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Environmental awareness at WRENmedia: An interview with Rachel, our office manager

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

In order to reduce WRENmedia’s reliance on single-use plastics, the company is now opting for environmentally-friendly alternatives to everyday household products. Our office manager, Rachel Maclean, shares her wisdom on ethical choices and WRENmedia going green.

WRENmedia has removed the office water cooler which used large plastic containers and now stay hydrated with Sho reusable, metal drinks bottles

What action has WRENmedia taken recently to make the company more environmentally aware?

As a communications company that reports on agricultural science, we feel that it is important for us to be attuned to climate related issues. On this basis, we sought to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics by reducing their usage in our Suffolk office. The first step towards this goal was the removal of our office water cooler. The large plastic water containers that fed the machine have since been replaced with Sho reusable, metal drinks bottles. Each member of the team received one of these refillable flasks in April of this year and their bright colours were an instant hit in the office! Soon after, we started using Who Gives A Crap UK paper towels and toilet tissue. The products are 100% bamboo and they even wrap their goods in bamboo paper, rather than the usual plastic wrapping of everyday toilet paper.

We also make sure to refill our soap and washing up liquid dispensers, as opposed to buying new bottles every time, and all of our ink cartridges are recycled. Our tea, coffee and cleaning products are sourced from Fairtrade, and the staff snack tin is stocked up with delicious Traidcraft biscuits. We also now get our milk in glass bottles rather than plastic cartons. So although we are a small team, by taking steps like this, we are trying to take responsibility for the choices that we make.

What was the inspiration behind these changes?

Our director, Susanna, has always been passionate about taking care of the environment and, more recently, has started buying the team environmentally-friendly birthday presents, such as bamboo socks, re-usable coffee cups and jewellery made from recycled plastic.

Certain aspects of our work are also heavily focused on climate change and its impacts worldwide, and so as a team we wanted to make ourselves more environmentally conscious. We had a look at what plastics we were using and then worked out how we could replace these to reduce our impact on the environment.

What are the challenges related to becoming more environmentally conscious?

The costs of environmentally-friendly products are a factor that we do have to take into consideration as a small business. For example, buying soap in bulk for our dispensers is an investment, as is purchasing water bottles for everyone in the team. Equally, the toilet paper is more expensive than regular, household toilet roll. However, Who Gives A Crap donate 50% of their profits to helping people around the world who do not have access to toilets. This compelled us to spend a little extra on their products.

What advice would you give to other companies that are thinking about becoming more environmentally-friendly?

Go for it! And don’t be afraid to start small. If we all made small changes then the impact would be considerable. Every company has to start somewhere and you can only do what you can manage. It is important that we all do what we can to cut down on single-use plastics and the little changes all count. As a company, take a look at what you are using, ask yourself if it is necessary, and look into what alternatives are available to you. You may be surprised by what you find and how easy it is to implement more environmentally-friendly choices.

Written by Alex Miller

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