmaus (second-hand furniture given a new lease of life) for our office desks and chairs.
We will never throw an item away that can be re-used, and will always go the extra mile to see it find a new home.
Aspiration 2015: We want to proactively recognise companies using circular economy principles in their design thinking and manufacturing processes. We would like to produce a register of companies providing office supplies to ensure Oak Grove, and others, can buy from the most forward- thinking businesses in this area.
Jenny Ekelund, Jesper Ekelund, September 2014
This statement is due to be reviewed and updated during September 2015.