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Green Challenge

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June Green Challenge: Setting a standard to follow

Mark Hargreaves discovers how Trinity Mirror makes a difference

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. The Carbon Trust contributes to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs.

Trinity Mirror made carbon footprint history in September 2010 when it became the first company in the UK to receive Carbon Trust Standard certification for the second time. The company won its first such plaudit in 2008. This, in turn, was a first in the media industry.

Based on a rigorous, independent assessment, the Carbon Trust Standard is awarded to organisations for their sustained commitment to tackle climate change by measuring, managing and actively reducing their carbon emissions.

To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, organisations must as a first step measure their direct carbon footprint (for example onsite fuel and electricity use), prove to have good carbon management practices in place and demonstrate genuine reduction in their emissions over a three year period.

On initial certification organisations also commit to continually reduce both their direct and indirect carbon emissions over the next two years before reassessment.

Trinity Mirror has been involved in setting this benchmark for the printing industry. However achieving recertification is not the only achievement; many individual Trinity Mirror Printing sites have also instigated their own schemes with excellent results. For example at Teesside, they have been working on reducing their electricity consumption by focusing on three areas:

  • Lighting. A central lighting control panel has been installed at the entrance to the building. Every light can be turned off by using just four switches. Also, all staff have been asked to turn off lights at the end of shifts.
  • Heating. Thermostats have been tested and rest and timers installed where appropriate. Again all staff are briefed to turn off all heating when they leave the building
  • Building Management System. Only areas that are occupied are heated or air-conditioned and target temperatures are monitored and changed as the weather changes.

By implementing these changes, the site has made a CO2 saving of more than 20 tonnes a month in just one year, benefiting both the environment and Trinity Mirror’s bottom line.

Given the highly competitive, changing and challenging nature of today’s publishing industry, the recertification is a major achievement for Trinity Mirror which employs more than 6,500 people in 68 locations across the UK.

“Our staff can rightly feel proud of this achievement because they have contributed greatly to this recertification,” said Paul Vickers, Trinity Mirror’s secretary and group legal director.

“Moreover, to be the first business to retain the Carbon Trust Standard demonstrates to our staff, customers and readers our genuine commitment to reducing our environmental impact.”

Having been the first media group to achieve certification, two years on, Trinity Mirror has implemented a range of energy saving measures across the group that have resulted in 9.5 per cent absolute reduction in carbon emissions since certification. These range from the frontline education of staff through to large scale infrastructure investment programmes such as chiller replacements at a number of the company’s major press sites.

Management reviews of production processes also identified areas where carbon savings could be made. In addition, with the introduction of a new publishing operating model, the company has been able to achieve a  number of property consolidation projects which have reduced overall energy consumption.

In the reassessment process, Trinity Mirror was commended by the Carbon Trust for publicly reporting its direct and indirect carbon emissions, as well as having a strong environmental policy in place, which commits the company to working with suppliers to measure and  report the energy associated with contracted printing, product distribution and suppliers’ business travel. By encouraging suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions, Trinity Mirror is building carbon management into the DNA of the business and changing the way carbon is perceived along the supply chain.

Staying true to this forward-looking approach,Trinity Mirror is planning to implement a range of carbon management programmes. These include the installation of new, energy efficient chillers at a number of additional press sites, the introduction of a metering, monitoring and targeting programme and ongoing  staff training which will allow the company to maintain momentum and continue to lead the industry in reducing  carbon emissions.

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